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

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: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

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…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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