Indian tribes, racetrack owners, card room operators – and the army of lobbyists they've hired to help them make more money – will keep pressure on lawmakers in 2012 to legalize Internet gambling in California.
They'll attend campaign fundraisers. They'll testify in support of legislation. They'll make the case that taxes on Internet gambling could help solve the state's budget deficit.
And at every hearing on the matter there will be the lonely voice of the Rev. James Butler saying: Don't do it.
Butler spent most of his career as a congregational pastor, leading Methodist churches in Lompoc and Santa Paula. He said he saw how gambling can affect families as Indian tribes near his church began opening casinos and more and more people turned to him for help coping with devastating debt.
In 2005, he moved to Sacramento to take on a ministry of advocacy, leading faith-based efforts to lobby against gambling, alcohol and drug abuse.
You can read the rest of the article by Laurel Rosenhall, here.