Posted by Rojas @ 11:40 pm on July 26th 2007

Big Brother needs a new pair o’ shoes

Bob Weeks, whose Wichita Liberty is one of the most consistently excellent Libertarian blogs out there, notes that the Kansas state government has once again reversed itself on gambling. The state, which at one point endorsed a neo-Christianist position opposing gambling of any kind, has edged away from that position incrementally over the last two decades, and has recently endorses the operation of slot machines and other casino games at some specific racetracks–provided, of course, that all the games are owned by the state.

Bob nails the rationale for the switch:

More importantly, what has changed this year that would cause the state to allow us to gamble in casinos? What has happened that would cause this activity, formerly considered a vice by the state, to be allowed and even desired?

The answer is simple: the anticipation of millions of dollars in new revenue for the state to spend. It is for that reason that the legislature and governor are willing to let the people gamble in casinos.

They changed their mind cheaply, too. The amount of revenue it is estimated casinos would bring to the state is barely more than one percent of the state’s total spending.

There are indeed a few legislators out there who have genuine moral objections to gambling. These would be the ones who continually and consistently attempt to eliminate all government-sponsored gambling–state lotteries included. When a legislator expresses an objection to the legalization of private gambling while supporting state-sponsored gambling, however…well, they’re you’re looking at a monopolist, pure and simple.

And should you hear even a word about “morality” from such a person, respond with a swift kick to the softest, dangliest portion of his or her anatomy.

2 Comments »

  1. It’s not even as if they need to be state-owned to bring in money. A betting tax (with state regulators) achieves the same end; sure, it’s still intrusive into private enterprise, but at least that way there can be some competition.

    Comment by Adam — 7/27/2007 @ 12:31 am

  2. The states by and large don’t want it that way, though; they want to be the ONLY fix for compulsive gamblers, so that they can reap the maximum possible windfall.

    Worse yet, state-sponsored gambling tilts heavily towards those activities–slots and lotteries–which offer participants the lowest overall rate of return, and which ensnare the least well-off participants.

    It’s a fiasco all around.

    Comment by Rojas — 7/27/2007 @ 12:58 am

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