Sunday, August 26, 2007

Smart Plan Mr. Daniels..

Here's a dandy for you brought to you by the Daniels' administration:

His plan, and those supporting it, make it easier for the big business to make more money, while the Legions and VFW's and small business owners get their liquor licenses taken away and go out of business for having pull tabs and gambling devices.

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) -- Hoosier Park's plans to add 90,000 square feet to its building so it can install 2,000 new slot machines are in the home stretch.

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved the plans today. Anderson zoning officials gave their approval yesterday.

Commission director Joe Gorajec says the plan still must win final approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission. That panel has given preliminary approval.

The plan would more than double the interior space of the pari-mutuel horse track.

The Indiana General Assembly passed legislation this year that allows up to 2,000 slot machines at each of Indiana's two horse racing tracks. Tracks must pay an initial licensing fee of $250 million, with the first $150 million due November first.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Anonymous said...

Gosh, what are we going to do with all this money? Do more things for Indianapolis.

I am sure the money will be go to the right things. Of course my idea of right and the Gov's are not on the same radar screen.

Maybe he help me find a job at 58 years of age. Maybe he will find a way for me to pay for my wife's nearly $7000 single medicane bill a month. Maybe he will underwrite my former employer the increased insurance costs he was facing until he laid me off. Or maybe he will just spend it on feel good projects. Then my life will be better.

Andrew Kaduk said...


What exactly is wrong with the government making it easier for businesses to garner profit? What then is wrong with slot machines? It seems to me that as a "Libertarian," you should see this as a step in the right direction.

Surely you realize that the crackdown on "pull tabs" (which are absolutely retarded and will likely remain illegal) and Cherry Master machines (which are also rigged to screw the poor guy stuffing the money in) was simply to shrink the problem as much as possible before rolling out plans for legal gaming...

Your comments on this are more like those of a whiny socialist than a Libertarian. What's up with that?

This is pretty easy: Now that a legal precedent has been set by way of a variance to the law, why don't the VFW's and other goofy little "private social clubs" pool their resources and file a class-action lawsuit to get their own slot machine exemptions? The only folks who would fight it would be the horse track's win-win for the state.

Robert Enders said...

The one thing that we do have in common with socialists is consistency. What the state grants to one must be granted to all, what the state denies to one must be denied to all. I find nothing wrong with gambling, and from time to time you will see people bet lunch on this blog. But it is wrong for the state to forbid gas stations and VFW halls from having Cherry Masters while allowing large casinos to be built. It would be like if only college students were allow to snort cocaine.

Andrew Kaduk said...

Like I said before, the precedent will now exist and challenges to the existing law may be made. Sounds like a slam dunk to me. But, one must keep in mind that the horse tracks have already heavily invested in making this happen, and they will obviously continue to do so (those licensing fees are astronomical!), plus the revenues will be taxed, no doubt.

If the VFW's and other NFPOs want to pony up, let them. I'm sure the results will be parallel. The courts must (by law) allow them to make their case, and if they can provide the same controls and outcomes as the horse track people, they'll get a variance too.

Now, if you're suggesting that VFW's and the like should just be able to ride the coattails of the Horse Tracks without doing any of the work or spending any of the money, then that is a very socialist perspective.

Jonathan Bartels said...

The whole point is that a private business, big or small, shouldn't have to spend money lobbying the government to be allowed to do business. I think that a big casino should be allowed to invest their own money buying up land, hiring employees, and stick in some slots. I also think that a mom-and-pop store right here in Fort Wayne should be allowed to save up a few grand and do the same thing.

"If the VFW's and other NFPOs want to pony up, let them."

Uhh Andrew, do you know what VFW stands for?

Robert Enders said...

Freedom isn't something you buy. You either have it or you don't. Either everybody should be allowed to gamble, or no one should.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mitch Daniels' form of privatization is closer to communist than it is capitalist. In his mind, one must lobby/bribe the government to be allowed to provide services to the public. In this way, the government can hand pick which corporations get an advantage over others. If this isn't a distortion of the free market then I don't know what is.

This isn't just a one-time occurance for Daniels - ALL of his "privatization" plans look like they come from Mao's little red book...

Andrew Kaduk said...

Ok, yes, I know what VFW stands for, what's your point? Do you have one or were you just being rude? Am I mistaken in my categorization of the VFW as an NFPO?

Robert, I understand your viewpoint on freedom, but you're confusing anarchy with our current freedom, which is simply that we each have the freedom to use our time and resources to lobby "the system" to make changes to the existing set of rules and regulations. Yes, the horse track people have deep pockets and this has facilitated their variance. Big deal. I'm glad somebody is paving the way. Might as well be the people who already have legal gambling operations under way. Who else would you have expected to get this pushed through? Mechanics? Electricians? CNC technicians? Nurses? Hell, even in Vegas, the gaming commission must approve and license venues prior to any gambling taking place. The way I see it, the rest of us now know what it takes to make this happen in Indiana. Yay!

I guess I just don't understand the dismay over this.

Robert Enders said...

Ok. We can agree on a few things. It is good that at least somebody has the right to gamble. We also all agree that when white male property owners got the right to vote, that was a vast improvement over nobody having the right to vote. While universal sufferage would have been the ideal, white guy sufferage was significant progress towards that ideal.

