It may come as a surprise to some readers who think me a libertine, that I think gambling is bad for society, and I oppose it. I especially oppose it as a state-sanctioned fundraiser.
Here in Minnesota, our last governor was a nice, conservative evangelical, who consistently pitched more casinos as an answer to our state’s budget woes. Thankfully, his ideas never took.
Now all the buzz around here is about the Vikings threatening to leave the state if we don’t build them a new stadium. The stupidity of this debate leaves me speechless. Especially when the leading idea to pay the state’s share is to move gambling off of Indian reservations and into downtown Minneapolis.
In a rare cooperative effort, both liberal and conservative Christians in Minnesota are working against this idea:
Brian Rusche, Joint Religious Legislative Council executive director, testified recently before two state Senate committees, telling lawmakers that significant social costs come with gambling, including addiction, family violence, divorce as well as police and court expenses. He told me later that gambling “utterly preys on desperation.”Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council and who also testified at the Capitol hearing, agrees. “There’s a spill-over effect. It breaks up families, causes crime and divorce,” he said
If Vegas wants to thrive on this blight, so be it. But any increase in gambling will erode the good life in Minnesota.