Comptroller Peter Franchot Speaks Out Against Slots Proposal in Maryland
On September 20th, 2008, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot address a state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Landover. He said that the poor and minority people will only suffer the negative effects of the slot machines and gaming executives will only get richer from the money of Marylanders who can afford the game. He said that the profits from the slot machines will not help addressed the budget deficit.
The budget deficit will still be there whether they approved the slot machines or not. Mr. Franchot’s comment came after Montogomery County Executive Isiah Leggett of the Democrat Party, changed his position regarding the slot machines and reluctantly endorsed the referendum. Leggett said that the state really needs an additional source of income and they already impose cuts on the state budget as much as possible. Franchot said that Leggett only change his decision because he had been the victim of bullying of slots supporters.
Franchot also dismissed the wording of the slots referendum which states that the slots profits will be allotted for education because most of it will just be spend in combating the bad effects of gaming like rise in addiction, crime, domestic abuse and others. Several NAACP members who attended the meeting stated the negative impact of gaming on low-income communities all over the state. June White Dillard, the president of the Prince George’s County chapter of the NAACP said that there is a possibility of increase in crime if gambling expansion will be permitted.