Where's our lottery? | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 5, 2007

Where's our lottery?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2007 at 8:55 AM

Lunch speaker at the Clinton School today is Michael Nelson, a poli-sci prof at Rhodes College in Memphis, who'll talk about "Why Arkansas Doesn't Have Casinos or a lottery." It's open to the public.

(Nelson apparently doesn't count a collection of video poker machines, poker tables, video blackjack, wagering parlors, and coin-operated machines that pay off when certain combinations of numbers appear -- none dare call these games of skill slot machines -- as casinos. If he did, he'd note we have racinos in West Memphis and Hot Springs.)

Nelson  is author of "How the South Joined the Gambling Nation," reviewed by Bob Lancaster last week. Lancaster's take on Arkansas's lagging in gambling action is a little more colorful than Nelson is likely to be:

Arkansas sucks hind teat insofar as latter-day gambling proceeds because we have a unique coalition of Baptists and political liberals who steadfastly slap down every gambling proposal that comes along – most of them, it must be admitted, eminently deserving of being slapped down. We wouldn't even have horse-racing (or dog-racing) if we hadn't been dead-ass dirt-eating broke during the Depression, and our race tracks certainly wouldn't be sporting all these games-of-skill-ha-ha slot machines today if the gamblers hadn't finally learned that half a loaf from a bought legislature is better than the diddly-squat they were going to get by the initiative route.

But speaking of gambling, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter's lottery initiative continues apace. Someday, a spokesman swears, he'll to talk to me about what form of games this lottery might include. Yes, it will be up to the legislature to decide this and predicting that future is uncertain. But as our own attorney general has noted, you could define a lottery as just about any game of chance. If a state that makes gambling unconstitutional can legalize blackjack, poker and "lock-and-load" as games of skill, you can imagine what the state legislature could do with unlimited gambling powers. Maybe a state casino worthy of Monaco. The backers at least ought to express what form the games should take as some kind of guidance for what is to come.

Other questions about the lottery: Where will the money come to get it up and running? How much will that cost? How much money will the big game sellers spend on which politicans to curry favor? And a whole lot more, including a hard look at the likely return and what impact that will have on the legislature's willingness to dig deep for educational purposes.


From the ArkTimes store


Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Bipartisan deal to continue subsidies Trump ended. But ...

    Everyone's reporting that Sens. Patty Murray and Lamar Alexander have struck a bipartisan deal on to continue federal subsidies for health coverage that Donald Trump cut off.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • Tuesday: Open line, news roundup

    The open line, plus the day's news roundup.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • James Lee Witt corrects Trump on grade for Puerto Rico relief effort

    Donald Trump twice yesterday used James Lee Witt, Bill Clinton's widely hailed FEMA director and now in the private business of assisting in disasters, as a reference on the work he's done responding to hurricanes this year. Media, particularly on the conservative end, have echoed the Trump remarks.But hold on: Witt wasn't talking about Puerto Rico.
    • Oct 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge Griffen: Why black lives matter

    Another few words from Judge Wendell Griffen growing from the controversy over the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the state black history museum — removed by the administration and restored after protests from Griffen and others stirred by a story in the Arkansas Times:
    • Mar 13, 2016
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation