How to make Atlanta, Columbus or Augusta a “top ten” sin city

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In the 2017 legislative session under the Gold Dome there was a concerted effort to introduce a so-called destination casino resorts bill, but it failed ingloriously, not even having the votes necessary to get out of a committee.

However, according to Aaron Stanley, writing for the CDC Gaming Reports, “Casino interests realize that winning these battles is often a multi-year process. Once they are finished licking their wounds, they will assess what lessons have been learned and will look ahead to Georgia’s 2018 legislative session.”

Stanley added, “Brandon Beach, the state senator who had served as the bill’s key sponsor, said that he will begin a statewide tour to sell local chambers of commerce and Rotary Clubs on the benefits of gaming, and will return with stronger backing in 2018. He even invoked a Terminator ‘I’ll be back’ reference to demonstrate his degree of commitment.”

Beach, a Republican, had a plan that originally called for up to six casinos and a horse racing track, but eventually had to lower his vision to two “destination resorts” that were also received with minimal support. The two “destination resorts” were proposed for Georgia’s metropolitan areas.

Beach either doesn’t get the same kind of daily reports I get or if he does, he disregards them. Yesterday I got an email from a financial corporation that does research on a variety of issues. Yesterday’s subject dealt with the most sinful cities in America.

Interestingly, the research institute concluded that while Milwaukee is known for its love of beer and New Orleans for its hedonism, that Las Vegas is the most sinful city in America. In fact, three of the top six most sinful cities in the nation are Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson, also a par of the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

The article stated, “The U.S. is filled with people behaving badly. No place is innocent. We all have demons. But at some point, we all have to pay for our sins. Gambling addiction, for instance, costs society an estimated $6 billion per year, mostly in criminal justice and health care.”

Other cities in the top 20 “most sinful city” list included Reno, NV and Gulfport, MS, both known for their gambling operations.

The aforementioned article written by Richie Bernardo also stated, “Luckily for the saints among us, all American vices are not created, or distributed, equally. So, in order to identify the darkest corners of America, [our] data crunchers compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 32 key indicators of evil deeds. Our data set ranges from violent crimes per capita to excessive drinking to potential cheaters.

It would be bad enough if gambling caused people to lose money they needed for life’s necessities. But according to Bernardo, “gambling results in people amassing even more debt, suffer from other health issues, lose their jobs, strain their relationships, or even commit crimes.”

Beach and other legislators need to count the cost of gambling before they even attempt to introduce legislation that expands this menace. Do they want Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, and Macon to rank among America’s leading “sin cities”?

The proponents of gambling claim that the revenue that would come from the gambling addicts and greedy souls who fail in their attempt to get rich quick through some baccarat game or roulette wheel would go to education, economic development, and a variety of public programs.

That is the moral equivalent of asking a man without legs to give his wheelchair to an able-bodied government bureaucrat or asking a 10-year-old orphaned paperboy to give his paltry income to support his parents who made him a ward of the state, because they decided they didn’t want him.

You see, gambling is based on an inherently selfish goal. The Bible teaches us to prefer others above ourselves, but a gambler’s greed motivates him to win money at the expense of those who lose. For the winner it is either a sophisticated or devious form of theft. For the loser it is a reckless and irresponsible way to squander one’s paycheck. It may also be a way to inadvertently fund the operations of organized crime.

Gambling nurtures a love of money, which the Apostle Paul describes as “the root of all evil” (I Timothy 6:10). The Bible also warns, “Those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge men into destruction and ruin.” (1 Timothy 6:9)

In case anybody needs to know ahead of time, The Christian Index is setting its sails to combat any effort by Brandon Beach or anyone else who desires to impose any additional gambling upon the wonderful citizens of our state.


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