Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
WyBETT   Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
 Casinos and Charity

The Rio Grande Sun, a weekly Espanola Newspaper, reported on Dec. 5, 1996 that local charities were beginning to see an impact by the casinos on the social welfare of the citizens.

The executive director of Amigos del Valle, Rev. Dennis Heffner, was quoted as saying, "The best analogy I've heard is that we are strip-mining the resources of the community." He further stated, "People who don't have any resources to go to the casinos because they think they are going to strike it rich."

Although he didn't have the cases broken down on a case by case study he indicated that his agency's caseload has increased by 11 percent over the last year and 36 percent during the last two years.

All over the U.S., state and private agencies have reported increases in social welfare needs when legalized gambling is expanded. New Mexico already has the highest percentage of their citizens on welfare of any state in the Union.

The Salvation Army in Santa Fe reported last Christmas (1996) that they made donations of food and clothing to children on reservations that have casinos.   We see millions of dollars flooding into reservations that have a few hundred members or less--why do their people still need charity from off the reservation?   The casinos seem to create thousands of victims that need charity, but are unwilling to take care of many of their own people who need help.