NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
MR. JAMESON: My name is the Reverend Doctor Lawrence Jameson. I'm a born again Christian, and I'm a United Methodist pastor, and I'm also a resident of Cecil County.
What this Commission can do for Cecil County, Maryland, is to tell Congress to pass laws to keep casinos out of public schools. We'd like to ask you to keep a leash on this predator.
Now, casinos in Louisiana and other states are going into the public schools. They are donating school books, gym equipment, and computers, and they're even giving dice and playing cards for teachers to use as math aids.
Now, it's in the papers in Louisiana.
Why are they doing this?
I'd also like to invite this group to consider going to Louisiana to see this for yourselves. I know you've talked about this today.
The casinos have a bad reputation. They're spattered and stained with the destruction of thousands of families, and because of addiction, bankruptcy, crime, and divorce, they've had to hire PR firms.
The PR people said, "Let's see if we can get away with donating money to the schools." This is taking place in Louisiana, and at the same time, the Department of Psychiatry, the Louisiana State University Medical Center School of Medicine in Shreveport has published their study on adolescent gambling.
Now, I know you have this report. I know you're familiar with it. You know that 12,000 children grades six through 12 were surveyed. You know what the survey said. You know that 16 percent of these children demonstrated increased risk factors for problem gambling, and that six percent have serious problems with gambling.
You know these numbers, but how much is six percent? In Louisiana, that's 26,000 children who have serious problems with gambling.
Now, this isn't any different than what happened with the tobacco industry. The tobacco companies used to give away cigarettes in the public schools. They used to sponsor assemblies, and the same sort of thing that the casinos are doing right now in the public schools the tobacco industry did in the 1940s.
They don't do it anymore. Why is that? Is it because it is a heavily regulated, adults only industry? Is it because the public has seen past the lies? Is it because the tobacco industry has an addictive product that hurts people?
Yes. Casino America is the same company that is weaseling into the schools in Louisiana and throwing the money around in Cecil County where I live. Now, this pumpkin was donated by Casino America, which is spending thousands of dollars in Cecil County.
Please put a leash on this company and keep them out of our county.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Thank you.