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The two third-party candidates for governor agree on one thing


about gambling: State government has become addicted to


gambling income.



"I think gambling is unhealthy for the economy and the body


politic," said Denise Giardina, Mountain Party candidate. "The


  • tate has a growing and unhealthy dependence on gambling




    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


  • tate's existing racetracks, but would stop their expansion.


    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


    their communities.



    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


  • ides of their mouths," Giardina said. "They are politically unwilling to

  • tand up to gambling."


    To contact staff writer Scott Finn, use e-mail or call 357-4323.




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