Time to Legalize Gambling

December 14, 2016

Native American reservations being sovereign territory have become ideal venues for gambling interests to fund Nevada like casinos and attract those who enjoy the games which offer little reward to the player. The Indians have gone so far as to resurrect near nonexistent tribes close to large cities to better attract customers. Behemoths sprout from the reservation soil and the people come to place their money on the table or in those hungry cash cow machines. These casinos were and are backed by investors with non Indian backgrounds and I think it is time that we revisit the way we look at legalized gambling.

Even though gambling is legal in three states, Nevada, Mississippi and New Jersey, events like horse racing, dog racing, Jai Ali, off track betting at state approved locations, slot machines, the lottery, scratch off games and card rooms are legal in many states. These various forms of gambling provide huge amounts of revenue for the casino operators, Native Americans, and the government.

Individuals that take bets off track are called bookies. There is no control or regulation and business is good. These are crimes subject to statute and carry penalties of jail time and fines. This makes little sense given the many forms of gambling that are legal today. If gambling was made legal and oversight provided these now illegal operators would be put out of business by approved off track wagering locations like the lottery is today. The positive result, a tremendous boost to the economy. It’s obvious that the demand is there so why do we think that making these operations illegal is taking the moral high ground?

I am currently living in South Florida and Thorough Bred horses, trotters, dogs, poker rooms, off track betting, bingo machines ( slots), lottery and I don’t know how many rotating scratch off ticket games are legal but gambling is still illegal.

Frankly, I just don’t get it. It gets better.

The Seminoles have sovereign nation status and have seven casinos in Florida, two which are Hard Rock sites. The Seminoles have made enough from their action in Florida that they purchased the entire Hard Rock Franchise. That includes Las Vegas

Till this year all the approved gaming venues in Florida had slots called bingo machines and poker. This year the governor entered into a pact with the Seminoles giving them the right to Blackjack, Las Vegas style slots, Baccarat, Pai Gow, Three Card Poker and Let It Ride. For this privilege and entering into the compact the Seminoles will pay 100 million dollars per year. Not bad but giving a severe disadvantage to the other non Seminole venues and consequently drawing business from those that are now less competitive.

The good governor had the states interest in mind when he did this but the Florida State Supreme Court looked at it differently. The Supreme Court of Florida ruled that the governor had exceeded his authority. So now they litigate but the Hard Rock continues to operate the games. The other state approved casinos not under the Seminole umbrella are still working at a serious disadvantage. This is not unlike, if I may, giving big chain like Wal-Mart the right to sell certain popular goods and banning other retailers from selling the same merchandise giving the big player another leg up.

I am perplexed at the fact that all of this goes on with the approval of the government and they still look at gambling as an illegal venture.

I think it is time that gambling is legalized and managed in select areas to allow those adults who do enjoy gaming to do so and enriching not only the operators, creating employment but giving a big advantage to the states. I look at the condition of a lot of schools and wonder where is all of that lottery money going? I think the ticket manufacturer is the real winner there.

I do believe that if gambling is made legal the revenue should be targeted directly to education and higher education. We should not in any way give the politicians free reign over the funds as we have seen how silly they act when they have excess capitol just laying around.

Gambling is the one form of adult entertainment that I have never heard a player say that the gaming taxes are too high. When you observe the Seminoles not only buying the entire Hard Rock franchise for $80,000,000 ( 80 million dollars) and shortly there after were able to commit to the State of Florida for $100,000,000 (that’s one hundred million) for the first year of operating with the new games I would think there is more than enough to go around.

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