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Voters Sink Casino-Boat Proposal

The editorial ``Gambling's Illusiveness,'' Jan. 19, prompts me to share how one small city confronted the pressure to establish gambling.

Several gambling groups applied for licenses to have a floating casino in the river adjacent to Jeffersonville, Ind. However, according to state law it had to be approved by a referendum among the citizens of Clark County. The casino had the endorsement of local officials who kept proclaiming the benefits a casino's income would bring to the community. Thousands of dollars were spent on advertisements, and printed signs saying ``Vote the Boat'' were placed in many yards. During a telephone campaign, residents who did not agree to vote ``yes'' were subjected to as many as five calls.

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Then one day the local news mentioned a group meeting in a Methodist church to protest the damage that gambling would cause to the community. There was no big advertising budget and only a couple of signs reading ``Sink the Boat'' appeared among the hundreds of pro-casino signs.

But when the votes were counted, the community had resoundingly defeated the proposal to allow the floating casino. Janet Driskill, Jeffersonville, Ind.