ProJo Editors: Confused on Gambling

Ian Donnis points to the ProJo editorial pushing for an override of the Governor’s veto of the most recent Casino ballot question and reminds us that, not so long ago, the ProJo was decidedly anti-casino. Ian puts the change in the ProJo’s stance towards gambling at around 2006 and some digging in the AR archives supports that. Back in 2006, I posted on the aforementioned ProJo switcheroo and that post had an addendum re-stating the research done by Dan Yorke, who looked at previous casino-related ProJo editorials:

“Just Say No to Casino” 1994 – Against the economics of it vs. other options.
“No Casino” November 6, 1994 – About the inherent corruption around casinos.
“Vote No in West Warwick” June 1999 – Money spent by RIers in a casino will go out of state.
“Allow Vote on Casino” – June 6, 2000 – A big casino will raise cost of public services (police, fire), hurt local businesses, hurt the quality of life and send $ out of state. But voters should decide.
“Put Casino to Vote” June 20, 2004 – Harrah’s casino would hurt RI, create a net outflow of $ and potentially fuel corruption. But voters should decide.

Their most recent editorial essentially says that while there is a lot of bad stuff and serious unanswered questions with the casino ballot question they still support it. (Kind of like what they said about the recent health care reform, incidentally). But they then argue that the General Assembly should return from their break, make some fixes and override the Governor’s veto for fear of losing gambling revenue to Massachusetts. Confused.

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12 years ago

Nevada has knocked out Michigan and now has the title of worst state in the nation for unemployment at 14% according to latest statistics from the Bureau of labor Statistics. In each of the three major gambling metropolitan areas of Nevada unemployment was 13.2% or more during May 2010.
Rhode Island in May 2010 dropped to 4th worst state in nation for unemployment at 12.3% behind California, Michigan and Nevada. Rhode Island has shown slight employment improvement with unemployment rates trending downward now equal to the percentage rate of October 2009.
Rhode Island is ranked number 1 in the nation 2007 with Lottery and gambling sales with annual average per capita of $1,712.82 according to a study done by the Tax Foundation.
Lottery and gambling relies on people having disposable funds to play games of chance. If the population does not have the disposable funds to play then the lottery and gambling receives no income. The state of Rhode Island should not be tying state budget funding requirements to variable games of chance income.
A look at Nevada and all other states that are heavy into lottery and gambling should provide a clear picture of what not to do.

Claud Samra
Claud Samra
10 years ago

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