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Anti-gambling Conference Set for National Harbor

Taylor Branch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and acclaimed chronicler of the civil rights movement, will headline a two-day anti-gambling conference at National Harbor in Prince George's County on Friday.

Branch is a member of the steering committee for Marylanders United to Stop Slots and has spoken out on the issue before. A national group called Stop Predatory Gambling snagged him to deliver the keynote address at an event designed to "sharpen the focus on relying on predatory gambling as a way to fund government," executive director Leslie Bernal said. November's ballot question on slots, if approved, would authorize up to 15,000 machines at five sites in Maryland.

Other scheduled speakers include Bishop John Schol, head of the Baltimore/Washington United Methodist Conference, the Rev. Jonathan Weaver, an anti-slots activist from Prince George's County, and Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), the most vocal state politician fighting the referendum. Other religious leaders, policy wonks, attorneys and journalists active in the anti-gambling movement are scheduled to speak.

The National Harbor locale was strategic: It's a gambling-free environment. "It's one of the nicest entertainment properties on the East Coast that does not have gimmicks like slots machines," said Bernal, a Boston native.

The conference will feature workshops on how electronic gambling works, how slots are marketed, how they can become addictive and how many state governments are increasingly dependent on gambling revenue to fund their budgets.

By Anne Bartlett  |  September 22, 2008; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Lisa Rein , Slots  
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Comments

Why must one decide how another wants to spend their entertainment money? Just because YOU do not like gambling does not give you the right to stop ME from this past time that I enjoy.

I do not go out to dinners, bars, or movies. I save my fun money for monthly trips to the casinos and I get very angry that you would try to impose your set of standards on how I should spend MY time and MY hard earned dollars.

Stay out of my affairs. It does not hurt you. It does not take away anything from you! Many choose to eat out almost every night..why is that not addressed for obesity?

Some choose to go to movies whether it be G rated or XXX rated..why not demand they stop??

Enough already with forcing your standards on others. How would you like it if we started demanding people like you stop meeting?? Where will you be then!

Posted by: Silc | September 22, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Why must one decide how another wants to spend their entertainment money? Just because YOU do not like snorting cocaine does not give you the right to stop ME from this past time that I enjoy.

I do not go out to dinners, bars, or movies. I save my fun money for monthly trips to the drug dens and I get very angry that you would try to impose your set of standards on how I should spend MY time and MY hard earned dollars.

Stay out of my affairs. It does not hurt you. It does not take away anything from you! Many choose to eat out almost every night..why is that not addressed for obesity?

Some choose to go to movies whether it be G rated or XXX rated..why not demand they stop??

Enough already with forcing your standards on others. How would you like it if we started demanding people like you stop meeting?? Where will you be then!

Posted by: Cinq | September 22, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Cinq, you can put in anything you want into this verbiage...and make it sound just as bad..how about child predators, how about sex addicts...just about anything can fill in the lines of "gambling". Except they hurt people. Gambling does not.

Do you own stock? Well, hate to say this but you are gambling whether you know it or not! Do you have an IRA, a Roth? Again, you are gambling with your MONEY! So do not make gambling sound as if it is a horrendous thing otherwise you are talking about the millions of americans that have these in place of "maybe" retiring if the stocks and retirement portfolios do well.

As I said, I work 40-60 hours a week LEGALLY, what drug user or dealer does does this? You are trying to fit apples and oranges together...it won't wash..

Look at the people who have gambled with their livlihood and savings with the stock market TODAY and see who was HURT in this fiasco! I will always stand up to others that are willing to try to make me do THEIR bidding and have no clue what they are talking about..

Go on, keep "gambling" with your money on the stocks etc..you are the kettle calling the pot black! Especially if you have a retirement fund which is the BIGGEST gamble of anyones life!

Posted by: Silc | September 23, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

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