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Casino Chips Showing Up in Church

August 3, 1999

DETROIT (AP) _ Hours after Detroit’s first casino opened just steps from the Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, gambling chips began clattering in the collection plate.

The Rev. Russell Kohler wouldn’t say how big the jackpot is, but he planned to cash the chips in and use the money to help the poor.

``Let’s just call it a pile,″ Kohler said Monday. ``Bring them over any time.″

The Michigan Gaming Control Board says the exchange is perfectly legal. It’s done in other places _ in Las Vegas, many cab drivers accept chips as tips.

The MGM Grand Detroit opened in the Motor City on Thursday. Several Detroit ministers have spoken out against the legalization of gambling in Michigan and warned their parishioners not to be tempted by the illusion of easy money.

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