To the editor:
I was troubled to read in the Feb. 21 issue of the News the Moriah Township supervisor's suggestion that Essex County consider opening a gambling casino.
I have lived in Buffalo for many years, but I grew up in Lake Placid during the lean years of the 1930s and 40s and still maintain a home there. I feel I can look at casino gambling from those very different perspectives.
Here in Buffalo we have a site with hundreds of slot machines and we are a half-hours drive from the huge Seneca Niagara Casino at Niagara Falls. The results: hundreds, perhaps thousands, of low- and middle- income people losing millions of dollars, plus a marked increase in calls seeking help from gambling addictions counselors. The most public consequence has been the number of arrests for large-scale embezzlements from businesses, Scout troops, sports clubs, churches and civic groups like Rotary or the Elks. Many lives are being ruined.
Though Lake Placid is now much more prosperous a town than it was in my youth, there are still plenty of people there and in Essex County's other small towns who work in service jobs and other lower-middle income positions. Whatever discretionary income they have is far better off in the bank, rather than ka-chinking into a slot machine or riding on the spin of a roulette wheel.
Please. No Essex County casino!
Norma Jean Lamb