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Opening Arguments

Ante up

Anybody still think the state is going to hold the line on expansion of gambling? A legislative panel was told this week that if Kentucky and Ohio go ahead with casino proposals and if Michigan OKs an expansion of its gambling, Indiana could lose as much aqs $250 million a year:

State lawmakers worried about how to cope with losing such a massive chunk of the $900 million Indiana collects annually from the state's 13 casinos are now considering proposals to bolster an industry that has been a budgetary cash cow.

One possibility mentioned Monday was allowing land-based gambling. Dingman said if lawmakers elect to allow land-based casinos . . .

[. . .]

When Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry asked the panel to recommend that his city's residents vote on a casino there, it underscored Indiana's reliance on the gambling industry in spite of all its troubles.

Even as competition grows and the casino business becomes less profitable, and even as opponents warned that a Fort Wayne casino would bring crime and bankruptcies to the area, Henry said he would vigorously pursue a casino and the jobs it could bring.

Guess the mayor has decided to stop being coy about his support for a casino, huh? I doubt if he even believed anybody believed him when he kept saying that all he wanted was for people here to have a say. There's no need for them to have a say if the mayor doesn't support a casino. Don't hold a referendum, and there won't be a casino. (That's Fort Wayne people who should have a say. The mayor made it pretty clear at the meeting that he doesn't give a rip if county voters have a say or not.)

And by the way, why does lost gambling revenue have to be replaced with more gambling revenue? If you've become too dependent on something, isn't the thing to do to diversify? Wasn't that the economic lesson we were supposed to have learned from the devastation Fort Wayne endured with the loss of Harvester?

UPDATE: Here are the mayor's prepared remarks for the gaming study committee. For a further indication of jus


Bob G.
Tue, 10/20/2009 - 11:10am

...And here I thought GAMBLING meant living (and dying) on the SE side of Fort Wayne...what was I thinking?

At least a CASINO would bring all the crime into a better "perspective", much like Atlantic City, eh?


john b. kalb
Tue, 10/20/2009 - 8:12pm

Think about the gambling in Fort Wayne 50 years ago:

The neighborhood Roman Catholic Church financed it's ministries by holding bingo games - where the majority of participants were parish members - in effect these parishioners were financially supporting their church by gaming instead of making contributions at mass.

Our veterans organizations had dice games, pull tabs and other gambling in their clubs - which were open only for members. So, again, the veterans were financing their club by gambling instead of paying higher dues.

Guess what? Since government wasn't getting any of the "take", they came up with "legal" methods to gamble, but included a provision that they "take some out of every pot" to help finance our expanded government!

How about we just get rid of the unnecessary government intervention into the citizen's freedom. The growth of government, especially since 1933, always with the mantra, "It's for your own good - look what we have done for (or is it TO) you!".

Relying on gambling for support of the cost of governing has always been looked at as a "slippery-slope" - just as Indiana is seeing right now, it cannot be relied on in future times - it always decreases in amount when you can least afford it. But then as our Indiana Attorney-General stated to the legislative study committee in the last week, "Follow the Money" to see who is going to benefit the most from an expansion of gaming in our town. You might be surprised.

Bob G.
Wed, 10/21/2009 - 8:31am

You make some damn fine points, especially about government OVER-intervention into every single aspect of our lives...

I could tell you stories about how A.C. has "prospered" thanks to casinos...as well as those still waiting for positive change in that city.
And "slippery" doesn't even begin to describe that slope.
(the word TEFLON comes to mind for some reason - zero traction)


tim zank
Wed, 10/21/2009 - 8:39am

Bottom line: Whenever the Government gets involved, it will be a "cluster-fark", with out any exceptions.