Tuesday, October 27, 2009

VLT'S VERSUS CHARITABLE GAMING: THE FIX IS IN

For quite some time now I have been an advocate for full blown casino gambling and that will not change. Recently, however, I have been inundated with negative information about Video Lottery Terminals (VLT's) that our Governor and his lobbyist buddies in Frankfort want for the horse industry. I can only put it this way.

No way, shape, or form will I go along with that program.

The facts are that we have constantly been bombarded with misleading information over the years about how the VLT's will save the long declining horse industry by funneling money into purses and making us more competitive with other tracks.

One word. Hogwash.

Our economy is in a free fall and money is not available for gambling as it has been in years past. This is the crux of the problem.

With that being said it is relevant to point out that since revenues have declined the pressure for putting VLT's at horse tracks has been steadily increased. There has been an orchestrated plan in place over the last few years to essentially try and force us to believe this misleading rhetoric.

Knowing that there are limited amounts of gambling money available to go around the plan has been to eliminate any organization that is in direct competition for those dollars. One of the biggest is Charitable Gaming.

My problem essentially is that we are putting Charities out of business and that is something we can ill afford to do. The "race" for slots at race tracks has escalated in recent years with the promise that this will increase revenues for the State and help us all. False promises of better with VLT's at race tracks has divided many. But who does this help?

We The People who are trying to help ourselves through organized fundraising with charities, instead of looking for handouts, are being thrown to the wayside by our own government interference and control. The Bingo Gestapo shows up at Halls with badges and guns to intimidate and harass paying patrons.

Why you may ask?

Simply this. Intimidation works and keeps players from playing. Why would they do this you may ask? Thanks to the undue burden of profits placed upon charities today by the government gestapo called the Charitable Gaming Commission less players means less revenues. Less revenues make it harder to show a 40% profit for the charity. When you fall below that margin you are out of business.

What other business has a mandatory profit margin placed upon them like this? Even a volunteer cannot receive tips from winners. What other business does not allow volunteers to receive tips? It is an insult to each of us that we allow these idiots to control us like this. Why would anyone even volunteer to work at a charitable event like a bingo to support their charity and be treated like a criminal?

Look at the players and lobbies involved. Hell the KEEP project is headed by none other than ex Governor Brereton Jones who is a horseman himself. Gee anyone wonder why he wants VLT's?


Talk about an inside "track."

When you cannot get workers you go out of business. Someone has to do the job. Yep one more way to force us into line by the lobbyist and so called elected "leaders" who want their will to be done, or their pockets lined with lobby money, regardless of us.

When you go out of business where do you go?

Why the government of course asking for help for your charity. One more way the idiots force us to depend on them. Where does the government go when they need more money? Why us of course and usually without permission to take it.

I don't know about you but I myself am sick of this type mentality.

I admit I like casino's on occasion. I admit I bet the horses on occasion. I admit I play bingo on occasion. Sue me but I believe in a general realization as I believe most do.

I go to Churchill Downs to bet the horses and watch them run. That's what horsemen do. I go to bingo to play the game of chance on a numbered sheet. I go to casino's to play the one armed bandit or blackjack.

I believe most choose to spend their money at one place or the other and generally are not going to watch horses and play one armed bandits while doing so. Even Churchill Downs with their night racing this year brought in more bodies but not much more revenue.

Why is that? Because people were just looking for some place new to go not necessarily looking to bet on horses. THAT is the problem not charitable gaming. Horse racing has lost its allure over the years for many.

Yet if the horse racing industry is so far gone why did they post profits?

Tell the elected leaders we have had enough of big brother telling us what is best for us and allow us to decide that for ourselves. Cramming a one way plan down our throats is not the way to go.

Your thoughts?

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Ed Springston

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