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Why Oppose Slots In Maryland


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This is a presentation given to a teachers union on why slots are a bad idea, and why teachers should oppose Maryland's slots referendum.

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Why Oppose Slots In Maryland

  1. 1. Gambling and Education
  2. 2. <ul><li>StopSlotsMaryland is a coalition of faith organizations, civic groups, elected officials, business leaders, and concerned citizens working together to counter a massive corporate lobbying effort intended to bring large-scale commercial gambling to Maryland. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Aaron Meisner (410) 963-7718 <ul><li>Chairman, StopSlotsMaryland </li></ul><ul><li>Involved Since 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Investment Advisor with a Nationally-known Wall Street Firm </li></ul><ul><li>Married, with two boys who will both be attending Baltimore City Public Schools next year </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to call me with questions </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Oppose Gambling? <ul><li>State-sponsored gambling is corrosive to good government. </li></ul><ul><li>Gambling is an inherently regressive, dishonest, and undemocratic way to fund essential services. </li></ul><ul><li>Gambling is predatory and addictive, leaving destroyed lives and families in its wake. </li></ul><ul><li>Gambling brings more gambling. </li></ul><ul><li>Gambling promotes the idea that hard work is only for the foolhardy. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>A friend of mine, the Rev. Byron Brought, pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church, tells the story of one of his parishioners who was in line at a Rite Aid drugstore, just a block from his church. The gentleman was waiting to pay for a purchase. A woman in front of him put her intended purchase on the counter and ordered two lottery tickets. The clerk got the tickets, but the woman did not have enough money to pay for both the tickets and her intended purchase. So she bought the tickets, and scratched them off immediately, hoping for a win. She lost. She left the store with only the scratched off tickets in hand. Her other intended purchase was left lying on the drugstore counter. The man behind her came to the counter and saw what the woman intended to purchase: a bottle of children's cough medication. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alderman Sam Shropshire </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. March 31, 2008 OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Roman Catholic nun accused of stealing from the Omaha Archdiocese and gambling much of the money away has pleaded guilty to theft. An attorney says Sister Barbara Markey pleaded Monday to theft of more than $1,500. Defense attorney J. William Gallup says she also agreed to pay $125,000 in restitution. Markey faces up to 20 years in prison when she is sentenced in July. Markey is an internationally known speaker. She was fired in 2006 as director of the archdiocese's family life office after an audit found irregularities. The audit found that Markey spent $307,545 for her own use or without documentation. Prosecutors say Markey used the money to cover gambling forays, gifts and trips. Nun Pleads to Stealing From Diocese Sister Barbara Markey worked only 7.5 miles from the local Harrah’s casino
  7. 7. Why Oppose the Referendum? <ul><li>The proposed sites will NOT deliver the promised revenues. National experts have called these some of the worst slots locations in the United States. </li></ul><ul><li>Slots will NOT keep gambling money in Maryland. There is no location to counter Charles Town, and there are no destination locations. A huge slice of the money will leave Maryland for Canada and Nevada. </li></ul>
  8. 8. More Reasons to Oppose <ul><li>The referendum places slots language into our State Constitution, right along with our Right To Free Speech (article 10) and our Right To Petition Grievances (article 13). </li></ul><ul><li>Magna Entertainment has promised 65% of the first five year’s profits to Joe DeFrancis and his partners. This deal gradually declines to 40% after ending after 20 years. There is no money left to prop up the racetracks. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Still More Reasons… <ul><li>Gambling diverts spending from other legitimate economic activities like dining out, going to the movies, even saving for retirement. </li></ul><ul><li>Employers hesitate to relocate to locations near gambling facilities. Embezzlement and lost productivity are real. </li></ul><ul><li>Laurel Park, with 4,750 addictive slot machines, would be only six miles from the National Security Agency. Is this a good idea? </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Gambling has no natural constituency. It exists only as a Special Interest Lobby. There is no policy rationale for gambling. </li></ul><ul><li>If all of this is true, why are even having this discussion? </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>LOBBYING </li></ul><ul><li>MONEY. </li></ul>According to Common Cause Maryland, the gambling lobby has been spending over a million dollars every year on lobbying and campaign cash in Maryland alone—for years! In states where gambling is passed, the gambling industry establishes lobbying dominance within a few years, crowding out opposing voices entirely.
  12. 12. A brief history of gambling in Maryland…
  13. 13. Southern Maryland Slots 1949-1968 <ul><li>5,000 slot machines were legally operated in a handful of Southern Maryland counties. </li></ul><ul><li>Crime and Corruption became rampant. </li></ul><ul><li>Grand Jury hears testimony regarding vote buying in the House of Delegates. </li></ul><ul><li>Slots were finally repealed by Governor Tawes in 1963 under pressure from citizens. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Destroying the fabric of family and economic life in our county.”* </li></ul><ul><li>Are we doomed to repeat history? </li></ul><ul><li>*Source: City Paper 12/1/2004 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Budgets and Economic Cycles <ul><li>How do Governors deal with normal cyclical economic declines in state revenues? </li></ul>LOTTERY KENO SLOTS
