NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
MS. ARMSTRONG: Good evening, and welcome to Atlantic City. My name is Cindy Armstrong. I've been in Atlantic City since the mid-1960s. My father was a union pipefitter who always had to travel out of town for work. Most of the time he would be gone before sunrise and not return until I was in bed.
My mother worked on Atlantic City boardwalk in the summers from noon until midnight just to make a decent paycheck and to have enough hours in for unemployment.
I never got to know my father that well at all because he traveled so much to find work.
Before casino gaming came to Atlantic City, my husband and I rented an apartment here, and I worked at a Cumberland Farms convenience store for minimum wage and no health benefits. My husband worked at a boardwalk bingo hall for minimum wage and no benefits and a layoff each December, January, and February.
In October of 1980, I was hired as a cocktail server at Harrah's Hotel Casino. I worked six hours a day and had health benefits. Soon we were able to save enough money for a downpayment on a new car. In November of 1981, we had our second son, and we did not have to worry about hospital bills or doctor bills because of our health and welfare benefits.
In June of 1985, my husband started working at Trump's Castle Hotel Casino, and between the two of us we were able to save enough money for a downpayment on a new home and the purchase of another new car.
Having jobs in the casinos also afforded us the opportunity to take many vacations and many weekend trips together.
Money and material things are not the only blessings I thank God for. I thank God for my children's father who was always around to coach their sports teams, play games with them, help them with homework, and to know his children and participate in their growing up.
These are things I never had a child because Atlantic City had no jobs to offer my dad. The gaming industry has provided myself and my family with an all around true quality of life.
Thank you for listening to me.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Thank you, Cindy.