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Losing bet

"Losing bet" Continued...

Issue: "On the road again," May 9, 2009

The captains of gambling have built so-called adult Disneylands on borrowed money, Grey said: "But credit sources have dried up now. You've got casinos in the midst of expansion, or that have done expansion, that are now filing bankruptcies. What I call the 'game fish,' the ones who were buying up little casinos during the expansion era-now the market is hammering them."

Las Vegas pastor John Richardson said it isn't only gamblers and moguls suffering from the gaming industry's decline; it's also rank-and-file workers, some of whom attend his church. As hotel-casinos attempt to tourniquet red ink, they are shutting down such sectors as restaurants and table games and laying off employees who don't work in gambling per se, such as chefs, valets, security guards, and cleaning staff. For example, Harrah's has trimmed 5 percent from managers' pay and suspended contributions to employees' retirement funds.

"You hate to see anyone lose their means, their home, their transportation," said Richardson. "Of course, the one good thing is it does make them look up. They start realizing that life is not about material things. . . . A lot of people who are struggling are coming to church and wanting to feel God, to know He's there. There's your silver lining right there."

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