Winnebago County video gambling losses growing

Rockford tops the list for video gambling losses in Illinois. Area residents lost more than $20 million in the gambling machines since the machines began operating legally in October 2012. In addition, more than $10 million was lost by area residents in the gambling machines in Loves Park. Altogether, more than $44.3 million has been lost in Winnebago County video gambling machines, according to the monthly Video Gambling reports from the Illinois Gaming Board.

Many articles have been written about how much revenue communities are receiving from video gambling and how a few businesses are able to keep the doors open because of the extra revenue from video gambling. It’s time to look at the losses from local residents and the impact on the community.

Making gambling more accessible and acceptable in neighborhood casinos will increase problems and harm, including addiction, bankruptcy, family problems, crime, and suicide. Ask local officials not to issue new liquor licenses for video gambling parlors.

Anita Bedell, executive director
Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems
Springfield, Ill.

From the July 9-15, 2014, issue

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