Down on Double Deuces

The Christian Coalition of Georgia, along with Peace State Methodist and Baptist churches, are in a pitched battle to close down the state's video poker machines. Licensing is cheap and revenues from the cash-operated machines are exempt from sales taxes, so owners get rich quick while players lose big time. More than 1,500 churches have placed inserts in bulletins urging members to flood Georgia's governor with phone calls asking him to ban video gambling.

Psychologist Robert Hunter, who runs the nonprofit Problem Gambling Center in Las Vegas, called video poker the "crack cocaine" of gambling. Nearly 52,000 video gambling machines are licensed in Georgia. The churches argue that gambling is deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life and destructive of good government.

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