Jerry Cox was right | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jerry Cox was right

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 5:54 AM

The Family Council boss is heard from on the expansive gambling plans of the new lottery director. He's right. The law apparently allows -- and does so with the clear desire of controlling legislators -- far more types of gambling than you typically think of when you think of a lottery. This particularly caught my eye today, a passage in a Stephens Media article about the law's permission of "video monitor" games, but not "video lottery" terminals.

[Lottery director Ernie] Passailaigue said Tuesday that in the lingo of the industry, a video lottery game is different from a monitor game. He said a video lottery game requires the player to make decisions during play, such as deciding which cards to keep or discard, whereas a monitor game is simply a matter of picking numbers, with the outcome decided purely by chance — though the game may be built around a “concept” such as Texas hold ‘em.

A pure chance play from sticking a coin in a video machine? Sounds an awful lot like a slot machine to me. And it's now legal under state franchise at bars, convenience stores, etc. across Arkansas? The high irony is that we now have state-approved gambling machines at Oaklawn and Southland under the thin argument that they are "games of skill," as proved by decisions made by players to keep or discard cards in poker and blackjack.

UPDATE: Blogger Jason Tolbert analyzes the box full of gambling Pandoras loosed when regulatory commissions get into the gambling business -- first the Racing Commission and now the Lottery Commission.

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