NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
MR. BRENNAN: Good evening, Madame Chairman, Commissioners, and a special welcome to Mr. Lanni. I remember him from when he was running Caesar's here in town, and I'm tickled to death to see you back.
Legalized gambling has had a positive impact on Atlantic City. In February of 1976 when I first became the business agent of the Painters Local 277, we had two men working, two. Everybody else was out of work.
Today that local has tripled its size. Ninety percent are employed today.
Through the '60s and early '70s, we watched an entire generation of young people leave this town. There wasn't any future here. Today, through the gambling industry, the best and the brightest remain at home. They enhance our community because they have a future in this area.
Back then most apprentice programs were closed down completely. Today the apprentice programs are thriving throughout the building trades. We're creating opportunities for minorities and females in nontraditional employment, and everybody is having a good time at it.
The casino industry creates and provides jobs with above average wages and fringe benefits. Our members are able to purchase homes, automobiles, and the other niceties that enable us to enhance our standard of living.
There shouldn't be any room left for the debate on economic issue here. The figures speak for themselves.
Now the moral question. For years different levels of our government here in these United States have placed their blessing on legalized gambling in the form of parimutuel betting on horses and dogs, state owned and operated lotteries, raffles conducted by charitable organizations such as the volunteer fire company, rescue squad, Little League ball teams.
Government in the majority of states by these actions has told us that gambling is good. Our coaches have told us gambling is good. Leaders in the community service groups have told us gambling is good, and last but not least our churches have told us that gambling is good.
Having once entered it, I don't believe any of you can ever forget that great joy that was heard above the roar of the crowd. It was called, "Bingo."
Any attempt to curtail the activity of people pursuing enjoyment through a legal enterprise surely must be immoral. An able bodied person willing to work but having no job, I suggest to you, is more immoral.
Killing is immoral. Even the needless kill of a goose, especially the goose that lays the golden egg.
So I say to you: we here in Atlantic City stand opposed to any further regulation or taxation of this industry, and we implore you please do not cook our goose.