May 04, 2004
I scream, you scream, we all scream for slot machines

It's a moot point now, but I think Jim D is exactly right here.

Permitting gambling in some places, but not others, is going to (and right ought to) unleash a torrent of "me too"-ism from cities and counties left out of the rain.

The reason that Governor Perry's original proposal to allow slot machines only at dog and pony tracks wasn't because there was some grand moral justification for allowing "limited" gambling, but because those places had the clout to harness the prevailing political winds. Why not let the Kemah Boardwalk get some slot action? How about cruise ships and their embarking/disembarking areas? Hell, why not the neighborhood pub? Why should I, as a conscientious supporter of the public schools, have to go to Gulf Greyhound Park to throw my coins into the slots?

I can see arguments for wanting to limit where slot machines can be installed, but I can't see why the boundary has to be at racetracks. If slots were going to be the gold mine that their proponents claimed, I don't agree that only one small group of businesses should be the beneficiaries. And even if I was convinced that the only-at-racetracks idea was the best one, I'm very much not convinced that the pressure to extend this manna to the have-nots would be resistable for long by the Lege. I suppose it's just as well that we won't be finding out any time soon.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 04, 2004 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack