NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
MR. BREEDON: Hello, how you doing. Welcome to Atlantic City, America's playground.
I'd like to talk about the impact of casino gaming on myself and my family. Let's go back to the early '70s, before the referendum passed.
My mother worked at a place called the Sheraton Doverville, and she worked there maybe three months out of the year, during the summer, of course, and then during the winter if a convention were coming to town she would go again. But, most of the time it was unemployment.
My father was an electrician in the trades, and could find work, he would travel two to three hours to get work, but that wasn't much of the time. Most of the time, unemployment was a way of life in my family.
I can remember being ten, 11 years old, and I knew what a claim was, open a new claim, all from hearing my parents talk.
And, in the late '70s the referendum passed, thankfully. Almost immediately things began to change. My father worked full time through the late '70s, '80s and early '90s, and he's now retired and he's enjoying his retirement.
My mother found a job at Bally Park Place as a food server for the last 19 years, with a union negotiated contract, it's a good job, it's a good company, but working in the industry I know how difficult a server's job can be. God bless my mother, she's a hard worker.
I also found a job in 1979 at Caesar's. I was 18 years old and still a senior in high school. Also working there with my grandfather, my older brother and my cousin, it was a true family affair.
After a year and a half of working there as a bar porter the company promoted me to a bartender, and in another two months I'll have 19 years with Caesar's and Local 54. Again, that's 19 years of full-time, 40 hour week employment with paid benefits. So, I was able to go out and buy a home and live the American dream, thanks to a great union, a great company and a great city.
Thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoy your stay in Atlantic City.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Thank you.
MR. McDEVITT: I'd just briefly close.
Just for your information, where you are staying at the Flagship, you are about three blocks from my home, not in the new section, I live in an older section up by the ocean, and if you have any time left during your stay here, I'd invite you to come to my neighborhood, talk with my neighbors, speak to the people who go to my church, and get a real flavor of the streets of Atlantic city to find out where exactly, you know, the direction we're going in, and our satisfaction level with the industry and our community as a whole.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Thank you very much. Appreciate your input in this process.
Commissioners we are a little bit -- first of all, are there any questions? You are the only thing standing between us and lunch.
With that, I want to thank you for your patience. We are running a little bit behind time, and so I'm going to shave a little off of our lunch and see if we can reconvene here at 3:15.
(Whereupon, the meeting was reconvened at 2:00 p.m., to reconvene at 3:15 p.m., this same day.)