For nearly a decade, Tom Grey has fought against casinos in 22 States, saying they have no place in any city, especially in Rockford. “You cannot put in the heart of the city something that's cancerous and destructive, and it will not grow throughout,” Grey said.
Grey, speaking at Central Christian church, says casinos don't stimulate growth. Rather, they only remove people's disposable incomes. “I've seen more women that can sit at a machine. It's electronic suicide. It does nothing.” Grey said.
Citing the need for job growth, some local and state representatives plan again in the fall to push for a riverboat casino, but Grey says leaders are pushing poverty to get poker machines on the river.
“If Republicans and Democrats were working for casinos why weren't they working for other development that are good for our community,” Grey said. And using negative gambling statistics, Gray said by Rockford utilizing what they already have, the city can grow by leaps and bounds, not slot by slot.
"There are people traveling in numbers and we out to be getting to talking about that but the more we talk about gambling casinos, the less likely you are to get the other. So you build on your strengths."
Strengths that Grey hopes hold out in job development, outside of roulette and royal flushes.