Saturday, February 2, 2013

Expansion of Gambling in Pennsylvania

For more info on taking action on this and other social issues, check out United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Corbett is seeking to expand gambling in Pennsylvania by bringing Keno to bars, restaurants and other places that now sell lottery products.

Keno is a fast-paced, addictive game playePA Lottery Logod on terminals similar to the video poker terminals his predecessor, Gov. Ed Rendell wanted, but failed to bring to restaurants and taverns across the Commonwealth.

Join the effort to block expansion of the Lottery.

Click here to tell your legislator you oppose more gambling in Pennsylvania.

Click here to tell Gov. Corbett that expanding the lottery in any way is a bad bet for Pennsylvania.

The chance to Ontario Teachers Pension Fundbring Keno to Pennsylvania is a driving force behind the governor's recent agreement to transfer operation of the lottery to a Camelot Global Services, a British company owned by the Ontario Public Teachers Pension Plan.

Under that agreement - negotiated in private and signed with minimal input from outside the Administration - Camelot would run the lottery for 20 years.

As United Methodists we believe this contract - giving Camelot the opportunity to expand gambling in Pennsylvania - is a bad idea. The United Methodist Church has long opposed gambling, including the lottery, in Pennsylvania.

Camelot promises to bring in more than $34 billion to the Commonwealth over the 20-year term of the contract. It plans to do that by introducing Keno, one of the most addictive forms of gambling, to Pennsylvania. Click here to see official United Methodist positions on gambling.

Keno is a fast-paced game that would be available at bars and other places that sell Lottery tickets. Much different than other lottery games, Keno is played on a video-type terminal and with flashing lights and sounds, offers results very quickly. It's nothing more than a plan to draw more people into the trap of gambling and gambling addiction.

Some experts compare Keno to video poker in its ability to move players from enjoyment to a family-destructing addiction.

United Methodists historically oppose gambling in any form. Our Social Principles declare gambling "is a menace to society, deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life."

No matter how lofty the goal of government-sponsored gambling, we believe it is destructive of good government.

Government-sponsored gambling targets persons who are least able to afford taking chances on schemes with virtually no probability of "hitting the big jackpot."

A bipartisan group of House and Senate members are questioning the contract and the process by which it was approved. By the time it was approved, Camelot was the sole bidder. The contract is now before Attorney General Katherine Kane for her review on its legality.

Please contact your legislators to urge them to question - and oppose - this contract. Privatizing the lottery - if we have to have a lottery at all - is a bad idea. Click here to contact your legislator.

The governor's plan is one more attempt to expand gambling in a state that is already saturated by state-supported gambling. Urge them to do what they can to kill this contract and move to limit gambling in any form in Pennsylvania.

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