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pinion Letter to the Editor: Hypocrisy and Foolishness in Opposition to Gambling Expansion


It's amazing that Disney, one of the largest "Family Oriented" tourist destinations in Florida is against gambling! They already have games that allow the younger generation to "Pay to Play" for the opportunity to win prizes!

A few months ago while at Disney World in Orlando for a Business meeting, we had a one hour lunch break. As we were walking around looking at different shops we saw a "Game Room" filled with kids & all kinds of games of skill like, Pin Ball, Mini Basket Ball etc.

As we stood there, a young boy was putting a large roll of gray tickets into a machine called the "Ticket Eater." After he had put all his tickets in, the machine dispensed him a card.

He then took the card over to a large glass display counter full of stuffed toys & other similar items, where he was able to exchange it for something of equal value to the credits on his card!

We then saw a gentleman & his young daughter at what appeared to be an ATM machine. He took a credit card out and swiped it through this machine and it asked for a dollar amount. He typed in $25 and the machine dispensed him a card.

His daughter went over and inserted this card into a game & started playing. Each time she made a point it would produce a gray ticket. We watched her playing for several minutes before having to get back to our meeting.

After talking to several people, I found out that there are several places here in Florida where "Kids" are allowed to pay Cash & Play games in hopes of winning a prize!

Since Disney is legally allowed to let minors gamble for prizes that most adults would consider worthless, I think we should open the same kind of "Game Room" but featuring more adult games like video poker & slots and offer more adult prizes like toasters/ plasma TV's/ computers/ appliances etc.

The only difference being that instead of a kid playing with his parents hard-earned money for worthless toys, an "Adult" can play with his or her money for something of value they can really use!!!

We could also open up a "Pawn Shop" next to the game room and if the winner did not like what he or she won, they could simply pawn it for "Cash"!

It Must Be legal if Disney World is doing it!!!

An estimated 53 million people in the United States participate in casino gambling. This is equal to 27 percent of the population aged 21 or older. However, gambling is most popular among adults aged 51 to 60. The male/female ratio for casino gambling is 45/55, compared with 48/52 for the general population. Forty-six percent of gamblers graduated or attended college, compared with 43 percent of the general population.

Here in Manatee County, we need companies that will generate additional income for the county and create thousands of long lasting, good-paying jobs and revitalize our sagging real-estate market!! Casino Gambling would do both!!

In the 12 states with commercial casinos in operation in 2008, casinos contributed $5.66 billion in tax revenue to state and local governments, a 2.2 percent decrease over 2007 data (numbers that are all even higher today!). The revenue from those taxes benefits education, public safety, economic development and infrastructure improvements, among other state and local programs.

2008 Commercial Casino Tax Revenue

Colorado $88.4 million

Illinois $566.8 million

Indiana $838.2 million

Iowa $324.0 million

Louisiana $626.3 million

Michigan $321.6 million

Mississippi $326.9 million

Missouri $442.8 million

Nevada $924.5 million

New Jersey $426.8 million

Pennsylvania $766.6 million

South Dakota $15.4 million

TOTAL $5.66 billion

Travis Cundiff

Manatee County


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