A University of Illinois professor who says gambling’s bad for the economy is in Des Moines, where he’ll be the featured speaker at a rally this evening. Dr. John Warren Kindt has researched and written dozens of academic articles on the subject of gambling.Ten Iowa counties will hold referenda to decide the future of gambling operations in their area. Kindt says it’s equivalent to a “presidential primary” on gambling, and he says if voters throw one of the gambling operations out, it’ll be a national news story.A group called “Save Our State,” or S-O-S, has formed in Polk County to oppose the upcoming gambling referendum which will determine whether Prairie Meadows stays open. Brad Zaun, mayor of Urbandale — a Des Moines suburb, says he’s “ashamed” the track and casino is government-owned. He says he has a good friend who could not stay out of the track and he says the end result was bankruptcy and divorce. Zaun says the friends two small children lost everything without a voice in the issue.John Palmer, pastor of one of Iowa’s largest evangelical churches, is urging other clergy in the state to speak out against gambling. Palmer compares gambling to Satan, because he says gambling kills, destroys and robs. Palmer says gambling is a “cultural cancer” that’s destroying families and stealing food from the mouths of children.
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