  15. 15. Governor Marvin Mandel <ul><li>Economic Malaise of the Early ’70s </li></ul><ul><li>Lottery </li></ul><ul><li>One Drawing Per Week </li></ul><ul><li>Proceeds to Benefit EDUCATION </li></ul><ul><li>Within Ten Years we had Pick 3, Pick 4, Lotto, and Scratch Off games. </li></ul><ul><li>Proceeds go to General Fund and Stadium Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Economy Recovers </li></ul>
  16. 16. Governor Wm. Donald Schaefer <ul><li>Recession of the Early ’90s </li></ul><ul><li>Keno </li></ul><ul><li>Threatens to veto any bill that doesn’t include Keno or $100 million to replace it. </li></ul><ul><li>Keno falls far short of promised revenues, and lottery sales fall as well. </li></ul><ul><li>Economy Recovers </li></ul>
  17. 17. Governor Robert Ehrlich <ul><li>Recession and Market Downturn of ’01-’02 </li></ul><ul><li>Governor Ehrlich Pushes Slots Bills </li></ul><ul><li>Senate President Mike Miller Builds Budget Pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Laying the Groundwork for Crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Economy Recovers </li></ul>
  18. 18. What have we learned? <ul><li>Gambling expansion is ALWAYS sold as the ONLY way to meet our education funding responsibilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Gambling solutions have NEVER met expectations. </li></ul><ul><li>Non-gambling money that would have gone to education gets diverted. “We gave at the office.” </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Myth of Recession-Proof Income <ul><li>Years ago, studies showed that gambling was amazingly economically resilient. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;It's an old idea that has very little relevance and maybe no relevance to the United States today” Eugene Christianson </li></ul><ul><li>This was due to scarcity of gambling opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>While demand was un-even, each venue was drawing against the whole economy, not just one region or economic sector. </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Competitive Reality Today <ul><li>Gambling is available in 48 states </li></ul><ul><li>The Mid-Atlantic is approaching saturation with gambling encroaching from every direction. </li></ul><ul><li>Gambling has been transformed from a destination activity to an ordinary discretionary spending item. </li></ul><ul><li>In a recession, discretionary spending is extremely vulnerable. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Lottery Revenues are Unreliable <ul><li>Schools require funding that grows with population </li></ul><ul><li>Lottery revenues have seen long periods of stagnation </li></ul><ul><li>Can we expect slots revenue to be safe from competition and other factors? </li></ul>Source: Maryland Lottery 2007 Annual Report
  22. 22. Are we marketing to children?
  23. 23. The Myth of “Good Jobs” <ul><li>Slots are highly profitable for operators in part because they require very little labor. </li></ul><ul><li>While there are a handful of management jobs, the vast majority of jobs are low-level, low-wage positions. </li></ul><ul><li>Job and wage estimates are routinely over-stated in the lobbying frenzy. </li></ul><ul><li>Casino construction jobs don’t last, but slots victimize the workers forever. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Mountaineer Labor Dispute <ul><li>West Virginia’s Mountaineer Casino & Racetrack pays average wages and benefits of only $9.34 an hour. </li></ul><ul><li>Workers have the option of buying health benefits for $109 per week. </li></ul><ul><li>A 40-hour worker who wants health care is paid $264.60 per week—BEFORE taxes. </li></ul><ul><li>Children of these workers are eligible for WV’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). </li></ul><ul><li>So the state of West Virginia subsidizes the casino, not the other way around. </li></ul><ul><li>This is supposed to be good economic policy? </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Associated Press 3/27/08 </li></ul>
  25. 25. Things to Cut Before Education <ul><li>March 28, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Governor O’Malley and pro-slots campaign chief Fred Puddester unveil a new right field scoreboard at Oriole Park. </li></ul><ul><li>COST TO TAXPAYERS: </li></ul><ul><li>$5.2 MILLION </li></ul><ul><li>COST TO PETER ANGELOS: </li></ul><ul><li>$0.00 </li></ul>“ It was done in a tasteful way.” Martin O’Malley
  26. 26. Things to Cut Before Education <ul><li>March 28, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Governor O’Malley proposes $4.3 million for mental health programs for returning troops. </li></ul><ul><li>Federal War </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Troops </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Responsibility </li></ul>“ As the state of Maryland, we need to step up.” Martin O’Malley
  27. 27. Things to Cut Before Education <ul><li>March 28, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>One Day Total: $9.5 Million </li></ul>
  28. 28. Slots Will Not Solve the Pension Problem <ul><li>Gambling has never met the education funding goals set in the past. </li></ul><ul><li>Would you want to teach in West Virginia, Louisiana, or Nevada? </li></ul><ul><li>Slots are not a reliable revenue source in the contemporary economy. </li></ul><ul><li>This will be an excuse for Annapolis to abandon education in years to come. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Take Action <ul><li>Vote AGAINST supporting the MSTA pro-gambling position. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to your colleagues and friends about the realities of gambling revenues. </li></ul><ul><li>Write a Letter to the Editor. </li></ul><ul><li>Get involved at </li></ul>
  30. 30.