You know I have been, and continue to be, ok with having casino's in Kentucky. We send $300 million a year plus to surrounding states each and every year. They reap the benefits of our money with us not receiving a dime back for services that most complain about like addictions blah, blah, blah.
I admit I do not mind it, however, I do have a major problem with approving just slots and only at Churchill Downs for the benefit of horse race purses.
Sorry it just does not add up. Churchill, if you will recall, was totally against ANY casino gambling in the State just a few years ago. They did not want the competition. All of a sudden when they ruin their business, and yes many decisions made by Churchill have hurt their business, new slot machines are the savior of their existence.
Do we not ever wonder why they changed their mind? Would it coincide with the KEEP project headed by ex Governor, and known horseman, Brereton Jones and the political insiders? I believe it is relevant to look at that in the big picture.
While we are looking at the big picture let's look at some more effects from Churchill being the only game in town.
First they are not the only game in town.
We currently have legal gambling available in this State in a couple of different forms. One is the Kentucky Lottery that was sold as the savior to education and has not delivered on it's promise. After all these years of wasting education funds with no results we now continue to scream we need more money.
Education in 1996 accounted for 60% of the total budget. At that time the budget was approximately $9 billion. Today education still accounts for 60% of the budget. Today's budget is now $19 billion! So in essentially 12 fiscal years we have DOUBLED the amount of real dollars funding education. We overlook that when we see the failures.
What have we gained? We have proven that throwing money at the problem does not fix it. Political cronyism and poor decisions do and we continue saying thanks to them for destroying us by reelecting them.
Which brings me to this.
The second legal gambling option for us is Charitable gaming. Yep the bingo centers and others.
When you compare a slot machine to charitable gaming most, including me, do not make one connection. Those little pull tabs that cost a dollar at a bingo? They are paper slots. Seriously, open the tabs one at a time match 3 cherries, or lemons, or whatever, and you win. They have a guaranteed payout percentage and you are playing essentially slots.
The proceeds go where? To the local charities who sponsor the games.
This money goes back to the local communities to those who need it most. Not to the corporate profiteers who need it less. The State has changed the laws so much to eliminate the halls that charities today are suffering worse than ever. Thanks to an undue burden of profit required by law now, and the bingo police that frequent the centers with badges and guns scaring the patrons, our charities are dwindling down and in danger of being gone altogether..
I personally respect a charity that tries to succeed on its own by working to fund itself versus coming to us for a handout of our tax dollars.
So here is my official quotable slant on the situation.
Open casino gambling in a full blown way for all, not just slots at Churchill that will destroy our charitable gamers, or allow slots only but open up the licensing for ALL charitable gamers to get.
The benefit? A simple one.
This would eliminate the need for a new department funded by our tax dollars and filled with the friends of politicians. It would also level the playing field for all that are working for charitable purposes.
Put Churchill Downs under the same auspices that the charitable gamers in town have to adhere to.
No new department is needed one already exists. The Charitable Gaming Commission.
If it's good enough for the "slots" now existing for charitable gaming then it should be good enough for Churchill.
Of course they do not want this option. Churchill would then be required by law to return the same percentage to charity that the bingo centers and their tenants do.
They do not want to share they want to dominate. We subsidize enough.
Time to stand firm when they spend our tax dollars.
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