Competition for destruction at the casino

On the front page of the Tribune-Star on June 4 there is an article about the potential for a casino in Danville, Illinois, in addition to a casino here in Terre Haute. 

The article reports local investors and officials sounding the alarm about the potential of lost revenue if the State of Illinois allows a casino to be built in Danville. There was not a large amount of woe is me in this article, but there was a large amount of let’s hurry up and get the one in Terre Haute built first to attract the money here first. 

 The investors in this casino are not putting up their money for the good will of Terre Haute. They have one and only one goal in mind and that is to make money, and the gambling machines at this casino will be adjusted and set to see to it that they do just that, make money.

As a retired pastor, I have had the unfortunate opportunity to work with people who could not control the impulse to gamble. I have seen their houses foreclosed on for lack of payment because one spouse hid a gambling problem from the other and spent the house payment at the casino. I have helped feed the children whose parents spent their money at the casino instead of buying food for the family. I’ve attempted to mediate with the spouses who are leaving and tearing apart a home because of gambling. 

 A casino is a good deal for only one part of the equation here and that is the investor. Again, the machines in these places are adjusted to make sure that happens, and it will be left to social and spiritual organizations to try and pick up the pieces.

Terre Haute does not need this kind of grief. The promises of riches are too vague and never mention the cost of the losses or the crime that comes with them. Having not yet seen how this supposedly wonderful project is going to read on the ballot, I cannot say whether to vote yes or no for the proposal. I will adamantly, however, say read it carefully and vote against a casino in our city.

— Robert Huttegger, Terre Haute


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