Excuse me, are you listening? 10-7
Friday, April 22, 2011

 Dear Readers,

I was having a conversation with my friend about casinos and gambling because there is currently a push for a casino in Lansing.  I thought back to my first casino experience.  
I was about 17 (I have now found out that in New Jersey, you must be 21 years of age to gamble).   It was a bus trip and included in the cost you also received a $20.00 voucher.  I lived in Brooklyn, NY at the time so going to Atlantic City was like going to Disneyland.  I was a poor working student just barely making ends meet. But  the allure of the bright lights and neon signs of Atlantic City  in New Jersey interested me the practical student.  It is not that far from Brooklyn but in my mind it was a world away.  
I was very impressed with the gaudy lights and the glitter and held on to my $20 voucher for a moment while I bathed in the intensity.    I finally cashed my voucher in and held tightly on to the distasteful plastic cup used as a cheap marketing tool for a long time.  I think the logo began to wear off before  I began to place quarters into the slot machines. I remember getting a strange feeling in my gut which kind of felt like “the butterflies of anticipation”. I got lucky and went back home with a bucket full of quarters worth almost $100.  A lot of the other people got on the bus looking dejected. 
Funny some of them were the same people that played illegal numbers at the corner store on Flatbush Avenue in a small room tucked behind a curtain.  That is how I originally found out about the legal gambling trip in Atlantic City. What did I know back then?   
So I thought why not ask the folks that tell their truth and how they feel without feeling like they were paid or have an ulterior motive.  That would be my Facebook friends so this is the question that I posed:
Rina N Risper
The Lansing Job Coalition would like to bring a Native American Casino to Lansing. They are starting a signature petition. They state it would create 1,500 jobs. There are others who state gambling is not good. What do you think?
Brelynn Flake 
Gambling is only as good or as bad as an individual makes it. By practicing responsible gambling and knowing when to stop, the experience will be enjoyable. Bringing jobs is always a good thing.
Alan Labovitz
There are people who become addicted to gambling much like being addicted to alcohol and other drugs. The addiction becomes involuntary and is extremely difficult, if not impossible to overcome and it ruins lives and families. Look it up. ... I am of the opinion that casinos are not good for communities. This is not because I am overly religious and pious it's because of the above. It also puts a lot of money in the pockets of the casino owners. Of course this is my opinion.
Doug Jarvis
Not much of a gambler myself. Have only been 3 times. I came out ahead, but I am not anxious to go back. I can't afford to lose money. It's that simple for me. The real gamblers however are already out there gambling. There are several casinos within a short drive of Lansing. The people that like to gamble are spending their money in those locations. NOTHING could be better for Lansing than JOBS! And you can "BET" your bottom dollar on that!
Robert Rosas 
There is a responsibility for each human being to know their limits and when this becomes a problem the help is there when in need so to answer your question I believe this would be a great idea and would bring life to a city that has nothing for other areas to come here and enjoy unless its a big planned out festival or Common Ground.....bring on the jobs...revenue...and spark to the CAPITOL CITY!!!!!
Loretta Stanaway
I say NO, we don't need more people wasting their precious welfare bridge card dollars at the casinos. I think there are plenty of casinos already nearby enough we would be reaching saturation state and the promise of jobs and income is false simply on the basis of economic pollution...there is a limited pool of people to pull from for all of the casinos and most of the existing ones are struggling now to make it financially...why would we think another casino would be profitable?
Stephanie Campbell 
I say bring it on! We'll deal with the problems as they go along.
Alan Labovitz 
I'm with Loretta and I think the research is there to support that position. Robert, I hope you're never seriously addicted to something and need help. I have friends who have been there and some still are. Even with help these addictions are extremely difficult to overcome. They take your money and they lead to crime. That's not what I want for our community.
Doug Jarvis
http://www.cityrating.com/citycrime.asp?city=Mount+Pleasant&state=MI lists crime rates in individual cities. If you look at Mt Pleasant, which has had gambling for years, you will see a city that is FAR BELOW the national average for crime of all types! I don't see any numbers anywhere that relates higher crime with gambling.
Robert Rosas
Doug, I like the link and as for any other myths of what casinos bring to a city its the surroundings in which the city is already in that exploits the casinos or any other big new facility to a city we have NOTHING here and it is much needed to boost the appeal of this city we go elsewhere always to have a good time and spend our money to boost another city's revenue I don't get why we would want that.
Yvonne LeFave 
Where are they thinking of building?
Doug Jarvis 
You can Google this: The regional economic impacts of casino gambling: Assessment of the literature and establishment of a research agenda.
Catherine Motycka 
What do the 2,000 registered Native Americans that live in the Greater Lansing area feel about it? I'd suggest giving every last one of them looking for work the jobs, and I'd rather see money going to Native America than corporate America. 
Katy Conklin 
I support it - especially to profit the Native Americans - our true indigenous people!
No matter what side you take in the debate, it will be interesting to see the outcome.  
Lansing Coalition for jobs states “the Coalition believes that bringing a gaming facility into the city will provide an all-around economic boost to the area, employing hundreds, if not thousands, and positively impacting every corner of the city’s economy, from public safety to reinvigoration of the city’s downtown nightlife. A gaming facility in Lansing will mean not only jobs from the facility itself, but additional tourism into the city which will spur the growth of local small business and generate much needed revenue for the city, itself.”
For more information  log on to www.lansingjobscoalition.com.
Well, if they get the signatures for the casino I hope Lady Luck in Lansing is not as unpredictable or finicky as Mother Nature is in  Michigan. Anything is possible and whatever happens I hope it is beneficial.
Love People,
PS.  Oh, how I love Facebook.  Follow “Rina Risper”.
This was printed in the April 24, 2011 - May 7, 2011 edition.

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