Last thing we need is more gambling

The June 27 News articles about a “big casino downtown” and the Crossroads Buffalo City Court program to save at-risk teens made for an interesting contrast. The HEART (Helping Empower At-Risk Teens) program helps and the casino hurts. Lest we forget about the ABCs of gambling – addiction, bankruptcy and corruption – just read about the recent and past embezzlements caused by gambling addiction. There is even a Gambling Court to help people victimized by the addiction. Sadly, treatment programs are extremely underfunded and hardly available.

When it hurts more than it helps; when it tries to breed the next generation of gamblers from our at-risk youth; and when it takes hard-earned money from the vulnerable adults at risk of addiction, then all of the hype about “economic development” and celebration of “transforming an area” with tax-free entertainment and restaurants is shortsighted and sad for the city’s poor victims and their families. The “games” are designed to seduce and grab (35 percent of profits are made from 4 percent of players – the addicted). The last thing this city or state needs is more gambling!

Robert J. Schulman, M.D.