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CASINO REVENUES GLITTER, BUT PEOPLE PAY THE PRICE

Upon the recent opening of the slot machine casino in Fort Erie, a disgruntled Mayor Masiello was quoted as saying, "We get all the problems, and none of the benefits."

The "problems" he was referring to are people -- people whose lives are being destroyed due to their addiction to gambling. The "benefit" he was referring to was money, the most important aspect of our lives. Or is it?

The line has been drawn. The ultimate question is, "What is more important to us as citizens of Western New York: people or money?"

I have always felt that most of my neighbors held their caring and love for others as the top priority in their lives, even toward people they didn't know. It is the main reason why I enjoy living here. Am I wrong?

The casino debate now presents us with a clear ultimatum. Is money generated by casino gambling, no matter how much, worth the potential destruction of thousands of lives? Is this money worth one life? What if that life was your child, or your wife, or your father or you?

JAMES HAGEN

Tonawanda

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