From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

Just In Time – A New Casino!

River City Casino opens today in Lemay at 2:00 pm. Oboy, just in time. The Missouri Gaming Commission financial reports (click here) show that while spending at St. Louis area casinos is still up from the previous year, the RATE of growth has been slowing. Oh no, just think of how our schools will suffer! To wit, the statistics I find mind boggling:

  • The Adjusted Gross Receipts (total income less payouts – before wages, taxes, etc.) for the four St. Louis area casinos (Harrah’s, Lumiere, President, Ameristar – Casino Queen is in Illinois) for the MONTH of December 2009 was $65,970,000. That’s right, almost $66 million in the month of December alone. Which is up only 3% from December 2008’s AGR of $63,604,000 – which was up 9% from December 2007. We’re faltering here, people!
  • AGR’s for January 2010:
    • Harrah’s – $22,769,908 – total Fiscal YTD – $173,564,821
    • Lumiere – $16,389,656 – total Fiscal YTD – $120,223,394
    • President – $1,990,723 – total Fiscal YTD – $12,756,697
    • Ameristar – $24,361,018 – total Fiscal YTD – $170,268,029

Now I know that casinos do a certain amount of charity work. And money from them is supposed to be helping our schools. And it’s nothing illegal. But step back and look at the big picture a minute. Our state (Illinois) is quickly going broke and can’t pay its bills. Our schools are going to be cutting back; some have already started. Kindercottage in ESL and plenty of other charitable organizations that actually HELP people, like feed, clothe, keep an eye on kids while mom works at the casino, are suffering. But boy, we as a society will pour nearly $66,000,000 a MONTH into casinos just in St. Louis.

I can’t speak for God – I tried that with my wife; it doesn’t work – but I’ll say again what I’ve said before. If we don’t turn around, get off the entertainment drug, and start showing that God’s been good to us by being good to other people – we’re going to absolutely deserve every economic spanking we get. He’s done it before in history. And I have the feeling His sleeves are already rolled up…

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