Though the American Gaming Association does not take a position on expanded gambling, I feel compelled to respond to Tom Cosgrove’s destructive and dishonest op-ed, “Gambling, by any name, is a tax on suckers.”
First, volumes of peer-reviewed studies have found no correlation between casinos and crime, suicide or the other social problems Mr. Cosgrove ascribes to the influence of gambling.
Also, his position is refuted by countless first-hand accounts from people living near casinos, who repeatedly affirm the many advantages they bring.
Somehow, I doubt the 357,000 people employed by our industry would join Mr. Cosgrove in mocking the job opportunities we provide. Likewise, I am certain that the thousands of local business owners who supply our industry would not so easily discount gaming’s economic benefits.
In fact, every eight years, Iowans are asked to vote on a referendum to continue allowing gambling in their area. Time and again, voters overwhelmingly approve the measure. Surely, if gambling led to “ruin,” as Mr. Cosgrove suggests, Iowa’s casinos would have been closed long ago.
Ultimately, Mr. Cosgrove’s derisive rhetoric does not match reality. I hope that, as Massachusetts leaders consider expanded gambling, they rely on facts rather than biased conjecture.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.
President and CEO
American Gaming Association