Gambling With Our Countryís Future

 

As a citizen of the great state of Alabama I get to enjoy many things. I enjoy getting to drive to Tennessee, Georgia, or Florida to buy a lottery ticket. I also get to enjoy driving to Mississippi should I want to play a slot machine. Like many other states, the laws concerning the lottery and slot machines in Alabama are just a bit narrow minded and short sighted, to say the least. As a state we are bordered on three sides by states that have the lottery and the other side is bordered by a state with casinos. Those wishing to play the lottery obviously do so. They simply drive to another state to do it. Anyone wanting a trip to the casino simply makes the drive west and wagers away in Mississippi. So, why isnít everyone happy? Because these other four states are making all of the money that the citizens of Alabama are spending on recreational gambling. 

The thing that should be illegal in Alabama is not the gambling. It should be the contributions that the businesses in other states make to the political campaigns of those that oppose gambling in Alabama. Time after time we have watched as special interest groups control our elections to keep Alabama money pouring into these other four states. The real shame is that much of this is done with the religious right. Gambling is nowhere near as an unforgivable sin as pretending to oppose gambling in the name of the Lord while you are lining your pockets with money made from gambling. If there is a Hell our last governor will have a seat reserved for his antics concerning gambling. If there is not a Hell we should build one for him and his gambling task force cronies.  

Enough of that, I believe the problem has been well defined. Now it is time to address the solution. It seems to me that our federal government is having money problems. We are constantly hearing that we are going to have to cut government programs, or raise taxes, or both. I think you may see where I am going here. First of all, letís have a federal lottery. The tickets could be sold in Post Offices. Post Offices are U. S. government installations so state or local laws cannot be enforced without the request of postal officials. I donít believe that any postmasters are going to request that a local agency come and arrest them for selling lottery tickets. Lotteries make money. The federal government would get this money. They could take this money from those that willingly want to play the lottery. This makes much more sense than raising everyoneís taxes. 

The next step would be to build government owned casinos. Make these casinos government installations and follow the same train of thought as on the lottery. The great thing about this would be that not only would it generate revenue for the government, it would also create jobs. Every city with a population of over 100,000 people should be within a two hour drive of a casino. They would be now if the state and local laws permitted it. If you build it they will come. Iíve never seen an empty casino unless it was closed.  

To make money the government likes taxing things that we enjoy doing. They know that we will keep doing these things so they just keep going up on the taxes. Cigarettes and alcohol are two prime examples, and now they are going to tax soda. Why donít they give the people that want to gamble the opportunity to do so and make money from the proceeds of their enjoyment? It seems to fall in line with the usual mode of thinking. I believe they just havenít thought of it yet. 

If you think this is a good idea; tell your federal lawmakers. If you think itís a bad idea; you're probably one of those self righteous hypocrites that we referred to earlier. As always, if you want to tell me what you think; send an email to okthen@onnnow.com  . 

Thanks for your consideration, 

Chief Editor 

ONN

 
 

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