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Casino Fight Moves to Petersburg!

Time for Petersburg to Say NO to the Casino!

There is the Miracle on Ice and the Miracurl on Ice (the USA Gold Medal curling win) and even the three USA women in the 2008 Olympics who swept the medals in sabre. (I’d argue the last one was most impressive.) You could even add the Brexit vote!

But added to that is the amazing vote against the casino complex in Richmond. Answer to Sanders’ prayers for sure!

But the fight is not over! This story suggests that the state senator that represents Petersburg (or most of it) in the legislature, Senator Joe Morrissey, wants to have a similar referendum for Petersburg:

Senator Joe Morrissey, who represents the 16th district, said a casino could be the investment that Petersburg has been waiting for.

“Richmond’s loss is going to be Petersburg’s gain,” he said.

I would recommend to Senator Morrissey that he read this prior blog post on the hazards of casinos. And maybe have lunch with Paul Goldman, the political activist who helped bring Virginia and the nation its first elected Black governor.

i am not against legal gambling. I think there needs to be regulated outlets for gambling in USA. But we have right now, the state lottery, charitable gambling, Rosie’s (in five places), horse racing in season, off track betting, video poker, sports gambling, and nearby casinos in MD and soon to be in VA, too! Isn’t that enough?

I also agree gambling is not banned by the Bible by name. But it encourages covetousness and the lure of the win can ruin marriages and families and create huge unaffordable debts. It is one of those things that you might not know you can’t handle it until you discover you can’t handle it. Do the people of Petersburg want all of that in their community?

Here’s why Senator Morrissey wants to bring the casino to Petersburg:

“If this happens, the infrastructure, the housing stock, storm water runoff in that area drastically improves,” he said. “Jobs come into the area, people are employed. It’s just an economic engine. The likes which we’ve never seen before in Petersburg.”

He’s been working closely with Petersburg Mayor Samuel Parham who echoed his message.

“Huge, huge bump in revenue for the city of Petersburg,” Parham said. “It has a 100 million dollar budget and it will help us address some of our immediate needs that we have here. With the need of new schools, with the need of new infrastructure, courts.”

I agree with the senator. But there is a better idea. Why not the City of Petersburg examine its tax and regulatory structure with an eye toward the civic equivalent of a charter school. An area to attract solid businesses and factories to Petersburg and their jobs that would have fewer regs and lower taxes for a period of time. Go here and here for more information. It is hard work. It can be done without wholesale giveaway programs like bike races and Amazon proposals. But the casino is hard work if it goes bust, or the DSS has to intervene for children and families hurt by compulsive gambling and the DSS budget is larger than the funds promised by the casino. Schools will not get better. Nor will the courts or the infrastructure.

If you live in Petersburg, contact Senator Morrissey and your mayor and councilmember and tell them: NO casino in Petersburg.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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