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: https://www.facebook.