EFA Testimony in Opposition to HB272 (Poker Room Bill)
March 29, 2006
My name is Debbie Joslin. I represent Eagle Forum Alaska and our over 1,000 member families. We oppose HB272 and urge members of this committee to vote against this legislation.
Warren Buffett, an internationally respected investment expert from Nebraska, says this about gambling, “Addictions produce crime. If you have a large group of people who are addicted to drugs, you’ll have more crime. If you have a large group of people who are addicted to gambling, you’ll have more crime. People get into impossible situations when they get addicted to something like that. And some people will opt for crime, some will opt for bankruptcy, some may commit suicide.”
Legalizing addictive behavior does not lessen the addictive nature of the behavior nor does providing a “safe, controlled environment” lessen the crime that is associated with such behavior.
Gaming is addictive behavior. I spoke with a number of legislators who had been lobbied by advocates for this bill. One legislator brought up the addictive nature of gambling with advocates of HB272 and was told that money and help would be provided to start a chapter of Gambler’s Anonymous in Alaska.
It would be irresponsible to expand legalization of behavior that hurts families and causes an increase in criminal behavior. We already have enough gambling in Alaska now. We do not need to open another door to addictive behavior that will harm our children and our families. The legislature has a duty to pass only laws that are for the good of the state. Clearly HB272 does not meet that requirement. Please vote NO on this bill.
President, Eagle Forum Alaska