Reprinted from the Congressional Record from the 104th Congress Senator Paul Simon July 31, 1995.
Prosecuting attorney Jeffrey Bloomberg of Lawrence County, South Dakota, testified before a U.S. House committee on his experiences dealing with Deadwood SD, a small community that became the first place outside of Atlantic City and Nevada to legalize casino gambling. He said they were promised “economic development, new jobs and lower taxes.” Instead, casinos flourished, but other businesses did not. Businesses that provided “the necessities of life such as clothing are no longer available…and customers of the town’s only remaining grocery store walk a gauntlet of slot/machines as they exit with their purchases. For the most part, the jobs that were created earn minimum wage or slightly better and are without benefits. As for the claim that gambling brings tax relief, this simply has not proven true. Real property taxes for both residential and commercial properties have risen each and every year since gambling has been legalized. Crimes of theft, embezzlement, bad checks and other forms of larceny have increased. Our office has also seen an increase in the number of child abuse and neglect cases as a result of gambling. These run the spectrum from the children left in their cars all night while their parents gamble, to the children left home alone while their parents gamble, to the children left home alone while single mothers work the casino late shift, to the household without utilities or groceries because one or both parents have blown their paycheck gambling. Government is hooked on the money generated by gambling and in the long term the ramifications of this governmental addiction will be just as dire as for the individual who becomes addicted to gambling.” (September 21, 1994-House Committee on Small Business)