It seems like every month there are a couple of new murders in Roaring Creek to report on. Since the start of 2015 there have been 10 murders in the crime ridden community of Roaring Creek and the nearby villages. Those frightening records have prompted police and the leaders of the affected communities to find solutions to curb the crime. One of those possible solutions has been to ban gambling from the Community of Roaring Creek. But that does not sit well with the business owners of the entertainment centres. Emanuel Pech has more in this report.
Research Shows that “problem gambling”, like other addictions, contributes significantly to the level of crime in a community. The rationale is that when people want that extra fix, they would do anything to get it. That is the perception of pastors and leaders in the village of Roaring Creek who are desperately trying to curb the level of crime in the community.
Jervis Banner– Chairman, Roaring Creek
“It is due to the recent spill of crime that has been occurring in the community. Wehad taken the decision, myself and the Roaring Creek Village Council, we also had a meeting with the churches and I spoke to a couple people in the community and we decided in the best interest of the community, we should get rid of gambling on a whole.
“When the person came to me ,a while back, I signed on a document to have them renew their license but due to the recent swing in crime that has been occurring, I sent a letter to the gaming board to retract my signature. I felt, at the time, that that was not the nest move. Those casinos were nor giving back anything to our community. All they were doing is taking and they are doing us more bad than good.”
That did not sit well with the owners of the entertainment centre who are pressuring now to lift the moratorium on gambling in the community. We could not speak with the owners of the slot machines, but we did speak with the machine operators who say there is no harm being done.
“Some people, like one – two people, not everyone come to play the machine. Some would sit here and talk and relax. Not everyone plays the machine. “
Emanuel Pech – Plus TV Reporter
“Some people are saying that the machines are bad and not good for the community. What do you think?”
“No, it’s good. It’s me who let them do it. You can play the small one that is only five cents . You can relax by the machine. You can play the high machine, it’s you who do it. You do how much you want. You have five cents, two five cents, ten cents and you can use it ten times. One dollar makes you use it for a long time. If you like the machine, you will do it.”
Across from Lucky’s, right beside the community police station is another entertainment centre- triple 7. That establishment recently opened but their machines were confiscated by the gaming control board because they had not properly applied for a license according to reports. And with the moratorium the owners can’t apply for a license. Richard Smith, a former chairman of the village is the interim leader for the churches on this issue.
“Several factors are involved there. There is no parking space, it’s close to a police station and in light of all the crime and violence involved in the village of Roaring Creek, we have been used as a dump site. We decided that we do not want that and that is where we are right now. We have been battling for that. I understand that there is some undercurrent trying to push the license even though we refused it.”
Other people like business owner Charles Garbutt say the entertainment centres can be good for the community.
“I think about the club license, the way I look at it, we pay about a thousand dollars a year for the club license and that club license goes to the village to develop the village. Now we are looking at the game, so far, the games, we want the Government give us all, let’s say for instance it is one thousand dollars for a machine, we want the whole come to the village or at least half of it. If government does not want to give us anything out of the license then I am suggesting that we don’t want it either. We don’t want the gambling business in Roaring Creek either. The clubs, the more clubs, the better for the village because we get revenue from it.”
Entertainment centres pay 3.8 thousand dollars per machine per annum. Lucky’s had 12 machines. With even half of that revenue the village council would have an additional 22.2 thousand dollars to spend on the development of the community. But that’s easier said than done says the Chairman
“It is easier said than done. we can say we want half of the revenue but is the Government going to give us half of the revenue? That is the big thing. We can fight for it but we are not going to necessarily get it. Some of the same people are saying that if we cannot get anything from it then get rid of them out of the community.
The Village council has since called a meeting tomorrow to decide the fate of Roaring Creek Village as it relates to gambling.
“Whether or not we want the game shops in our community, if we want it or don’t want it, your views will be very important to us tomorrow. Please come out and show some support.”
Reporting for Plus News Emanuel Pech.
While those advocating for gambling centers in the troubled village say that it would be beneficial for the development of the village, concerned residents and church leaders remain adamant that the negative influences and effects far outweigh any perceived benefits. All residents of Roaring Creek are being called to attend the meeting to voice their opinions and vote on the matter. The meeting takes place tomorrow, Thursday May 20th at 5 pm at Roaring Creek Community Center.