press release from the Schenectady Faith Community

Below is a Press Release, dated September 30, 2014, telling of a campaign among various faith congregations in Schenectady to make their opposition known to the proposed Schenectady casino. [click for a printable, pdf. version of the Press Release]  You are encouraged to bring the campaign to your own congregation. The campaign packet includes the following documents to aid in writing the NYS Gaming Facility Location Board.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       September 30, 2014

Churches Conduct Letter Writing Campaign Against the Schenectady Casino

Members of two Schenectady area congregations today turned over 43 names of individuals signing either letters or petitions to the NYS Gaming Commission Gaming Commission Facility Location Board indicated opposition to the application by Rush Street Gaming for the license in Schenectady. Others took materials and will separately be sending in letters.

The letter submitted summarizes 7 reasons in opposition: that the site could and is being well developed without a casino; it directly threatens the Stockade neighborhood; affects the welfare of a college close by; the location has more disadvantages than advantages; the local support is less significant than it claims; there was no legal public hearing; and concern about Rush Street Gaming supporting “bridging the gap’ with youth between online applications and casino gambling.

Of major concern is that “Rush Street Gaming invests in Ruby Seven Studios, which develops, markets, and distributes casino games such as slots and poker through social network and smart phone ‘app’ websites with terms of service that expressly allow children as young as 13 to play without any age or identity verification.”

Other congregations are being approached and members will also submit letters, In June, 28 individuals from varying faith backgrounds signed a statement indicating either the call for a public hearing on the casino or opposition to the casino. Part of the information shared was from Bishop (now Emeritus) Howard Hubbard who indicated the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany’s opposition to this form of organized gambling.

The gaming Commission has indicated they anticipate a decision to be announced by late October. All materials received prior to the decision will be part of the public record.

Rev. Peter J B Carman, Pastor at Emmanuel Friedens Church, a federated American Baptist and United Church of Christ congregation, said,

“We heard a witness on this issue and continue to be very concerned about the future of our community. We don’t need it and we don’t want it.”

At the First United Methodist Church, Rev. Sara Baron provided information in the announcements and encouraged members to take part.

“While the United Methodist Church is always opposed to gambling, this particular proposal will cause great harm in our community. It is the kind of development we don’t need.”

For more information contact Rev. Peter JB Carman, Pastor, Emmanuel Friedens Church, Schenectady, 374-4114 or Rev. Sara E Baron, Pastor First United Methodist Church of Schenectady, 374-4403.

From: Rev. Phil Grigsby, Emmanuel Friedens 441-1390


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