Gambling fever | Arkansas Blog

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gambling fever

Posted By on Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 6:01 AM

The expected bill has been filed to deregulate "charity" bingo. The end of taxation, regulation and other limits on bingo parlors would produce exactly what the lawless operators wanted to achieve with legalization of charity bingo -- an eventual return of the status quo without fear of prosecution.

And on another gambling front: Dream on, Family Council. The Arkansas lottery will include participation in Powerball and other multistate games with huge payouts whether you like it or not. Voters would riot otherwise.

The article on the Family Council's soon-to-be-ignored demands about the lottery included a poignant description of Lt. Gov. Bill Halter curbing his comments about the lottery in a public appearance. The legislature has chastened him. They are jealous of their powers, no doubt. But love the lottery or hate it, legislators wouldn't be figuring out how to carve up money from this game were it not for Bill Halter. Period. He deserves more than a voiceless seat at the table.

And one more gambling thing: I notice in the D-G's coverage of Oaklawn Park's opening that the race track writer persists in using the track's euphemism for its video poker and blackjack machines -- "electronic games of skill devices." They are gambling machines. Slot machines, really. They have slots in which you put coins or bills that are returned at a rate less than that at which they are inserted, no matter how "skillful" the gambler. The delicacy of phrasing, though a PR service to Charles Cella's racino, is an affront to the language.

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