115 casinos and still building
Shame on Oklahoma.
The state has 115 Indian casinos operated by 33 tribes with more than 63,000 gambling machines and almost 800 gambling tables, according to a report about 2011.
Revenues for Oklahoma casinos were about $3.5 billion in 2011.
That’s billion with a b.
And that figure rose almost 8 percent from 2010 to 2011.
Across the country, 242 tribes operated a third of a million gambling machines in 460 casinos in 28 states in 2011.
Across the nation, they paid over $1 billion taxes to nontribal governments. They paid about $127 million to Oklahoma’s state government in 2012.
That is a lot of money being siphoned out of our state and out of the pockets of poor Oklahomans who cannot afford to lose such huge amounts of their paychecks.
You won’t read or hear the stories of the heartaches in the local daily newspaper or TV stations or even so-called conservative radio stations. No, they get a big slice of the advertising pie from the casinos and they will not kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
We never hear or read that some crime is associated with gambling or about the marriages that are wrecked, the careers that are ruined and the families that are torn apart.
And unfortunately, you won’t hear condemnation of gambling in most Christian churches in Oklahoma. The Bible doesn’t specifically prohibit gambling but a host of biblical principles (good stewardship, hard work and not coveting, etc.) clearly demonstrate that gambling is wrong.
And perhaps the worst aspect of this explosion of Indian gambling is that we are teaching the next generation that they can get something for nothing.