Get Connected
  • facebook
  • twitter
Print

STATE NOT STANDING UP TO GAMBLING, CANDIDATES SAY

The two third-party candidates for governor agree on one thing

 

about gambling: State government has become addicted to

 

gambling income.

 

 

"I think gambling is unhealthy for the economy and the body

 

politic," said Denise Giardina, Mountain Party candidate. "The

 

  • tate has a growing and unhealthy dependence on gambling
  •  

    industry."

     

     

    She listed a litany of evils that she said come with gambling,

     

    including an increase in crime, domestic violence and child abuse.

     

     

    Giardina worries that the local referendum of casino gambling at

     

    The Greenbrier hotel could lead to expansion of gambling at other

     

    places, despite promises that The Greenbrier is a special case.

     

     

    "I think the Greenbrier referendum allows a very powerful institution

     

    to throw its weight around," she said. "One thing will lead to another,

     

    and expansion will be very difficult to stop."

     

     

    Barroom video poker, or "gray machines," should be banned, just like

     

    they were in South Carolina, she said. She would not seek to eliminate the

     

  • tate's existing racetracks, but would stop their expansion.
  •  

     

    Libertarian candidate Bob Myers said private enterprise, not

     

    government, should control gambling in the state.

     

     

    "As Libertarians, we oppose the government creating a monopoly out of

     

    gambling," he said. "There always has been gambling. But

     

    recently, the state has learned how to profit from

     

    gambling."

     

     

    Myers would seek to eliminate the state lottery. He said former

     

    Gov. Arch Moore asked him to serve on the Lottery Commission, but he

     

    refused for philosophical reasons.

     

     

    Myers said in theory, anyone should be able to sponsor gambling,

     

    from Go-Mart to The Greenbrier. But he said he had no problem with

     

    allowing local voters to choose whether they'll let gambling into

     

    their communities.

     

     

    Both Myers and Giardina said the two leading candidates have

     

    been influenced by campaign contributions from gambling interests.

     

     

    "I think both [Cecil] Underwood and [Bob] Wise are talking out of both

     

  • ides of their mouths," Giardina said. "They are politically unwilling to
  •  

  • tand up to gambling."
  •  

     

    To contact staff writer Scott Finn, use e-mail or call 357-4323.

     

     


    Print

    User Comments