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

Dealer's choice

Jeez, how cheesy can the state get?

 Indiana is forcing a senior center to stop offering prizes for card games in which residents pay a few dollars to play, saying the packages of cookies or toilet paper offered to winners makes the euchre games gambling.

Judy Elton, director of the Delaware County Senior Citizens Center in Muncie, said the Indiana Gaming Commission contacted her early last week. She said the center will comply with state law and stop offering prizes.

Someone called (the state) and was concerned," Elton said. "If you pay to play and win prizes, that's considered gambling. We thought that only applied to cash prizes. These people only win a pack of toilet paper or a can of peaches."

Actually, the first phrase I thought of wasn't cheesy; it was "chicken s---," and now that I think about it, it's a much better description. The state rakes in millions from its own lottery and putting its imprimatur on casinos, and it's going to hassle a bunch of senior citizens for competing for toilet paper and peaches? Gambling is a vice. When the state both promotes vice and tries to crack down on it, it loses the moral authority it needs to be taken seriously.

I read in a later story that, well, shucks, we never really intended to take any action against the senior center. Oh, swell. Instead of enforcing a law that has no moral authority, we'll just ignore it . . . when we choose to. Yeah, right, that makes it all better.