– for, against or undecided – you ought to agree that the
appearance of CRAPS is a good thing.
No matter which side of the casino debate you’re on – for, against or undecided – you ought to agree that the appearance of CRAPS is a good thing.
CRAPS, or Casinos Represent A Poor Solution, is the first and so far only organized opposition to the plan to build a casino on Highway 25 near the Santa Clara-San Benito county line.
CRAPS organizers say more than 100 people attended a recent meeting held to answer questions about the Indian gaming proposal and CRAPS’ opposition to it.
You can guarantee that casino backers are well-funded and highly organized. They know how to convince communities to allow casinos in their midst. It bodes well for the important debate to come that organized opposition has appeared to counter the arguments of casino supporters.
CRAPS will be operating at a funding disadvantage when compared to the deep pockets of casino backers, so they’ll have to make up the difference with passion and organization.
We encourage CRAPS leaders to extend their lobbying efforts outside of San Benito County. Like casino supporters, they should contact elected officials and residents in South Santa Clara County.
If you’re a South Valley resident who is flatly opposed to a South Valley Indian gaming facility, you must be overjoyed that CRAPS is on the scene to counter casino supporters’ arguments.
If you’re undecided, the presence of two points of view – pro and con – on the casino issue will make for a better debate. It will force both sides to answer difficult questions and reduce the power of glib, sound-bite arguments.
Even if you’re a South Valley resident in favor of the casino proposal, you ought to welcome a fair debate that will illuminate the issues for your fellow South Valley residents.
And the issues are numerous. As a community, we need to decide if the jobs, tourists, new businesses and infrastructure improvements a casino might bring is worth the tradeoffs in gambling’s social ills, loss of local land-use control and possible traffic and environmental impacts.
It’s not going to be an easy decision. There will be heated arguments from both camps. But those arguments will be much more balanced with organized groups behind both the pro and con casino groups.
Welcome to the casino debate table, CRAPS. We’re looking forward to a vigorous and illuminating debate.
To respond to this editorial or comment on this issue, please send or bring letters to Editor, The Hollister Free Lance, 350 Sixth St., Hollister, Calif. 95023 or e-mail to [email protected]