To the Editor: Opposes casino in Ridgecrest

Ridgecrest is essentially a closed community due to its isolation. The population is approximately 26-27,000. If you include the one or two thousand within a 25-mile radius, that population might approach 30,000. This makes around 15,000 adults eligible to gamble. Considering the opposition to the casino, what percentage of those adults would patronize it?

I researched six or seven sites regarding casinos. Numerous studies provided data regarding the negative effect casinos have on a community. These studies have proved that casinos will bring a rise in crime, addictions, divorce, bankruptcy, suicide and even child neglect.

The NGISC found having a casino within 50 miles doubles the likelihood of an individual becoming a problem gambler – and the proposal is to put one within our own community? Consider also that if people are spending money gambling they are not likely to have much or any left to spend on necessities. This can lead to one or more of the problems already listed.

Casinos are businesses. They are in business for profit and will tailor the business to achieve this purpose. That profit will come out of the pockets of mainly Ridgecrest residents. Casinos retain between 85 and 90 percent of every dollar spent on gambling. That doesn’t leave much for gamblers to win.

The tribe has now weaseled out of the process originally outlined in the municipal service agreement, which would eliminate provisions of the NEPA.

An agreement granted by the Department of the Interior would allow a fee-to-trust permitting the tribe to swap a “mutually agreed upon” parcel of land for the parcel it wants in Ridgecrest, subject to approval by the secretary of the Interior.

Where is this land they want to swap and what benefit would it be to Ridgecrest? Judging by the article in the Feb. 24 News Review, it appears to me that this proposal is being driven by the “representatives of the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe.”

Is this a cover-up for the gambling interests who are behind the drive to place a casino in Ridgecrest?

In conclusion – is this the example we want to set for our young people? I don’t!

Mrs. Robert M. McArtor

Story First Published: 2017-03-10