What a Shock: Casinos Want More

Next, at 11: The State House authorizes cigarette companies to promote their products in high schools. State Representatives say that the move is necessary to increase revenue from Cigarette taxes.

A top Democrat will introduce legislation early next year that could legalize poker, blackjack and other table games in the state's new casinos, legislative staffers said yesterday.

Just two weeks after the first slots parlor opened in Pennsylvania, and surprising even Democratic allies, State Rep. Bill DeWeese (D., Greene), the House minority leader, acknowledged that he was drafting a bill that could turn the state's planned slots parlors into full-fledged casinos.

.....

The goal of the bill would be to have all 14 licensees become eligible for table games to ward off competition from surrounding states, such as West Virginia, which are considering expanding from slot machines to full casino gambling.

"It used to be that slots made up 85 percent of [a casino's] business. But that's no longer the case anymore," Manzo said. "We can generate significantly more dollars for property taxes."

I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

So, let's recap- last week, the State House passed a bill that would amend the PA liquor law to allow Casinos to give gamblers as much free alcohol as they want. These Casinos are largely supposed to be for commuters, right? (Remember the argument for something like Trump is that people from the W. suburbs will come.) So, now, in a place that doesn't pretend to have hotel rooms, etc, the State House wants to make it legal to get the gamblers nice and plowed. They get drunk, they lose more money, and hey, if they contribute to increasing the number of deaths from drunken driving, well too bad! Show us the money!

Now, we get Bill DeWeese, our soon to be Majority Leader, telling us that for revenue sake, we have to put in full casinos, not just slots. What. A. Surprise. At this point, I don't particularly give two shits what games they have in the Casino. What I care about is the total dishonesty that has been a part of the process from the beginning. They knew that they were going to expand from slots, despite denials. But despite that, they simply kept on lying through their teeth on behalf of one of the more repugnant industries there are.

Awesome.

Casinos are not the answer. They extract wealth, not create it.

The more casinos, the more poverty.

Casinos benefit the owner operators more than the city or state citizens. It saddens me that we continue to impoverish this country. Philadelphia will become poorer.

There is a reason why Donald Trump wants you to play in the casino. Funny, you will never seem him play or his wife, nor his kids either. But he wants you and your family to play.

Study money and I guarantee, you will never step inside a casino again.

("Donald, start creating wealth for society, rather than taking it. You talk about God in one of your books, yet I wonder if God would be happy, about you building another casino?")

Bye RoyLS.
-----------------------------------
Roy M. Philip, Philosopher from Philadelphia
Author of "Don't Get Hustled: On a Higher Level"
http://www.lulu.com/royls

I know everyone's hyped about 2007...

...but this is a good example of how few resources progressives have to spread around. We need to elect better city government, but we really need to also set up a system of constituent accountability that will stop our newly-minted Democratic majority from doing dumb shit like this.

Dan's right that this not a shock, but it is damn bold to make this move so fast. And leaving aside the moral implications, there's just no evidence that suggests that full-fledged casinos help cities and/or the state make net revenue gains.

quick update

Fast Eddie will veto it.

But, the idea that as we might be taking over- this of all things is what our Democratic leader is focused on, is a little bizarre.

And don't forget transit funding

In case you didn't see my post in another thread, the House Democratic Leadership is saying privately that they will not support tax increases...so that their new members aren't defeated in 2008 by casting an unpopular vote.

No tax increases means no dedicated funding for transit.

No dedicated funding for transit means massive fare increases and service cuts and SEPTA heading into a death spiral of declining riders and declining revenues.

The Transit Coalition will, I'm sure, be active in pushing Speaker DeWeese to change his tune. In the meantime, tell those new representatives you elected that we worked for them to solve problesm not duck them.

Sales Tax

I thought I read something yesterday that said DeWeese was supporting an increase in the sales tax to cut property taxes? Does anyone know anything about this?

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http://benwaxman.com

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