NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Mark Andrews.
MR. ANDREWS: My name is Mark Andrews. I'm from St. Louis, Missouri. This is Mark Andrews speaking. I'm from St. Louis, Missouri, where I've run a manufacturing business for 35 years.
I'm here today to talk about the deceit and unethical behavior of the casino industry. In all my years in business, I have never seen a company do to its customers, its competitors, or the general public what casinos have done to us in Missouri.
They've pulled off the biggest bait and switch in Missouri history. We were sold on nostalgic, old time river boats that would only conduct gambling during two-hour cruises with betting limits in place to prevent addiction. In just two years now, we have massive casinos, decorated to look like boats, no engines in them, located off the river in manmade pools, and addiction problems that are plaguing our Department of Mental Health.
In 1994, six months after Missouri voters defeated the gambling agenda, the casinos spent a whopping $12 million, biggest in state history, to buy and win a new election. Because I rallied 1,000 people and $200,000 to oppose their 12 million, they trumped up charges against me personally, claiming I had ties to the Nazis. Fortunately a TV station discovered their written plan of attack and exposed them on that evening's news.
Their own press spokesman was so disturbed by their unethical behavior and their actions during the campaign that afterwards he gave a blow-by-blow account of how the casino industry bought the State of Missouri.
And, yes, the deception goes on. This legislative session in Missouri the casinos tried to remove the betting limits imposed by state law by bringing in testimony designed to distort the true position of both the Missouri State Teachers Association and the National Council on Problem Gambling. Again, their deception was discovered.
On October 22, our state supreme court will hear a landmark case this year concerning the ability of casinos to circumvent the clear and constitutional requirement that casinos only be located on our two rivers. Missouri voters placed this limitation on the gambling industry to avoid the evils of land based casinos.
The gambling industry and sympathetic state regulators have thwarted this clear will of the people by building casinos in manmade basins away from the rivers. This grasping attitude of the gambling industry corrupts our state government and demonstrates the futility of placing any limitation on gambling once it is allowed to enter a state.
This Commission has before it an outstanding opportunity to research the moral, political, and financial cost of the gambling industry that it imposes on our nation. You will do a great service to Americans.