Anarchy is the absence of any organized government. I have not and will not advocate anarchy. I push for less government, but I still want a government to protect me from those who wish to hurt or steal from me. A doctor might tell you to eat less, but he's not going to tell you to stop eating altogether.

Andrew Kaduk said...

I think you're missing the point by a wide margin here, Robert. Everybody does have the right to gamble. Right now, if you wish to gamble in Indiana, you need to go to a riverboat casino or a horse track.

I think what you're trying to say is that not every business has the right to simply set up a casino in their gas station, health club, daycare center or tavern.

You're treating "business" and "organization" as if they are synonymous with "citizen." Businesses are owned by citizens, but businesses are not literally citizens. Certainly you can make that distinction, right? And where is it written in the constitution that all entities of commerce and industry are afforded the same rights as individual humans?

Robert Enders said...

I agree that businesses do not have the same rights as citizens. Walmart can't vote, for example. But any right a business has, a citizen should have as well, except that you shouldn't be allowed to sell shares of yourself. I should have the right to run a blackjack table in my house. (assuming the neighborhood is properly zoned, but we can talk about zoning in another post.) I should have the right to have a side job as a bookie. I should have the right to start a small scale gambling operation with whatever I have in my checking account. I should not have to buy a $250 million license to do so.

Andrew Kaduk said...

Let me be hyperbolic for a second, if I may. Should a daycare center have the right to also offer auto body repair services or sell liquor? Should you be able to store toxic waste (for profit) in your back yard? Hell, even in Nevada you cannot legally operate a casino or blackjack table out of your home without jumping through the same hoops as the big-name casinos do. Why exactly would you expect it to be any different here?

Robert Enders said...

My rights end where yours begin. I am not allowed to store large amounts of toxic waste if it poses a threat to my neighbors. A daycare center cannot repair cars and babysit kids in the same room, since the kids might hurt themselves. But if I wanted to work on customers' cars in my garage while my life partner babysits in the living room, and store used motor oil in a leak proof container, then I should be allowed to do so.

Nevada makes you jump trough hoops to make money off of gambling because they are concerned about raising revenue, not your rights as a person.

Andrew Kaduk said...

The word "customers" is key. Once you have "customers," you are a business instead of a citizen. You are expected at that point to follow the set of rules set forth for businesses. If you continually push for the blending of business/personal rights, you will eventually come to a threshold at which businesses and citizens have the exact same rights, including Wal*Mart getting to vote, and Cingular and AT&T could file a joint tax return as a married couple.

Why exactly is it that you think that any Tom, Dick or Robert should be able to operate a for-profit gaming establishment out of their home without any regulation on the ops or taxation on the winnings/profit? Your own words were "I push for less government, but I still want a government to protect me from those who wish to hurt or steal from me. Now wouldn't you want the government then to regulate gambling in such a fashion that would prevent you from being hurt or robbed? Without regulation on gaming, there is a strong likelihood that either or BOTH of those things will happen to you. Without stringent checks on gaming licenses and establishments, caveat emptor takes on a much different and much more sinister meaning. The opportunities for fraud are astronomically high and virtually endless with a penny-ante gambling license. $250 million sounds OK to me. I doubt they'll screw a bunch of people over and skip town with THAT kind of investment at stake. Methinks that's the whole point...well, aside from the obvious government greed thing.

Robert Enders said...

Businesses merge. They don't have to get married. And name one person who has advocated giving corporations the right to vote.

I agree that people should pay taxes on gambling winnings. But the people who gamble illegally are not going to report their winnings. The state will gain a lot of revenue if gambling is legalized.

Traffic accidents kill more people than gambling does. I can do more damage to society with a steering wheel than I can with a rolette wheel. This is why the state regulates who can drive a car. The state should not bother regulating gambling.

What makes you think that $250 million is the right figure? Why not $100 million or $500 million?

Andrew Kaduk said...

Robert, I was being a smartass when I made the comment about businesses getting married, simply because throughout this dialog you have been licking your thumb and blurring the proverbial line between your rights as a human and your rights as a business proprietor. It really didn't require a response unless you actually think I'm dumb enough to advocate marriage ceremonies for businesses.

Nobody ever suggested that gambling kills people, but the mafia does and they used to basically run all of the gambling in many big cities. Is there really any question as to why gambling has a lingering stigma attached?

The state regulates gambling for money, the same reason the regulate car purchasing and selling, gasoline sales, check cashing (for profit), liquor sales....gambling is unique because there are actually no goods or services changing hands, just money and varying degrees of risk/reward.

$250 million is the right number because it's what the horse track people agreed to pay, and what the state agreed to receive in payment. See, now that wasn't so hard, was it? I personally believe that $250 million is a reasonable amount of collateral to ensure that the proprietors of the slot machines will not perpetuate fraud against their customers and skip town. I look at it as more of a bond, really.

Mike Kole said...

Andrew, Mafia is unnecessary when you have government doing the same thing.

The usual role of mafia is to make sure that the gambling operation has 'protection', the elimination of competition. Government fulfills that role here by selecting the horse tracks as the operator, taking it's vig, and keeping all other competition at bay.

I would argue, however, that when I go to Vegas to gamble, I am purchasing a service: entertainment. The game itself, win or lose, is miles of smiles for me. There are many services rendered where no material goods change hands, only money: psychiatric counseling, physical therapy, message and a host of others, gambling among them.

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