Lonely crusade

Fighting the gambling industry

In 1992, the county board in Galena, Illinois, voted to allow the Silver Eagle, a riverboat casino, to cast anchor in the nearby Mississippi River. Tom Grey, pastor of the United Methodist church in town, was stunned. No one had asked the citizens of Jo Daviess County if they wanted gambling. No one had even suggested that hearings or discussions be held before passing the proposal. Grey quickly rallied opponents of gambling and organized a referendum on the issue. But although 81 percent of the voters said they didn't want gambling in the town, the referendum was only an advisory vote. The Silver Eagle lowered its gangplank and opened for business.


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