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Letters to the editor

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No government bailout

I THINK IT is a terrific idea to allow folks in a state that is all the way up to 48th in poverty to be able to turn over their Social Security and welfare checks directly to the two casinos the pueblo runs. While at it, why not lower the gambling age so that younger people can get hooked on gambling? Additionally, there is no need for people to have to quit their gambling frenzy to get an alcoholic beverage – that might interrupt the revenue flow.

It was a bad economic decision when Gov. Gary Johnson signed the first – illegal – compact that allowed off-track gambling in a state where poverty has been as low as 51st in the nation during the period of ever-increasingly crowded and available Native American casinos. These casinos serve no other purpose than to redirect funds through loss to their entities.

That Pojoaque Pueblo opted to overbuild is really not the responsibility of government to provide a bailout as a solution – the bailout being at the expense of the general population.

Make no mistake: Casinos exist because people lose money in them. Any financial gain to a casino is at the expense of other sectors of the economy and to persons who too easily cannot limit their gambling to disposable income.

Gov. (George) Rivera likens the taxation of casinos to the taking of a revenue cut from Walmart. Well, there are differences. The state does take a cut; it is called taxes. In addition, the presumable loss of income by shopping at Walmart is to buy useful goods and services. The state of New Mexico needs to offset the loss of revenue by this rediversion of money to other, and more useful, entities.

THOMAS P. ZANOTTI

Rio Communities

Boosting income inequality

POJOAQUE PUEBLO has requested a gaming compact that will target the heart of our society, certainly creating more income inequality.

Under the new requested compact, they will remove a provision that does not allow any casino to cash payroll, Social Security and even welfare checks. As a result, they will make it that much easier to lure those most likely unable to afford their addiction or habit. It also permits the issuance of credits to gamble. The writing is on the wall for an addition to the homeless situation as addicted people lose their homes to the casino.

As gaming facilities have saturated the market and revenues are flat, they need to look for additional marketing techniques that prey on those with addictions and the poor. It is sad that another N.M. child will go without a meal or a parent that helps them grow.

WARREN FINCH

Espanola

Trading our youth for money

LET’S CONTINUE to attack our youth!

Pojoaque Pueblo is requesting a new gaming compact that will change the legal gambling age from 21 years of age to 18. Northern New Mexico already has a high dropout rate and we struggle to find opportunity for our youth, so why not get them addicted to gambling at a much earlier age?

It is so sad that we trade out the well-being of our youth for money….

Please urge your elected officials not to allow this to happen. Otherwise, it’s just another obstacle working against New Mexico from climbing out of last place in categories such as child well-being, education, graduation rate and poverty.

ERNEST SILVA

Espanola

A lack of social conscience

I AM HIGHLY disappointed – but not the least bit surprised – about the Pojoaque Casino and governor wanting to drastically change the rules for Indian gaming. It is not that I am writing this letter out of hate for the pueblo people, so please don’t tag this as a hate letter. I don’t hate anyone.

What I hate is not people but businesses that let their bottom line turn them conscienceless, and their lust for money trump their respect and responsibilities to their neighbors. The only good things that come from the changes they propose is their profit margin.

To not pay state taxes, as all other businesses must, shows lack of respect toward all New Mexico taxpayers. The taxpayers, including business taxes, provide infrastructure that brings them goods and pathways for their customers, emergency flights for their sick and injured, forest/wildfire fighters and equipment, law enforcement when they need it – they do have their own but often need additional help – and a myriad of other services taken for granted. Evidently, the governor does not have a problem not paying a fair share.

To lower the gambling age and allow alcohol in gaming areas only provides young and uninhibited gamers to lose money and boost the profits for the casino. This smacks of having total disregard for anyone else.

I believe the only avenue here is for people who judge that the Pojoaque casino lacks a social conscience is to protest by boycotting Pojoaque facilities. For me, to do any less would indicate that I accept the Pojoaque casino’s and governor’s attitudes.

GARY SMITH

Rio Rancho

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