Businesses & Professional Leaders Announce Coalition Against Gambling Initiatives 429, 430 & 431

On Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. a news conference was held at Heartland Lawns, 14124 Industrial Rd. Omaha, NE to announce the formation of a Business and Professional Leaders Coalition to urge people to vote AGAINST Initiative Measures 429, 430 and 431.

Click here to watch a video of the press conference

Mark Bonkiewicz of Nebraskans for Founder’s Values was the coordinator of this news conference for Gambling With the Good Life. He was joined by many other Nebraska business professionals who spoke about the economic damage that will be caused by Initiatives 429, 430 and 431 should they pass.

Here is a list of the 23 firms who have submitted a Solidarity Statement opposing the initiatives:

Airlite Plastics                                     Brad Crosby

Blazek & Gregg, PCLLO                    Jim Blazek

Claxton Fireplace Center                   Dan Claxton

Control Services                                 Ronald Brasel

Dave Janke Plumbing                        Kent Wirges

Denenberg Facial Plastic Surgery      Steven Denenberg, M.D.

Elite Insurance Services                     Tim Lorang

Epsen Hillmer Graphics                      Tom Hillmer

Exact Manufacturing                           Scott Allison

Gnuse & Green Law Office                 Rodney Gnuse

Ideal Heating and Air                          Corwin Keller

Knudsen Oil & Feed                            Amy Harper

Legacy Design Strategies                   Andrew Sigerson

Maurstad Dentistry                              Steve Maurstad

MediGuard USA                                  Dan Ward

MediGuard USA                                  Gloria Ward

Nu-Trend Homes                                 Don Hansen

Pro Track & Tennis                              Lance Laurent

Sadler Training                                    Karl Schaphorst

Skillwork LLC                                       Tim Raglin

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of NE     Daniel Warnock

Villa Estates                                         Don Hansen

W E Stevens PC                                  William Stevens

These concerned citizens are actively working to protect their businesses, employees and the state of Nebraska from the proposed expanded gambling initiatives 429, 430 and 431 that will appear on the November 3rd ballot.

Paid for by Gambling With The Good Life, 2221 So. 141 Ct. #6, Omaha 68144

Faith Leaders Statements Opposing Expanded Gambling

Gambling with the Good Life announces the formation of a Faith Leaders Coalition to urge people to vote AGAINST Initiative Measures 429, 430 and 431.

At our news conference with many faith leaders, one of the presenters was Femi Awodele, founder of Christian Couples Fellowship. He stated his opposition to the expansion of casino gambling in Nebraska is because of the negative consequences that result from gambling addiction. “My next door neighbor developed a gambling addiction and was able to hide it from many people until he became so depressed with his losses that he committed suicide.”

Mark Bonkiewicz is a board member of NEBRASKANS FOR FOUNDERS’ VALUES who was the coordinator of this news conference for Gambling With the Good Life. He read excerpts from a Faith Leaders Coalition Statement Against Expanded Gambling which is endorsed by Bishop Brian Maas of the Nebraska Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Whereas, many social ills result from gambling, including broken families, child abuse, sex trafficking, spouse abuse, job loss, and suicide.  These costs – estimated to be 3 times larger than casino benefits – puts an additional burden on churches, charitable organizations – and on governments, which have been shown to charge higher taxes in casino states than in non-casino states as a result.”

The document continues, “Though we represent many faith denominations, we all know that God has given us the commandment to love our neighbor. Today we are concerned about others — our neighbors — when we consider these ballot issues before us.  And we are concerned about justice – treating others fairly. We unite with other faith communities across Nebraska to inform our members of the threat that commercial gambling poses to the lives of the people of Nebraska and to defeat the 2020 ballot initiatives 429, 430, and 431.”

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Faith Leaders Remarks from Tom Venzor, Executive Director, Nebraska Catholic Conference October 8, 2020 (Omaha) 

A wise Jewish man once said: “Every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” This wise Jewish man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. It is by His divine life, human witness, and Church that He established that we can look out into the world to determine what are good fruits and what are bad fruits. In the context of public policy, we can determine, through faith and reason, what policies best serve our families, the poor, our minority and elderly communities, our children and young adults—in short, what best serves the common good?

Today we gather as faith leaders because Nebraska is being confronted with a public policy that will usher in countless social ills and evils. Using both our faith and reason, it is readily apparent that this public policy—expanded gambling—will tear down families, lead to addiction, propel financial instability and bankruptcies, and increase crime. As Jesus often did, we must pose the question to our fellow citizens: What does it profit a man? How does a ballot initiative which seeks to legalize unlimited, unfettered, unregulated casino gambling profit our community?

The simple fact of the matter is this: far from enriching our communities, Initiatives 429, 430, and 431 will hurt them. Rather than fulfill their illusory and empty promises of increased revenue projections, unrestricted casino gambling will bring decay to communities.

