Bishop Weaver calls for renewed opposition to casino gambling

September 27, 2011

The United Methodist Church has a long history of opposing gambling. Our Social Principles state that ‘gambling is a menace to society, deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life, and destructive of good government.’
On the November 8th ballot in Maine are several questions that seek to expand the number of locations for Las Vegas-style gambling in Maine. Statewide, Question 2 seeks approval for a racino (a harness racing track with slot machines) in two locations, and Question 3 would approve a casino in Lewiston. An additional question will be on the Penobscot County ballot seeking to expand gaming in Bangor.
Bishop Peter D. Weaver of the New England Conference is voicing his strong opposition to the expansion of gambling in the State of Maine. He expresses hope that all United Methodists will renew their commitment to opposing these initiatives, and specifically in this situation calls Maine voters to action in the November ballot. 
“The well-being of the people and the quality of life in Maine is at stake,” he stated. “The promises that have been made previously by those who support gambling in Maine (jobs, revenues to support government services, etc.) have certainly NOT been fulfilled. The cry to continue to expand gambling contains the same false promises. Let us work and pray that Maine avoids heading farther down this path.”
An initiative to license three casinos and a slot parlor in Massachusetts passed the House of Representatives in September 2011, and the State Senate is currently debating the legislation, which may come to a vote soon.
Together with our ecumenical partners in Massachusetts (including the Catholic Diocese), Bishop Peter D. Weaver of the New England Conference is strongly opposed to the expansion of gambling and the approval of casinos in the Commonwealth, and encourages action. "I hope all will renew their commitment to opposing this bill," he commented, "and let us all pray that Massachusetts avoids heading down this path that lessens the quality of life for all our citizens.”
Immediate action is needed against the casino gambling bill.
Citizens are encouraged to let Governor Patrick and their legislators know of their opposition to casino gambling. The United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts web site ( has a sample letter and State government contact information available at
Resources to help understand the issues of casino gambling include:
Additional resources on the opposition to casinos in Massachusetts can be found at the Massachusetts Council of Churches web site at
Specific Maine resources and information can be found at

Gambling can bring devastation
to lives and families