Sunday, October 21, 2007
No Slot Machines
This is as much as I will ever post on politics.
I'm posting this in lieu of a letter to the editor. Today's Washington Post has an article entitled "O'Malley (MD's governor) To Push for Truce On Slots". The first sentence of the article is "The Maryland General Assembly 's battle over legalizing slot machines has now lasted longer than the Civil War". Well the reason is that slots have been defeated five years in a row yet the slots proponents keep coming back. It is not an even playing field. So far, slots opponents have won five times. But it only takes one defeat and slots are here forever.
I'm against slot machines because I view them as a regressive tax and as the state taking advantage of its own citizens. As a former math major, I view state run gambling as legalized theft. And I believe that the revenue estimates are vastly overstated for the state though I would not be surprised if they are understated for the slots purveyors.
I view the attempts by the gambling industry to invade Maryland as unethical and distasteful. Clearly, slots proponents are extremely well financed and have a strategy of simply wearing the public down. Articles like this which state that the slot machines issue have not been settled over the past 5 years ignore the sad reality that the sole definition of "settled" is that slot machine legislation is passed and a dozen new slots parlors are opened in our state. Its apparently impossible to "settle" the issue by saying no to the gambling industry. They are like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, refusing to die.
Anyway, the deck is stacked against slots opponents. We (the anti-slots folks) have won five times in a row. But it only takes one defeat and we're stuck forever. The gambling proponents are counting on that reality. Now there is a call for a voter referendum on slot machine gambling. Fine but will the gambling industry agree to go away if they lose? If not, then what's the point.
And everyone should realize that the over/under is two years on how soon the call for full casino gambling will come once slots are allowed.
I haven't been very articulate in my arguments but it seems so unfair that the slots opponents have to win every single time while those in favor only need one victory. And they refuse to go away. I just wish the media would stop portraying it as an issue that we have been unable to settle. Its an either/or issue. There isn't any compromising or settlement possible. It gets settled every year, but the sore losers keep coming back.