Initiatives 429, 430, 431 are not consistent with Catholic social teaching on gambling. The fruits of the gambling industry reveal a bad tree that is destined to produce bad fruits. It cannot profit a man, woman, or child in Nebraska to expand gambling—doing so only risks moral, financial, physical, and spiritual welfare.

As Nebraskans begin the voting process now through Nov. 3rd, we urge all Nebraskans-especially those in our Catholic community—to vote AGAINST Initiatives 429, 430, and 431. Let’s not gamble away the good life!  

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Pat Loontjer, Executive Director of “Gambling with the Good Life” said today, “We have successfully prevented expanded gambling in Nebraska for 25 years and this is the worst proposal we have ever faced. The Ho Chunk’s have put up millions of dollars to change our Constitution and allow unlimited casinos all over Nebraska. This permits all forms of Casino gambling – including sports betting and internet gambling to addict our children & grandchildren.”

Loontjer went on to say, “The Faith coalition made up of virtually every denomination in the state have pledged today to actively work to inform their members of the devastating effects #429, #430 & #431 will have on Nebraska families. The casino interests have the money to spread their lies about keeping the money in Nebraska. But we have the truth, and the Faith Leaders are united in their efforts to spread that truth to every community.”

Press Conference with Tom Osborne & Governor Ricketts Opposing Casino Gambling Ballot Initiatives 429, 430, 431

Click Here to Watch Press Conference Video

On October 5th, Gambling with the Good Life hosted a press conference at the state capitol with Tom Osborne, Governor Pete Ricketts, Governor Kay Orr, state senators, Nebraska Family Alliance, and other community leaders opposed to gambling initiatives 429, 430, and 431.

These initiatives seek to change Nebraska’s constitution to allow all forms of gambling at horse tracks and would also allow Native American tribes to have their own casinos. A licensed racetrack could race horses one day a year and offer casino gambling 24/7/365.

Tom Osborne, who serves as Honorary Chairman for Gambling with the Good Life, said “These initiatives will certainly damage the quality of living in Nebraska. The people that bear the greatest burden of this problem will be families, spouses, and the children of those who have a gambling problem. They pay the greatest price.” Osborne also spoke of his time and experiences in Congress, saying “I asked several of my colleagues in Congress who had been living in states where they had expanded gambling, was this a good thing or a bad thing? 100% of those individuals said this is the worst mistake we ever made, we never should have started it. Once you start it, you’re never going to undo it.”

Governor Pete Ricketts said “Nebraskans are hardworking, they value prudence, fiscal responsibility, taking care of their families, and are involved in their communities, schools, and churches. And casino gambling is opposed to all those values. Gambling addiction and gambling is bad for our state.” The Governor concluded his remarks by stating “We already fight gambling addiction here in our state. This will make it so much worse. It will put it in our communities, it will put it all across our state. That’s why I’m against expanding gambling in the state of Nebraska.”

Governor Kay Orr said “There’s a false narrative out there from the other side that wants to expand gambling, and we’re grateful for any help we can get to educate the people so we don’t take that step. By text or phone call I did get the support of Governor Heineman, Senator Bob Kerrey, and Senator Johanns. They join me and others in support of our effort to educate the people of the state of Nebraska.”

Nate Grasz, Policy Director for Nebraska Family Alliance, said “Without question, the gambling initiatives on the ballot are bad for families, bad for business, and bad for Nebraska. Casino gambling creates social costs that ruin lives, families, businesses, and communities. But gambling operators don’t pay for these harms. Taxpayers do. We cannot lower taxes by draining more money from local economies, driving people deeper into poverty, and increasing addiction, social costs, and destroyed families. When it comes to casino gambling, the house always wins. So in order for the gambling interests to win, it’s our own citizens who must lose.”

Dan Hazuka, GWTGL board member and a victim of a family member’s gambling addiction, said “My father was an alcoholic and he gambled everything away, so I really can understand it. We lost everything. If you think for one minute we are going to lower our taxes because of this, you’re wrong. They keep saying “keep the money in Nebraska,” well it’s not going to stay here. It is going to cost for every dollar that you bring in three or four dollars in social costs. I am positive of that.”

Watch a video recording of the press conference on the KETV Facebook page:

Vote NO on Initiative 429 – Living Word Ministries Radio Interview with Pat Loontjer

Vote NO on Initiative 429!

Why are ballot initiatives #429, #430 and #431 BAD FOR NEBRASKA?

Pat Loontjer, Director of Gambling with the Good Life, joins Debbie Blank of Living Word Ministries on their radio show to explain THE TRUTH of how unlimited casinos will pop up in Nebraska, taxes will increase, and many families/business will be destroyed if #429 is allowed to change our constitution to allow all forms of gambling.