The Citizen's Gambling Study Commission will hold two public hearings next week on the issue of legalizing gambling in the District. Staff writer Carla Hall and staff photographer Linda Wheeler went to Lafayette Park to ask city residents how they feel about legalized gambling.
Willie J. Best, 22, a messenger who lives on the 3900 block of 4th Street SW: "I'm opposed to it. I don't do such, and it's wrong to do such. It's a sin to gamble. It's in the Bible. I did gamble, but I quit."
Leo Budding, 66, a banquet waiter who lives on the 1500 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW: "Oh, sure. I lost so much money - I want to get it all back. I've gambled mostly on horses and mostly on losers. I've been in this country 30 years, so I guess I've been gambling that long. But it didn't take long to find out."
Patricia A. Flanagan, 19, a secretary who lives on 28th and Woodley NW: "There are a lot oa advantages to legalizing gambling, and thre are a lot of disadvantages. It would mean a lot more money coming into the District, but it would also mean a lot of organized crime - or more than what's already here. But taxes would go down. I'just don't know. I've bet on horses a little."
Alice J. Hendry, 45, a secretary who lives on 14th and I Street, NW: "It doesn't worry me. I've known people in Britain who've had to mortgage their houses because of gambling debts. But legalizing it doesn't bother me."
Charles E. King, 27, a maintenance worker at the Library of Congress who lives on 11th and Massachusetts Aveenue NW: "I'd like it. That would be one way of getting more money."
Melba S. Pretlow, 39, houseworker who lives on the 200 block of Tennessee Avenue NW: "I'm not opposed to it. I just left Navada, and I had gotten kind of interested in gambling. I kind of enjoyed it."
Ira B. Reider, 64, a retired newspaper printer who lives at 13th and Massachusetts Avenue NW: "I don't see anything wrong with it, if anyone wants to gamble. I'm not a gambler. It's just one more form of taxation on the people. The people who have all the money in the world don't gamble. I just don't like to lose, and if I win I spend it foolishly."