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Allen County Commissioners Rejects Casino Proposal for Fort Wayne

Concerned that legalize gaming contributes to increase in crime rate; the Allen County Commissioners stated on August 25th, 2009 that they oppose the construction of a casino in Fort Wayne.

In a letter to local businessman John Popp and the "Say No to CasiNo" group, Commissioners Bill Brown, Nelson Peters and Linda Bloom said that they agree that having a casino facility would have a bad effect in their community and in their own opinion, the benefits in the form of tax earnings, which may be considerable, are more offer by the additional problems that it will cause to the local government services and problems to the community including increased in crime rate, gaming addiction and bankruptcies.

Although the Indiana General Assembly could do no action on Mayor Tom Henry's request for a vote on the casino issue until next year at the earliest, state legislators will review the casino issue this summer and the letter is in intended to influence their review. Echoing reservations expressed earlier by County Prosecutor Karen Richards, the letter stated that the overall amount of property taxes received by the county represents only seventy-two percent of what the county spends on the justice system and public safety-an expense they believe would increase should a casino facility be constructed at Fort Wayne.

The commissioners wrote that as the only representatives for individuals living in Allen County, they recognize that 91% of those detained in the Allen County Jail were apprehended in Fort Wayne. Those in Allen County pay a disproportionate total amount of the expenses for justice and public safety compared with the crime rate in places like Hoagland, Grabill and Poe.

The commissioners also stated that building a casino facility in Fort Wayne is equivalent to raising taxes in Allen County. In March 2009, Henry launched a pair of studies stating that, while a casino facility could produce millions of dollars in revenue and thousands of employment opportunities in Fort Wayne, it could also contribute to an increase in gaming addiction. Brown stated that he opposes even a referendum on the issue because their brand is not to be a casino town.


03 September 2009
News Submitted by:
Lauren Desmond

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