Florida Pro-Family Leaders Decry Expansion of Gambling as Remedy for States Economic Woes
TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Family Policy Council led a coalition of pro-family leaders recently before the Capitol City Press Corps to remind the legislature and the public about the social costs and negative impact of gambling upon families and communities. In attendance were Nathan Dunn, Vice President of Public Policy for the Florida Family Policy Council; Bill Bunkley, Legislative Consultant of the Florida Baptist Convention; and Dennis Baxley, the Executive Director of the Christian Coalition of Florida.
The leaders jointly thanked the Florida House leadership for its courage to date and for its principled leadership in holding the line against expanding gambling in Florida. Each member also encouraged them to avoid the temptation of using gambling as a short term fix for the state's economic challenges. Nathan Dunn reminded the press corp of the ABC's of why gambling is such a negative force in society. "Addiction, Bankruptcy and Crime." Dunn stated that "A half million Floridians have suffered from serious to severe related difficulties" and that "Florida has a larger percentage of problem and pathological gamblers than reported in the national survey" according to a study by the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling.
Bill Bunkley stated, "We stand opposed to the agreement unilaterally agreed to and signed by Governor Crist which was later struck down by the Florida Supreme Court." "Make no mistake about it, the clouds of the perfect storm are forming for those who wish to expand gambling in this state." said Bunkley.
John Stemberger, President of the Florida Family Policy Council stated, "Opposing gambling and its expansion in Florida will be our number one legislative priority in 2009. Gambling can be an addictive force that is responsible for countless destroyed marriages, broken families and devastated lives who become ensnared in the allure of games of chance."
Focus on the Family recognized the threat of gambling expansion in various states around the country in light of budgets shortfalls. The irony of this is that gambling profits themselves are down nationwide.
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