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Sen. Tony Hwang issued the following statement after the Connecticut State Senate’s May 24 passage of legislation to expand gambling in Connecticut:
“This has been a David vs. Goliath fight from the beginning. The forces that want expanded gambling in Connecticut are extremely powerful. I continue to stand with a diverse coalition of religious and grassroots groups who have joined me in the fight against expansion. We are focused on the human consequences of gambling. We believe that doubling down on the gambling industry ignores the significant and heartbreaking human and societal costs which would arise from addiction. We believe that rolling the dice on casino expansion puts our state at risk for constitutional challenges by MGM or others under the equal protection clause. We continue to believe that this policy is a bad bet, because it is chasing after a limited and declining pool of resources. Our focus remains on the people whose lives have been ruined by gambling addiction. Our focus remains on preventing future addiction from taking hold and growing in our state.”
Members of the Coalition Against Casino Expansion in Connecticut include:
- Connecticut Catholic Conference
- Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ
- Episcopal Church in Connecticut
- Connecticut League of Women Voters
- Family Institute of Connecticut
- New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
- Connecticut Association for Human Services
- Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport
- Advocacy Unlimited, Inc.
- Farmington Valley American Muslim Center
- Resident Bishop New England Conference of the United Methodist Church
- American Baptist Churches of Connecticut
The amendment, which became the bill, can be viewed at: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/
lcoamd/2017LCO07686-R00-AMD. htm . The bill now awaits a vote in the Connecticut House of Representatives.
Photo: "No More Casinos in CT.” Sen. Tony Hwang (left) and former Connecticut Congressman Robert Steele (right), author of "The Curse: Big-Time Gambling's Seduction of a Small New England Town" testified on Mar. 9 against proposals to expand gambling in Connecticut. Gambling expansion legislation passed in the State Senate on May 23. Hwang voted “no”. The bill now awaits a vote in the Connecticut House of Representatives.