Monday, October 31, 2011

Just say no to more predatory gambling.

Here's a follow up story by Doug Grow of MinnPost to the legislators' press conference opposing the expansion of gambling to fund a new Vikings' stadium.

He notes the suggested expansion of "charitable" gambling.
Best bet on a special session?

Dayton will call it. There will be a piece of legislation — calling for a myriad of user taxes to be applied to the stadium — and it will be voted down. There will be a series of amendments, proposing such things as gaming to fund the project.

A source for charitable gaming said today that he thinks that one form of gambling — pull tabs in bars and bar bingo — could slide through. The charitable gambling crowd believes it could substantially improve its business and therefore its contribution to the state if a bill allowing electronic pull tabs and bingo was passed.

Currently, charitable gaming puts about $40 million annually into the state general fund. Supporters of electronic forms of the old games believe that amount could double.

Even though this measure has support from a handful of powerful legislators, it seems unlikely it could wiggle through a special session.
Gambling interests want to expand gambling whether the Vikings stadium is in play or not. Again, Minnesota needs less gambling not more. Expanding gambling to pay for the stadium simply creates more social problems. Legislators should find some other revenue source if they want to help the Vikings build a new stadium.

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