NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
MR. MARANI: Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the panel. My name is Jack Marani, I'm a citizen of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I'm an attorney practicing law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and I'm a recovering compulsive gambler. My perspective is a little different than the perspective you've heard so far today in the public side.
Philosophically, it seems to me that over the course of the last 150 years or so there has been a government policy regarding revenue enhancement as it goes to liquor and cigarettes. And the government continually seeks to enhance that revenue by the use of these types of activities and substances. And how long and how many people will it take to become in ill health and die, and how many families have to go on welfare because of these problems, basically generated from an ill-fated policy of revenue enhancement through alcohol and cigarettes.
Now about 50 years behind the times, gambling is in the same type of situation. And you shouldn't be blinded by the millions and millions and billions of dollars, they should not blind you to the human element that's involved when we look towards an activity like gambling, strictly as a policy of revenue enhancement. Because what ultimately happens to the bottom part of the population that gets sucked up into the whirlpool of the excitement of gambling?
First and foremost, it is totally detrimental to the American way of life, it's totally detrimental to the work ethic. My father was a pipefitter and one of the things he often said to me was, Jack, you have to work eight hours for eight hours pay. And that was important to him and to other members of our family growing up. And yet that totally was lost when gambling took over.
And what occurs, if you want to see an impact as to gambling, go to some of the state superior courts and sit next to a wife or a husband of a person accused of embezzlement or stealing, all as a result of compulsive gambling. And look into the eyes of that person, another victim of an ill-fated policy, when the government talks about the proliferation of gambling.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Thank you, Mr. Marani.
MR. MARANI: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON JAMES: Mr. Mercado?