WOLF ASKS PRESIDENT TO RENEW EFFORT TO STOP SPREAD OF GAMBLING
Cites Plans for Casino Near Gettysburg and Tremendous Growth in Tribal Gambling
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), author of the legislation that created the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, today released the attached letter to President Bush concerning the rapid expansion of gambling in the country.
June 23, 2005
Dear Mr. President:
You know how concerned I am about the explosive growth of gambling in the country.
Even more sadly, it's not only adults who are being seduced by gambling. According to a recent PBS NewsHour report, recent studies indicate that more than 70 percent of youth between the ages of 10 and 17 gambled in the past year, up from 45 percent in 1988. The National Academy of Sciences says almost one in three high school students gamble on a regular basis. The Council on Problem Gambling estimates 200,000 American teens are addicted to gambling. This is the future of country.
"We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who gave their lives that the nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here."
The Civil War Preservation Trust and the National Park Conservation Association have been extremely vocal in their opposition to this plan. I realize it may be easy to dismiss this as a "local" issue, but this is Gettysburg. Its place in our history is sacred. Thousands of Americans from both the North and the South gave their lives at Gettysburg. We, as Americans, hold Gettysburg in the same vein as Lexington and Concord, Yorktown and Normandy.
As governor of Texas you were a strong voice in the fight against the spread of gambling. I am asking you as a father, as the leader of the Party of Lincoln, and as the president of the United States to re-engage in this issue.
Last month I sent you an extensive memorandum prepared by the Congressional Research Service giving you a number of options you and your administration could take to address this issue. I specifically asked you to issue an executive order placing a two-year moratorium on the opening of any more tribal casinos until Congress can thoroughly review the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. If the information I sent was insufficient to address this issue, I urge you to direct your administration to draft legislation that will solve the problem and send it to the Congress.
Frank R. Wolf