To the Editor:
Our family business is next to Prairie Meadows Race Track and Casino on the east side of Des Moines. We supported the passage of the gambling law. Now, ten years later, I can admit that we were wrong in doing so. Greed overpowered and outweighed our commitment to common sense and morals. Greed is an influential motivator.
have found that we have received (gained) little or no business from the
venture. Your local businesses, bars, restaurants, and liquor stores
will discover that the greed that presently consumes them will dissipate
when they realize that the facility that they now promote and support
wholeheartedly will have a hand in the inevitable decline and possible
demise of their businesses and harm their employees and customers.
industry has enormous financial resources. It is only a matter of time
before they build hotels, motels and restaurants in your area. They will
attract gamblers to their facilities with “free or nearly free” food
and lodging. You will not be able to compete. This is how they make
their money – by stealing customers and profit away from local
establishments. They aren’t going to let you in on it. They want to
keep you in the dark until it is too late. It destroys. It does not
build. Look at Council Bluffs as an example.
importantly, my company has to date, lost four valued employees due to
embezzlements caused by their gambling habits. These were people who had
never gambled before!
is no doubt that it is destroying the moral fiber of Iowa. Ever since it
first appeared in our state pro-gamblers have tried to justify it by
listing economic values. What is the value of a life? What is the value
of a job? Four people would still have jobs, would still have their
lives if it were not for legalized gambling.
are sometimes unwise in their decisions, but why tempt them? Why give
them any more possibilities for mistakes and increase their chances of
making them? Why put a facility and its companions of crime and
addiction within reach of the people in our own communities, people we
live with and deal with on a day-to-day basis? It just doesn’t make
wife’s family was in business in Okoboji for many years. We are proud
of the home we own on the lake. The last thing we want to see happen to
a prosperous, family oriented community is the atrocities we have
brought upon ourselves and the rest of Iowa.
campaign to stop the industry from invading the Lakes area is not just
to campaign against all the negatives it brings to the community, but
against greed itself. The illusion is that when everybody wins,
everybody gets rich. Not true, my friends. The industry strikes gold
netting most of the money. The state government gets the bulk of the
rest. The county and city in which gambling is located gets a whopping
1% to split. Match those numbers up with the lost revenue the industry
steals from local businesses, higher property taxes and increased costs
to the community. It is a lose-lose situation.
company and I are not trying to give the impression we are
“do-gooders” or say “I told you so”. We only want to admit to
our errors and present to you the facts as we see them. Don’t make the
same mistake we in central Iowa did.