Friday, June 27, 2014

There's gambling; and then there's Oaklawn. Meet the hypocrites

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 7:10 AM

CHA-CHING: Follow the money to Oaklawn for opposition to lottery gambling expansion.
  • CHA-CHING: Follow the money to Oaklawn for opposition to lottery gambling expansion.

Shazam. The rest of the media world has discovered the fight to limit the Arkansas lottery is being driven by lobbyists for the Oaklawn casino in Hot Springs, which doesn't want competition from state keno-style parlors popping up all over the place.

I loved the quote in the D-G this morning from Sen. Bill Sample of Hot Springs, Oaklawn's toady and the sponsor of the legislation that dramatically expanded gambling options for Oaklawn in 2013 with on-line wagering.

Sample is one of the hypocrites who supports the bill to limit lottery gambling options but supports Oaklawn's slot machines and its recent expansion into on-line wagering. Sample professes to be concerned about preying on the poor. As I noted yesterday, casinos are increasingly bleeding the poor for their profit margins.

Sample says of the electronic monitor games: 

Money that should buy food and help educate children gets gambled away instead, he said. "And it could be just a moral conviction, but I've got a problem with that."

Sample said he draws a distinction between people who gamble at Oaklawn Park, and people who gamble with the lottery.

"Maybe I shouldn't. I have never seen anybody walk by Oaklawn that gets [dragged] in."

Dishonest or stupid? You choose. Video poker, readily available at the Oaklawn casino, has been shown to be crack-like in addicting gamblers. They have video monitors all over the place for poker, craps, you name it. And nobody drags people into the convenience stores selling lottery tickets either. To listen to Bill Sample, you'd think Oaklawn casino players are just spending a little extra cash, not imperiling baby's formula or diapers. (Why does that quote remind of the small child found abandoned for hours in the Oaklawn parking lot while mama gambled inside?)

The difference is the lobbying force. Oaklawn pays the likes of Ted Mullenix's firm big dollars to rope legislators in to help Oaklawn and hurt its competitors. If you don't think wining and dining works, check out the huge sums Mullenix spends on it. I'll remind you again that Mullenix was the leading opponent of the constitutional amendment to end lobbyist-paid legislative hog slopping.

Legislators can gamble away their paycheck and still eat because Ted Mullenix will feed them.

But back to the hypocrites on the push to get a bill added to the legislative session to prevent the lottery from adding video monitor games in which gamblers can place a new bet every few minutes:

The governor has been given a list of state representatives who purportedly support the bill. Let's compare that list (and some on it are now saying they weren't on board) with those who voted to expand gambling for the owners of the Oaklawn casino. Let's call it Hypocrite Watch.

REPUBLICANS

Altes
Barnett
Bell
Bragg
Branscum
Burris
Carnine
Clemmer
Cozart
Davis
Deffenbaugh
Douglas, D.
Farrer
Fite
Gossage
Hammer
Harris
Hickerson
Hopper
Hutchison
Jean
Kerr
Lea
Malone
Meeks, D.
Meeks, S.
Rice
Scott
Shepard
Slinkard
Westerman
Womack

DEMOCRATS

Baine
Baltz
Dickinson
Fielding
Hawthorne
Hillman
Holcomb
Kissia
Lampkin
Lenderman
McElroy
Overbey
Ratliff
Steel
Talley
Vines
Wardlaw
Wilkins
Word
Wright

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Dexter Suggs resigns as Little Rock school superintendent

    This just in from state Education Department: Today, Commissioner Johnny Key reached an agreement with Dr. Dexter Suggs that resulted in Dr. Suggs’ immediate resignation as superintendent of the Little Rock School District.
    • Apr 21, 2015
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • More legal headaches for Dexter Suggs

    Dexter Suggs may have cleared out his office before the workday began today, but he still has lingering legal matters as defendant in lawsuits against him and the state.
    • Apr 21, 2015

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation