Meetings & Information


Thursday, January 29, 2015

News about casinos and lotteries in your community

I only email when we have important news to share so below are some that I've have been saving to put into one email to you:

1) The first ever national documentary investigating America's state lotteries, Out of Luck, will be released in the first half of 2015. If you're someone who first got involved in this issue because of casinos, this film will dramatically advance the entire national debate about government's failed experiment with predatory gambling. Please think about how you might use this film to educate your community and your state, such as sponsor a film screening at your State House, a local theater or your place of worship. You can follow the latest news about the film's forthcoming release on Twitter @OutofLuckMovie.

2) In a sign of where the public policy of predatory gambling is headed in the years to come, this past week two legislators from two different states called for their state lotteries to be phased out.

Accurately describing the funding coming from the lottery as simply “smoke and mirrors,” Oklahoma State Senator AJ Griffin said it’s time to get rid of her state's lottery. Texas State Representative Scott Sanford filed legislation that would criminalize predatory gambling in Texas, including the state lottery's notorious $50 instant scratch ticket.

​3) Our National Victims Advocate Speakers Bureau launched last month. Coordinated by SPG National Victims Advocate Melynda Litchfield, the purpose of the Speakers Bureau is to raise the consciousness of opinion leaders and the general public about the policy of government-sponsored gambling through education, awareness and advocacy in three specific areas: 1) how slot machines cheat and exploit citizens; 2) how this public policy (including lotteries) is dishonest, is financially damaging to citizens and creates unfairness and inequality across the country; and 3) why the time has come to phase out this public policy. Members of the Speakers Bureau are citizens who've been harmed by this policy in some way and they present at meetings and events in their region, calling for major reform on this issue. If you are interested in being considered for the Speakers Bureau, please email

4) .We are in the early stages of organizing the first-ever National Day of Action against predatory gambling. It's being planned for Fall 2015. The event will draw more national attention to the issue but most of all, it sends a message to the media and the political class that the citizen movement against predatory gambling is real and growing. The "action" can be anything individuals or groups want it to be. But no matter what people do for an action, the key part of it is for each of us to take a photograph and post it on a website/social media site that we set up specifically to capture our collective effort. We actively welcome your participation in helping to plan it. Please contact me at my email above to participate.

5) In what was a very high profile fight, last week Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker ultimately rejected a proposed casino in the city of Kenosha. We worked with statewide organizations and SPG members in that state to make the public argument against it. In our letter to Gov. Walker, SPG called casinos "the symbol of anti-reform governors across the United States, Republicans and Democrats alike." Here's our letter and here's the news release about it.

6) For more than 25 years, the casino lobby has told the American people that casinos are the engine to help Native American tribes prosper. Now The Economist, the world's leading international magazine, spotlights how casinos have actually made tribal members poorer. Please share this must-read story with opinion leaders and citizens in your region.

7) The next big predatory gambling expansion that some states are targeting is the new concept of "daily fantasy sports" which is a form of sports gambling geared to young people. It's far different than season long fantasy sports games which you may be familiar with. If you watch sports on TV, you've likely seen ads for FanDuel or Draft Kings. The issue presents a much needed opportunity to significanty elevate the national debate around our government's predatory gambling policy. We were recently on a legislative panel in Las Vegas to discuss its significance for all of us. This USA Today story does a good job of summarizing the discussion.

8) No Casinos Florida which has a strong track record of creating quality, persuasive video about predatory gambling, released its "Gambling Creep" video last week. While it emphasizes the Florida experience, it highlights how once government begins to sponsor gambling, inevitably the state will turn to more and more extreme forms of predatory gambling in a continually growing amount of locations.The narrative rings strong and true in every state. Watch the brief video here.

That's all for now. If you support our mission and work, please become a member of Stop Predatory Gambling today.

Thanks for the work you do. Keep pushing.


Les Bernal
National Director
Stop Predatory Gambling
"End the dishonesty and harm of government-sponsored gambling and the unfairness and inequality it creates."

Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation ι 100 Maryland Avenue NE, Room 310 ι Washington, D.C. 20002 ι (202) 567-6996


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