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February 23, 2018 2:53 pm
This week on Family Policy Matters, NC Family President John L. Rustin speaks with Les Bernal, the National Director of Stop Predatory Gambling. They discuss the real costs and benefits of state lotteries and other forms of legalize gambling.
That will be more than anything. This is family policy with NC family Pres. John Weston thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters.
The debate over state-sponsored gambling has reared its ugly head in North Carolina again as the state lottery commission is considering a proposal that would bring interactive online gambling to every home computer work computer smart phone and mobile device in the state. Suggest how beneficial and harmful state sanction gambling today will be discussing this question and taking a closer look at the real costs and benefits of state lotteries and other forms of legalize gambling. Our guest today is Les Purnell, the national director of stock predatory gambling, a national nonprofit organization that brings together a diverse group of interested parties from across the political spectrum who believe that gambling and particularly state-sponsored gambling exploits the American people and causes a myriad of forms to our society and our government less welcome back to family policy matters. It's great to have you on the show again that you moderate to be art less as we begin our conversation, let's talk about that reality in dollars and cents. When it comes to state-sponsored gambling. Often gambling is sold as a cash cow revenue stream for important and popular budget items.
For example, education that was the hookah used here in North Carolina to get the state lottery, passed in 2005, but once a state begins relying on gambling dollars to fund these quote unquote worthy causes. What kind of posture does the state usually take toward gambling is one overarching theme when it comes to out date approaching approaches, gambling true.
What Carolina next to Prairie state and added the objective it can maximize profit, not to benefit the people of North Carolina, but the credit for average North Carolina citizens. UK even if you don't play it in North Carolina lottery and Bennett spectacular failure and it it it deserves to be phased out in the years ahead… How do you respond to those who argue that gambling is a personal decision that those who don't want to gambling don't have to gamble in really nobody is harmed, except maybe the individual and the families that lose money gambling is to think that I think the first is for all the non-gamblers in North Carolina, but you're paying for it. This is a huge ripoff scheme that it is written off noxious people are playing state lottery games it's ripping off the non-gamblers because you you non-gamblers are paying higher taxes, less services over the long-term. Consistently lottery revenues don't keep up with government spending.
Okay this is the best research in the country and gone but it by the State University of New York at Albany Rockefeller Institute and their independent tax funded by gamma nutrition to look at Gilman revenue state-by-state and consistently, it shows that over the long term public revenues from gambling. They worsen state budget problems. Okay, so the idea that in North Carolina.
Your state lottery revenues are making a meaningful contribution to improving education in the state. What state sanction gambling is in no uncertain terms. It's the ultimate budget gimmick. If the ultimate budget gimmick and so the idea that somehow you notes getting citizens in the state to lose their paychecks to lose their savings on on these rig games that are financially dangerous and dangerous to them. From a public health perspective, it is so addictive. The idea that somehow that is a public benefit that it underscores how dishonest and and rated R lottery system is that it is been a huge public policy failure in the state well and we see more and more pervasive advertising for the state lottery on television radio elsewhere and the the state lottery has been pushing and some members of the general assembly for that matter have been pushing a significant increase in the portion of the state lottery budget that could be used for advertising that would essentially doubled advertising budget from $20 million a year to $40 million a year and adjusted continue to even further entice citizens to gamble not now less. There are many forms of legalize gambling across our nation today in years of working on these issues as you have done. Do you find that there are certain social and economic effects that are common to all forms of gambling. Whether it's privately operated or publicly operated or publicly sanctioned like a state lottery or other bends of gambling that we see across the nation. This one word it out.
I read your listeners with an applied quality aspects of the impacts of gambling. The word dangerous. Okay you did your involvement damning for profit. Okay, when it in a kind of frequency.
It is dangerous habit extremely dangerous dangerous you with individual dangerous to your family and extinguish the community and it's dangerous because it's financially dangerous because it you can you can lose an enormous amount of money at front all of your money going to get because of it. It's dangerous to your health. It's a highly addictive enterprise yet that that's what you I can't go run around yelling establishment right we get tonic from the students some kind of free market for enterprise tech situation. State lottery as well as at that casino list Carolina that Harrah's run monopoly. This is his crony capitalism in its purest form.
So it's it's dangerous you notes from an economic standpoint because it helps your economy all all the little bit of that right your regular businesses in North Carolina. I didn't get any monopoly you visited Glenn compete every day and entertain customers and build a profit and pay their employees get you from an economic standpoint kills the, the, the economic field if you will do playing field in favor of gambling interest was listening to policy matters of resource to listen to our radio show online resources have a place of persuasion in US community website family.org will less, as you know North Carolina lawmakers recently reviewed a report from the Gen. assembly's program evaluation division that was to evaluate whether the state lottery, and I quote is providing the maximum benefit to the state.
However, the report noted in just one sentence, that the program evaluation division was not charged with determining the social impacts of the lottery.
