STATE NOT STANDING UP TO GAMBLING, CANDIDATES SAY
The two third-party candidates for governor agree on one thing
about gambling: State government has become addicted to
"I think gambling is unhealthy for the economy and the body
politic," said Denise Giardina, Mountain Party candidate. "The
She listed a litany of evils that she said come with gambling,
including an increase in crime, domestic violence and child abuse.
Giardina worries that the local referendum of casino gambling at
The Greenbrier hotel could lead to expansion of gambling at other
places, despite promises that The Greenbrier is a special case.
"I think the Greenbrier referendum allows a very powerful institution
to throw its weight around," she said. "One thing will lead to another,
and expansion will be very difficult to stop."
Barroom video poker, or "gray machines," should be banned, just like
they were in South Carolina, she said. She would not seek to eliminate the
Libertarian candidate Bob Myers said private enterprise, not
government, should control gambling in the state.
"As Libertarians, we oppose the government creating a monopoly out of
gambling," he said. "There always has been gambling. But
recently, the state has learned how to profit from
Myers would seek to eliminate the state lottery. He said former
Gov. Arch Moore asked him to serve on the Lottery Commission, but he
refused for philosophical reasons.
Myers said in theory, anyone should be able to sponsor gambling,
from Go-Mart to The Greenbrier. But he said he had no problem with
allowing local voters to choose whether they'll let gambling into
Both Myers and Giardina said the two leading candidates have
been influenced by campaign contributions from gambling interests.
"I think both [Cecil] Underwood and [Bob] Wise are talking out of both
To contact staff writer Scott Finn, use e-mail or call 357-4323.