Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC)

Governor Haley has expressed her opposition to a proposed casino in Hardeeville, SC. The Cherokee nation wishes to bring the casino to Jasper County. Jasper County Administrator Andrew Fulghum thinks that the county would be able to prevent the alcohol driven and sex saturated businesses from locating near the casino but an old Middle Eastern proverbs states that once the camel gets his nose in the tent, the rest of him is sure to follow.

The casino promises an economic boom through increased tourism but yet a careful consideration of the facts should encourage South Carolina to alter its course and reject the casino. Jim Wescott of the Lowcountry & Resort Islands Tourism Commission is wise to have misgivings about this project.

In 1995, the U. S. Survey of Gaming and Gambling found that among respondents with a casino in or near their community that 40 percent gambled in the past year and 42 percent among this group gambled at least every three months. Of those who lived at least 100 miles from a casino, only 17 percent had gambled in the past year and only 17 percent of this group gambled at least every three months. A survey of gamblers in Illinois found 85 percent lived within 50 miles of the floating casinos where their gambled.

William Thompson of UNLV points out casinos will have a negative impact on the community if less than 50 percent of gamblers don’t come from out-of-state.

Careful research will show even more disastrous consequences. Casinos have been shown to take money out the local economy and away from local businesses. For instance, the number of independent restaurants in Atlantic City dropped from 48 to 16 the year the casinos opened.

This proposal will not be an economical blessing but a curse and must be defeated. PLEASE WRITE GOVERNOR HALEY TODAY at…

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