Q&A Friday #2: Gambling?

Question: “Here in Maryland we just had a raging debate between our Republican Governor and Democratic State Senate on whether or not to allow slots at a select few sites, pretty much all of which were horse-racing sites where betting already takes place legally. Our Governor, elected pretty much because of his stance on this issue (for slots) was defeated by the old Dem horses in the Senate. What are your thoughts on slots? Should they be made legal? And if so, to what capacity? Unlimited? Only in certain spots? I’d be interested to find out your view, as I’ve found differing views from even the Republicans around me.” — davidslenk

Answer: I understand why some people have a problem with gambling in general and slots in particular. Gambling addictions have destroyed a lot of lives, seedy characters and gambling go together like cheese & crackers, and in effect, gambling becomes a voluntary tax for poor people who don’t understand how heavily the odds are stacked against them.

But, in the scope of things, compared to a hundred other issues, I just don’t see gambling as all that big of a deal. So, if a convenience store wants to make a few extra bucks by putting in a video poker machine, the state wants to raise revenue by running a lottery, horse racing, or slots, or even if a church wants to fill up the coffers by running bingo, it suits me just fine.

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