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 
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
  •  industry." 
     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 gambling."  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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