I believe that a casino in our area will have a net negative impact on our community and our citizens. This is based on the well documented impact of gambling in other communities and the proliferation of slot machines in our area after they were legalized.
There are people who can keep gambling in its place as a source of entertainment with a limited impact on their budget. But there are others in our community that will chase the possibility of a big pay off to the detriment of their families. This is not new information for any of you, but I believe needs to carry more weight than it likely will.
The unholy alliance between local government obtaining new revenue from this social ill and a casino industry with a profit motive is unlikely to produce the right result. Our local government is intended to protect the interests of its citizens, including those who are most vulnerable to the negative consequences of gambling.
We do not need more convenient and more accessible gambling. While it will give us additional revenue, it will also damage many of our families.
I know that this is a minority view and will not likely get much traction, but I needed to put this in front of you for your consideration. I've heard many of the arguments for this casino; but believe that they dismiss, ignore and minimize the unintended and harmful consequences for our future.
Winnebago County Board