Bristol, VA residents at odds with city council over casino proposal

Bristol, VA residents at odds with city council over casino proposal


TONIGHT– ANOTHER STEP FORWARD IN TURNING AN ABANDONED TRI-CITIES MALL INTO A CASINO AND RESORT. THE BRISTOL, VIRGINIA CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE PROJECT UNVEILED LAST WEEK. BUT JACKIE DEFUSCO FOUND OUT – NOT EVERYONE IN BRISTOL SUPPORTS THE CASINO. JOSH, SARA TONIGHT–THE CITY COUNCIL FORMALIZED THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE PRIVATELY FUNDED CASINO AT THE ABANDONED BRISTOL MALL. DEVELOPERS AND CITY LEADERS SAY IT COULD BE A BIG WIN FOR BRISTOL. BUT TONIGHT – COUNCIL MEMBERS HEARD FROM ABOUT A DOZEN PEOPLE WHO HAVE BIG CONCERNS. TONIGHT–RESIDENTS OF BRISTOL, VIRGINIA SQUARING ONE SIGN AGAINST ANOTHER… “IF THIS CASINO GOES THROUGH AND THIS IS PUT IN, WE’LL HAVE TO CHANGE THAT SIGN. “IF THIS CASINO GOES THROUGH AND THIS IS PUT IN, WE’LL HAVE TO CHANGE THAT SIGN. THAT SIGN WILL HAVE TO COME DOWN BECAUSE BRISTOL WILL NOT BE A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE. IT’LL BE A SCARY PLACE.” SAYING THE CITY GOVERNMENT IS GAMBLING WITH BRISTOL’S FUTURE AND CITING EVIDENCE THAT THEY SAY SHOWS THE COMMUNITY IS BOUND TO LOSE IN THE LONG RUN. “IT HAS BEEN PROVEN THROUGH DIFFERENT STUDIES THAT GAMBLING IS ADDICTIVE, THAT IT LEADS TO POVERTY, IT LEADS TO MENTAL ILLNESS, SUICIDE RATES INCREASE WITH GAMBLING. VIOLENCE IS INCREASED. BUT THE COUNCIL–STILL BETTING ON THE SUCCESS OF THE PROJECT. “I’M GOING TO VOTE FOR THIS. I’M ALL IN ON IT.” UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORTING IT… “MY FAMILY HAS BEEN PERSONALLY TOUCHED BY GAMBLING ADDICTION SO I FULLY UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY ARE COMING FROM BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY IT’S ABOUT THE ECONOMICS.” EVEN AFTER ALL 12 SPEAKERS VOICED THEIR OPPOSITION… THAT THEY SAY FELL ON DEAF EARS… “I FEEL LIKE EVERYTHING I SAID TONIGHT WAS JUST COMPLETELY THROWN OUT THE BACK WINDOW.” MAYOR KEVIN MUMPOWER ARGUING THAT IT’S NOT THE GOVERNMENT’S PLACE TO GET IN THE WAY OF A PRIVATE BUSINESS VENTURE WITH HUGE ECONOMIC POTENTIAL… “I DON’T PERSONALLY THINK THAT GOVERNMENT HAS A SAY IN HOW A PERSON, WHAT A PERSON DOES AND WHAT A PERSON DOESN’T DO. I THINK IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FIGURE THAT OUT AND DO THINGS RIGHT IN YOUR OWN LIFE.” “IT WOULD BE TO ME LIKE IF WE COULD SELL COCAINE ON WALMART SHELVES. IT’S THERE FOR THE TAKING BUT LISTEN YOU DONT HAVE TO BUY IT. BUT IF YOU BUY IT, IT’S YOUR CHOICE TO USE IT HOWEVER YOU SEE FIT.” MAYOR KEVIN MUMPOWER REMINDED EVERYONE TONIGHT – HE FATE OF THE CASINO PROPOSAL LIES NOT WITH CITY COUNCIL ….BUT IN THE HANDS OF VIRGINIA’S GENERAL ASSEMBLY. LAWMAKERS IN RICHMOND WILL HAVE TO DECIDE WHETHER TO AMEND THE STATE LAW BANNING CASINO-STYLE GAMBLING– BEFORE ANYONE CAN BET IN BRISTOL. LIVE IN THE NEWSROOM, JACKIE DEFUSCO, NEWS CHANNEL 11, IN YOUR CORNER.

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