To the Editor,
The Rhode Island Lottery's objection to proposed state legislation that would legalize online gambling in the Ocean State totally misses the larger point. The main issue …
To the Editor,
The Rhode Island Lottery's objection to proposed state legislation that would legalize online gambling in the Ocean State totally misses the larger point. The main issue should not be how much revenue RI might gain from online gambling. Instead, it should be how many more Rhode Island children will suffer from their parents' far easier ability to gamble away family resources.
How many children will go hungry because a father sits at his home computer at midnight and gambles away that week's grocery money? Instead of making it somewhat difficult for that father to leave his children and drive 30 miles roundtrip to gamble away the food budget, we intend to make it as easy as sitting at a kitchen counter?
How many children will be forced from their homes due to foreclosures or missed rent payments because a mother decides to use her cell phone in bed to spin slot machines and lose that month's mortgage or rent payment--a mother who would never leave her children to take a midnight drive to Lincoln or Tiverton but because of the ease of online gambling loses her children's home?
The measly $42 million per year in increased state revenue Bally's has dangled before our legislators pales in comparison to the costs Ocean State children and taxpayers will endure because of online gambling.
Our legislators need to realize that behind every shiny object flashed before them hides a usually much greater cost.
Barham is the former Chief Operating Officer for the East Providence School Department