Activists fighting addition of Chumash Casino slot machines

Warning of higher crime rates, more traffic and gambling addictions, the citizen group No More Slots urged support in the fight against adding more slot machines at the Chumash Casino.

Although Chumash tribal chairman Vincent Armenta has said the tribe is not negotiating for more slot machines, about 100 people showed up for Sunday night’s No More Slots meeting.

Lawyer Rob Walters, who is also a pastor, told of the socio-economic effects, saying he knew a local bank manager who lost his job for embezzling money to feed his gambling addiction.

Although a community can benefit from revenue generated by a tribal casino, Walters said the funds come out of community members’ savings and retirement money when they gamble.

“Keep in mind, whatever is spent is a result of what is lost,” he said.

Attorney James Marino warned of gambling’s impact on the community, including traffic congestion and hikes in crime.

No More Slots members last week delivered a petition with more than 13,000 signatures to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office in Sacramento. The petition asked the governor to “do everything in your power to prevent an increase in the number of slot machines” at the 2,000-slot casino.