In a letter to The Inquirer, Michael Krop of Sewell said he did not have much luck during his recent visit to our casino, Harrah's Chester Casino & Racetrack ("Slots are bandits," April 30). He attempted to generalize his singular experience as one that was representative of our establishment.

On behalf of the 1,200 employees of Harrah's Chester, I take exception to his comments. At Harrah's, we pride ourselves on the highest level of gaming integrity, service excellence, dining quality and variety. We have many, many lucky winners at Harrah's Chester, and pride ourselves on giving our guests a fair shot to win.

During April alone, our games paid out 90.4 percent, significantly above the state-mandated 85 percent payout minimum. From our opening in late January to April 29, Harrah's Chester paid out $742,814,877 to our guests. Clearly, these statistics are more representative of the real Harrah's Chester gaming experience and are among the reasons that thousands of guests tell us that we exceed their expectations. Everyone does not win in a casino, but rest assured that everyone gets a fair game at Harrah's Chester.

Vince Donlevie

Senior vice president and general manager
Harrah's Chester Casino & Racetrack

Stop the little crimes

I couldn't agree with Sharon Srodin more ("Big cop-out: Zero tolerance could make Phila. safer," May 8). Although we cannot forget about the need to control guns and their attendant havoc in our city, it is the everyday nuisance crimes that need to be addressed.

Litter, noisy car radios, drivers who stop traffic to talk to friends while daring other drivers to do something about it - where are the beat cops to enforce the laws already on the books? Our leaders, while rightly concerned with major crimes, should focus on the everyday crimes that erode society and lead up the ladder to those major crimes.

Nina Bonderow
Elkins Park

Why no coverage?

On May 4-6, the Cradle of Liberty Scout Council held a jamboree for its Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Explorers from Philadelphia. No fewer than 7,500 kids and their families took over Green Lane Park in northern Montgomery County.

Attendees were treated to stage shows, science exhibits, interactive experiences with professional sports teams, and chances to talk and learn from local businesspeople. This was all in addition to the more traditional scouting skills on display. The smiles on the faces of kids as they tried their hand at building a brick-and-mortar wall at the construction exhibit, listened to an African drumming ensemble, or had a chance to snowboard down a grassy hill in springtime were enough to remind me why I am proud to work with the scouting program, along with thousands of other local volunteers.

Could this newspaper devote even a small article to such a well-attended, absolutely positive and successful regional event? Not a word. Whatever the reason - lack of resources, lack of violence, busy news day - it was a major disappointment to many who worked for more than a year to make this event possible.

Bob Watson

Ethanol is the answer

It is a shame that the commentary on the farm bill didn't call for the conversion of huge amounts of nonfarmland into corn-crop farmland in our land-rich nation ("Farm bill not just for farmers," April 30). The bottom line is that corn-produced ethanol is the only reliable help available to the United States to bring stability to the price of gasoline.

The 2000 price of gasoline indexed for inflation was $1.81 a gallon. Recently, the average price was more than $3 a gallon. To ordinary Americans this means our standard of living has decreased. It sure would be nice if Washington would stop failing the American people on energy.

Jim Prendergast Jr.

Institutional racism?

Please explain why it was necessary to add that Jan. 15 was Martin Luther King's Birthday in the May 5 story "Five girls testify of lawyer's assaults," about rapes by a pedophile lawyer. Would the same have been done if a white person had raped a child on Presidents Day or an Irish person had raped a child on St. Patrick's Day, or a Jewish person on Yom Kippur?

To state that it was the King holiday, and then have the rapist's picture directly next to the paragraph, struck me as first confusing, then unnecessary. Later, it reeked of institutional racism.

Bert Harris