NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
N G I S C Chicago Meeting, May 20, 1998
REVEREND TOM GREY, NATIONAL COALITION AGAINST LEGALIZED GAMBLING
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Now, let me welcome Reverend Tom Grey of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling. Reverend Grey.
REV. GREY: Yes, Chair person, I have -- it's very good to have you in Chicago and I'm reminded Commissioner Lanni and I met I think in 1992 at the Harold Washington Library when the Chicago casino proposal was being discussed and it sort of strikes me that the odds of us being here with no casinos in Chicago probably rival the Powerball odds.
With that in mind, what I'd like to suggest is the map. We'll be focusing on the Midwest, but map that I share with you is the 37 states that have said no to gambling expansion and only four states saying yes since 1994. What I want to do is say that while Doug Seay and also Mike, your analysis is so dispassionate because this has been a real battle field. By dispassionate, it sounds so simple. It just came into the Midwest and it just sort of died here without any real struggle or regulated into this that no one tried to go further.
I'm here to tell you that this has been a battle field and it's been fought by people. I happen to believe Peter Arnett the great war correspondent said the truth of war is not found in the briefing rooms, but on the battle field. I stand on the shoulders of giants and I have fought side by side with fighters. I'm going to share that time with people who have fought this battle, because I think it will serve you best to hear Chicago, Illinois and Indiana as it unfolded.
Monsignor Jack Egan, June 1st, 1992 said, when the Chicago proposal was introduced, "a gamble we can't afford." He had 20 years of experience. He worked on the task force on legalized gambling, sponsored by the Fund for the City of New York in the 20th Century. I'm going to ask Jack Egan to welcome you to Chicago, and then Anita Bedell from ILCAAP, Illinois Church Action on Alcohol Problems, and then finally John Wolf from our group in Indiana. You have bios on each and their prepared remarks, and we'll stay within 15 minutes.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: That was going to be my comment, Rev. Grey. I'm happy to have you do with your time whatever you'd like as long as it's within that 15 minute period. Thank you.