NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
MR. ARMSTRONG: Good evening. My name is Kevin Armstrong. My wife Cindy spoke earlier this evening. I'm a member of Local 54.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Welcome.
MR. ARMSTRONG: In the summer of 1974, my first summer living in the Atlantic City area, the Boardwalk was a desolate strip with a few businesses, old broken down hotels, and many people looking for the few jobs that were available.
Atlantic City has undergone many changes since then, and I want to share with you how casino gaming has changed my life.
Casino gaming has given myself and my seven younger brothers and sisters a life that we never could have dreamed of. Each of my siblings have been affected by gaming. Either they have a job in gaming or their spouses have jobs directly or indirectly related to the gaming industry.
Gaming has enabled us all to remain in South Jersey and stay close as a family.
Gaming has also indirectly made my mom and dad the happiest grandparents in the world. They have been blessed with 18 grandchildren, one more on the way.
With our family living close to each other, my mom and dad get to see their grandchildren all the time, something a lot of grandparents in America only wish they could do.
On the other hand, my wife's older brothers and sister had to move out of Atlantic City in the '60s and '70s because there was no work for them here. Some of her family is in California, Seattle, Vancouver, and Idaho. We hardly ever get to see her side of the family.
Casino gaming has also made me the happiest father on the face of this earth. Having a chance to work different shifts, I have been able to volunteer as a youth sports coach, volunteer my time with the PAL, and be home after school to help in my son's homework.
I can also proudly say that I attended almost every one of their baseball, football, hockey, and basketball games. This is something that every father in America has wished he could do.
Gaming has allowed us to take vacations, vacations with my mom and dad, brothers and sisters, and has allowed me countless hours of quality, wholesome family time.
I'm a living example of the American dream. I've been blessed with a beautiful wife, two fine boys, a large, close family, a house, a car, and a truck in the driveway, all as a direct result of casino gaming.
I am positive that without gaming myself and my brothers and sisters would have never stayed in South Jersey, and our lives would have been drastically different.
I have seen Atlantic City change in the last 20 years, a change that has been for the better. Gaming has given kids out of high school a chance for employment while earning college degrees. It has employed senior citizens, gotten people off welfare, and created thousands of jobs in the surrounding communities.
Atlantic City has risen from a washed up, ruined beach town to become a world class destination resort with endless opportunities for everyone in the future.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Thank you, Mr. Armstrong.