Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Gambling in Maryland!

Let me start my rant with a statement:

I don't believe slot machines alone will fix Maryland racing!

I have received a number of comments and e-mails from anti-slots groups/people in Maryland. They give me all the statistical information, and family values literature. I understand the take out and profit by the slot machine operators. I also understand the concerns about gambling addiction and how some people think gambling is immoral.

Now that I acknowledged that I understand your point, let me give you a little lesson about what is going on around you.

First, we already have plenty of legalized gambling in our great state. Has anyone heard of this thing called the lottery? Yes, this is state sanctioned gambling. We have the mid day Pick-3, Pick-4, we have the night version of the same games, and add on top of that the Mega Millions, and a host of others. One anonymous commenter a few weeks back tried to tell me that those are $1 bets once or twice a week. If you believe that, try buying a bag of chips at a 7-11 downtown. You will have to wait 5 minutes for the the clerk to walk away from the guy buying $50 in mid day Pick-3 tickets. People don't play the lottery for $1! Next lottery item to address is the all mighty "scratch off". This is instant lottery! Just like a slot machine. But unlike a slot machine, these tickets can be bought twenty-four hours a day at every deli, bodega, and convenience store. You can even buy them through vending machines! Once again, this is not a $1 ticket. They have everything from $1, $5, $10, and even $20 tickets. Then they ask you to save your losing tickets for a chance to win again. Finally, the state has the almighty Keno games. This is not instant lottery, you need to wait the whole 3 minutes between games. This is just a slower version of a slot machine. If you don't think the state needs the lottery, think again. It is the state’s third largest source of revenue after income and sales taxes.

Next we will move to the illegal gambling. How about those poker machines you see in every bar, bodega, and club/lodge or hall. You know the ones that say "For Amusement Only." This is a slot machine! One that is not taxed or regulated. Don't believe me, read the Abell Foundation Report [PDF] that shows how the state is losing $15 MILLION a year in uncollected taxes, and the owners of the machines are under reporting income by more than $63 MILLION a year. While having the poker machine discussion with a friend, he suggested that people would still go to the local tavern to play poker machines (if slots were legalized) . Do you think????? The slot machine have a much greater payout, and the drinks are free or cheap in the slot palace! Plus it is much nicer than the corner bar.

I would love to go on, about the Bingo parlors, pull tabs, and other illegal games, but I need to run. I did not have a chance to touch on the economic impact of slot machines (and the complementary businesses), or the new jobs that would be created.

I hope I made my point to all you anti-slot people that are e-mailing. But thanks for reading our blog and commenting. I guess this may be the last time you visit us!

1 comment:

Pjon10 said...

Baloo, Just the fact that your referenced a bodega not once but twice, means I will continue to visit your blog, I would hope that others would follow suit.


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