We are the heart of the Eastern Shore, our county is, but the voice of the Eastern Shore is the Honorable Mayor of Ocean City, Maryland, Mr. Jim Mathias.


MR. MATHIAS: Thank you, Effie.

Madame Chair, members of the Commission, I'm here to tell you today that life is good in Ocean City and on the Eastern Shore, and we want to ask your help in keeping it that way.

As the mayor, I just want to testify that Ocean City, Maryland, is the finest seaside resort in our nation. Every day in our wonderful city, the second largest city in the State of Maryland, throughout the summer season we host citizens from the entire eastern region of the United States in search of the traditional seaside vacation they have come to enjoy.

Beautiful, safe, clean, wide beaches, laughing children with loving parents and grandparents making memories on our boardwalk, along with the aroma of french fries, cotton candy, and caramel popcorn in the air as the calliope of one of the nation's oldest wooden carrousels plays through the night are just some of the ingredients of the unparalleled Ocean City vacation experience.

MR. McCARTHY: I was just going to say to this witness if you keep going, we're going to charge you for a commercial.

MR. MATHIAS: Well, I'll tell you. We've got plenty of room in the bus. So you come on down with us, and we'll show you what we've got. We brought a bus up because I knew you couldn't resist.

But as we continue, thank you. I appreciate that.

This atmosphere, which includes families and friends from all over America, is a true partnership with the dedicated, hard working families that have built Ocean City to the successful, world class family resort it has now become. We strive constantly to preserve that atmosphere and shudder to think some day our family based resort town could be threatened by the selfish, cold, corporate gambling industry which drives the economy of yet another resort town, Atlantic City, New Jersey, on a few air miles up the Atlantic Coast.

As part of our credo we vigilantly fight the continuous efforts of the gambling industry to proliferate in our great town and throughout the entire State of Maryland.

Today I stand together with my police chief, Dave Massey, and other Maryland state elected officials to further implore your help to assist us in our efforts to protect the citizens of Maryland, as well as our neighboring states, whose quality of life and economic well-being is essential to their vitality and to Ocean City, Maryland's bright future.

As you are well aware, this industry once prospered in as few as only state, yet now aggressively exists in 23. Please recognize the growth of the gambling industry as a nationwide concern affecting the health, safety, and the welfare of every citizen throughout our great land.

Urge the conscience of our federal elected officials to rise to the need for immediate gambling regulation. The continued wholesome quality of life of American towns like Ocean City, Maryland, as well as other home towns throughout our great land, look to you for help in making these much needed regulations become a reality.

The residents and visitors of Ocean City, Maryland, thank you for this opportunity, as well as the opportunity we have to work together protecting the quality of life of all Americans.

Thank you, and I'll see you on the Boardwalk.


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