Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Catholic Conference Expresses Concern

The D.C. Catholic Conference has issued a letter that raises concerns with the plan for Internet gambling.

The complete letter follows below.

September 9, 2011

The D.C. Catholic Conference expresses concern with the D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Board’s recent proposal to offer games of skill and games of chance via the internet. I-Gaming, as it is known, will be the first online gambling program in the nation.

Games of skill and games of chance are not in themselves inherently wrong. However these games become morally problematic when they interfere with an individual’s obligations and/or deprive a person of what is needed to meet his or her needs and the needs of others. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2413)

If properly controlled, gambling can provide legitimate recreation for those who participate responsibly. However, gambling can also contribute to unhealthy behaviors including addiction which can lead to other societal ills. Gambling potentially threatens the common good by taking time and resources away from those who provide care and support for their children, families, and dependents.

The Church is concerned that I-Gaming may impact poor, elderly, and vulnerable people in a disproportionately negative way. I-Gaming’s implementation raises serious questions in this regard and its possible consequences should be carefully considered before it is made publicly available.

The D.C. Catholic Conference welcomes the decision of the D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Board to hold community ward meetings to explain the proposed program in detail. The Conference urges the Board to integrate measures addressing the concerns of the community before any implementation.

The DC Catholic Conference represents the Catholic Church’s public policy interests on issues affecting the people of the District of Columbia. For more information, please contact info@dccathcon.org.

(A PDF version.)

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