To the editor:

Recently there has been a fast-talking advertisement on local radio, promoting the legalization of pari-mutuel betting in Park County.

The advertisement never identifies who is advocating for this change. We are left to assume it is being advanced by the people who stand to profit by it.

The advertisement’s primary argument for this measure which is on the ballot that was sent out by Park County Monday the 21st, is that other counties in Wyoming do allow pari-mutuel betting, and Park County is missing out on revenue because we don’t allow it. To that extent, the advertisement is true.

What the advertisement fails to mention is that the only people guaranteed to profit from pari-mutuel betting are those who host or administrate it, the “bookmaker” or the “house.” They get a cut off the top of every wager, referred to as “takeout,” “house take” or “vigorish” (usually 10-20%). The wager is also taxed, so up front the county would realize some economic gain from pari-mutuel betting.

But what is never mentioned is that the county income would never offset the true cost to county citizens due to the increased social problems that always accompany legalized gaming. Families, social services, churches and other benevolent groups, are always left to pay the true cost. For this reason, churches of all denominations have historically opposed gaming, including the 1992 effort in Wyoming to allow casino gambling.

I encourage the voters of Park County, and especially the many members of faith communities across the county, to oppose legalization of pari-mutuel betting. Profiting from the misery of others is always a sorry business.

(s) Pat montgomery

Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Cody,

Chairperson, Cody Ministerial Association

(5) comments

Freecitizen

When the Billionaires pushed the trashy Millionaires out of Jackson, you just KNEW this sort of stuff was headed for Cody. If you want all the charm and class of a Florida Beach town with the gambling signs in all of the windows of shops, along with the drain of dollars out of homes which can scarce afford it, then "YES" is the way to go. Heck, we're already feeding all of the school kids, who needs those extra dollars for the family, anyway.

Jim Jones

Please allow me to amplify your comment on profiting from the misery of others. Covid-19 health orders have slowed or closed many Wyoming businesses. Unemployment is up and disposable income is down with economists forecasting a return to pre-pandemic disposable income levels no sooner than 2024.

The people behind para-mutual gambling have been desperately trying to sell it as a way for government to fund itself in lieu of sales tax short falls. This is insanity. The last thing we need in Park County is unemployed and underemployed people spending any portion of their diminished disposable income on gambling so a few race horse breeders and bookies in Wyoming can get rich.

I agree with Pastor Montgomery and point out their are unassailable economic reasons to vote against para-mutual gambling regardless of one's religious and moral beliefs.

CodyWYOlderMan

I am not a gambler of money, but a sky pilot, a leader of a tax exempt business wants me to vote no on pari-mutuel betting? Ok, that is good enough for me, I am voting FOR pari-mutuel betting.

Whatsup

getting caught up in gambling is the exact same thing as getting caught up in a Payday loan you can never get out of it it's a deep deep hole

Whatsup

Gambling is like a payday loan once you get into it you can't get out it's a deep hole

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