How can a fair and honest evaluation of the lottery be conducted without considering the social and economic cost, and based on your experience on any spoken to to some of these already. But what are those costs likely to be for the state and that's what would you outline Johnny's big idea.
It objective of the North Carolina has always been maximize profits. People that run the games. It did not benefit the public interest of the people in North Carolina so the idea that they wouldn't look at how state-sponsored gambling in a pig bringing in online gambling which it was to open up, but in such a online casino in every bedroom, every dorm room every office every smartphone in your state. They would look at the dangers that is to individuals and their families and the communities just underscores how Dale that this is not completely out-of-control and failed public policy in the state. They were quickly or it it's financially dangerous, as I said earlier pressure on my gamut is highly addictive for citizens to get involved with it.
And thirdly it it's it's dangerous to to all the taxpayers who end up being up subsidizing this whole ripoff scheme from from Bangkok into paying higher taxes, less services for this the ultimate budget will in some of those services that are required related to gambling addiction. Those people who become problem of pathological gamblers. The research for years and years has shown very close correlations to gambling addiction and increases in crime, theft, domestic violence, child abuse, divorce, embezzlement, bankruptcy and even suicide. And so when you consider the social costs and the required expenditures of state funds to service people who are called open gambling addictions and their families and those that are impacted employers, etc. that are impacted by this the social calls can be enormous worries really dangerous. I did all the things you mentioned that domestic violence or cognitive divorce harm dictated that dangerous thing that that the North Carolina legislature is pushing onto the people of the state, and it doesn't benefit the people. It only benefits at a bright purplish view and I can't argue listeners enough that ended when I think about things that they care about me like talk to legislators about the growing form I entertainment Carolina disc set to grant the top of the list right in that situation now less because the North Toronto lottery commission is considering a significant expansion into interactive online gambling.
As I mentioned at the onset of the program. These are games referred to as I lottery or digital instance like digital instant scratch off ticket.
What do the members of our state lottery commission and our state legislators need to know are there particularly harmful effects of interactive online video gambling, especially when you consider that people can engage in these forms of gambling without even leaving their homes. Think about people get sick, find a computer in North Carolina and get kids to sign onto their tablets to their iPad where devices become much time to grandchildren up her kids stay up around devices. The idea that you get state government encouraging people to sign on as a government program to do online gambling games, you know, with virtually no playing video every few seconds of play online slot machine that they call them in the term use with an online scratch off ticket. That's a term that you that that is the ultimate euphemism what it what a chocolate online scratch ticket that took up play online is the equivalent of online slot flirted online slot machine that you that you are then encouraged addition play online slot machine it it's absolutely goes against the public interest is there is no public benefit here whatsoever and and I they urge the legislature did it dramatically change course. Anyone serious about that improving the lives of ordinary citizens. It does not include forcing Internet gambling to PeopleSoft grassroots movement for this people North Carolina I pounding the table. Thank you. I wanted online casino in my hold or my kids; I didn't do this is being driven by very powerful special interests yelled that the ultimate form of crony capitalism in your state to the benefit of the privileged few at the expense of everybody else swelling, no doubt about that again at the cusp of some major decisions related to that we actually testified just recently before the oversight committee at the state legislature encouraging members of the Gen. assembly to contact the members of the state lottery commission to express their concerns about it and the want to encourage citizens across the state to do exactly what you have said to to get involved to get engaged and express their opposition to this.
What what do you find are the most effective ways that the public can fight these efforts and hold back the gambling interests that are pressing so hard to gain more of a foothold by the most important thing is that they put this in the top of their agenda like it. It's easy to say it out that most people North Carolina that they neglect the fact that government is doing this but a lot of people to fill out. It seems so powerful. How can I make an impact if you really want to make a meaningful impact on the direction of your state.
There are a few issues that will be more impactful then getting the state to stop sanctioning these extreme forms of gambling equity will improve the financial condition of all your citizens that you get state served your state to stop doing this you calling on them to. To stop promoting these extreme forms examined includes Google financially improve the health of your state and include the estate financial picture which allows the state to get back to what it's supposed to be doing and doing things that benefit common state purpose is people's lives not not the people less as we enter the conversation today working on listeners go to learn more about the dangers homes and the cost associated with gambling as well as the great work of stop predatory gambling trip to our national website is stop predatory gambling.org love to have it.
Lysistrata can get involved with artwork. North Carolina will always be a top priority of ours that is a great movement in that state against it. Thank you.
Lesson were so grateful for the partnership that we have with you and stop predatory gambling slimming mentioned that website once again it's stop predatory gambling.org again stop predatory gambling.org and less has some great information there that will help to equip you to our listeners to go out and fight this fight so were grateful for all the work that folks across the state.
Do as they engage in this and without list for no one. Thank you so much for being with us on family policy matters and for your great work in educating and advocating for truth and for decency in our government operations, especially as policy matters only to listen to our radio show online resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina website see family.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook