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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Back to basics

The whole world is going digital. Whether it's music or books or movies or this newspaper, you can get it faster and easier by just skipping the hardware. But here's one group that actually seeks to go the other way:

The differences between the electronic and standard table games are being portrayed to Indiana state lawmakers this year as one of life and death, with proponents of a bill that would allow racetrack table games saying they would add jobs while not substantially changing what the racetracks already offer.

"All we're doing is taking that table, taking it off the electronic format and putting on a different table top, and putting a live person behind it," said Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville, one of the lawmakers behind the legislation.

Eberhart calls the gambling bill the biggest "jobs" measure lawmakers can pass this session, based on the assessment Indiana Grand would hire roughly 600 new workers to man new table games. And he dismisses critics who call it an expansion of gaming.

"We're not adding any additional games, we're just changing the format, and I just think it's disingenuous for people to call it an expansion of gaming," he said.

I suppose technically it isn't an "expansion" of gambling, since they'd just be changing the way existing games are offered. But I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be in a hurry to try this unless they thought it would bring in more gamblers or get the same number of gamblers to waste more of their money.

And give the gaming pros credit for recognizing something that tends to get glossed over in our mad rush to digitize evverthing: The look and sound and smell and touch of something we've gotten immersed in are important parts of the experience. The click of chips and the snap of cards on felt are part of what makes poker an enjoyable experience. It's a lot more convenient to do a lot of reading on electronic devices, so I do it, but there's no substitute for the actual feel of a book in your hands as you turn the pages. Actually picking a vinyl record off the turntable so you can flip it over to play the other side provides a dinstinct pleasure you can never get through streaming downloads.


Lois Marquart
Mon, 04/01/2013 - 9:17am

I'm with you! I even read your newspaper hands on.

Leo Morris
Mon, 04/01/2013 - 9:28am

This ink-stained wretch says, "Bless you."