The Mail: 8/19-8/26

Casinos help Communities

The stories of those struggling with gambling addiction are devastating ("Betting the House," Feature, Aug. 12), which is why the casino gaming industry takes extraordinary measures to spot those who need help and to connect them to treatment.


However, nearly all casino customers enjoy the entertainment experience we provide in a responsible manner. Even as dozens of casinos have opened over the last 20 years, the rate of problem gambling— in the low single digits— has not increased, according to a University of Buffalo study. And research shows that the majority of people set a budget of under $200 when they visit a casino.

Further, we're as repulsed as anyone when we hear of a child being left alone in a car. Whether it's at a grocery store, shopping mall, or casino, adults should act responsibly. Security personnel at casinos in Maryland and across the country vigilantly patrol parking lots to ensure children aren't left behind, and we're proud to partner with, an incredibly effective advocate for protecting children.

The complete story of casino gaming's impact on Maryland surpasses one reporter's personal experiences. Several recent news articles have more effectively examined the issue and found that fears from a small band of casino critics have failed to materialize. The Baltimore Sun reported, "The level of crime at the casino and surrounding area has been far lower than even opponents had expected." The paper quoted Lt. John McAndrews of the Anne Arundel County Police Department saying, "It's a remarkably low incidence of crime."

Further, the Delmarva Daily Times reported on the impact of the Ocean Downs casino on the local community. "We have not seen an increase in gambling addiction," said Christina Purcell, behavioral health program manager for the Worcester County Health Department. Ocean Pines Police Chief David Massey said, "We've had no problems with the casino whatsoever."

The full picture of gaming in Maryland includes the ways in which residents are benefiting every single day. Millions of dollars worth of grants funded by casinos are distributed regularly for projects such as fire station renovations, technology for education, and new homes for lower-income residents. One small business owner who runs a granola shop in Timonium received a grant that has allowed her to hire two-dozennew full-time employeesand expand into a larger workspace that will boost production and distribution.

Overall, according to Oxford Economics, gaming in Maryland generates $1.4 billion in economic activity and supports nearly 8,000 jobs and more than $350 million in employee wages.

We're proud to be a valued community partner across Maryland and look forward to building on our many contributions to the state in the years to come.

Geoff Freeman

President and CEO,

American Gaming Association

Racism and the BPD continued

After reading the letter from Roger Thomas in last week's edition (The Mail, Aug. 5), I wonderered who does he think the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were enacted for? The KKK. If racism in the police department is not a fact, then why is the Justice Department getting involved?

Leo A. Williams



From the Web, Facebook, and Twitter

My favorite store in Mount Vernon. The people there were so friendly!

—"Peter Willis," Aug. 17

I figured it was inevitable after The Sun bought out the City Paper, since this was pretty much their answer to it.

—"Ryan McCarroll," Aug. 13

The reason this is under investigation is quite clear. Pay attention to the officers around him—no one else pulled their weapon, which is a drastic response. Second, look at the way he is aiming his weapon. He is aiming at a crowd and not a target. The way he is aiming is of a scare tactic. Thirdly, his body is not positioned in a stance one would use if they were in fear for their lives or safety. You can find police academy training material online and what he did contradicts police protocol.

—"Quiana Harris," Aug. 11

But it's fine and dandy that someone threw a bottle at the officers? I'm not saying the officer had the right to pull his gun, but let's focus on the whole truth when writing a headline.

—"Bill Kassakatis," Aug. 10

A dirty hippie follows a filthy hippie for the whole movie? PASS.

—"Robert Katz," Aug. 13

Amen @city_paper. Wish more media would acknowledge how wrong it is 'The End of Tour' was made in the first place.

—"@danajeri," Aug. 14

Kinda like a chipotle with tequila. Very enjoyable, but loud. After dinner go to [W.C.] Harlan's for a drink.

—"@bmorebred1," Aug. 12

the list of highly unlikely, improbable, won't ever happen, awful fishy events is long, & the common denominator is SRB.

—"@eklund_matthew," Aug. 12

It would be a shame to demolish this unique fountain/sculpture!

—"Michael Brand," Aug. 13