Someone once advised me that the most dangerous events can occur when people make important decisions based on anything less than ALL the facts. Slot machines ( an entertainment game) have been around since the late 1800s.
Visit any casino in the world and you will find that the most populated room contains slot machines. Do they bite, give dangerous electric shocks, affect your healthy cells, give migraines? Of course not. It is obvious that the people against slots have never visited a casino or they would see that the attendance is far different than those who stand in line waiting to buy unaffordable state sponsored lottery tickets. What do you think the percentage of winners are in those scratch tickets? One in a gazillion?
FACT: Slot machines are all designed to pay a return of between 95 - 75%.
And its more fun than scratching. No one will expand gambling any further by allowing slot machines in a few race tracks and allowing the construction of a few casinos that no one is forced to visit. The legalizing of slot machines will only bring more money to the states now deficit budget from people, who in a free country, will be allowed to choose where they spend their nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars. Will more people become addicted to gambling? I doubt it. The country doesnt outlaw everything that people become addicted to or we would have to outlaw food, soda drinks, cigarettes, etc. And we dont do that. Yet.
In the 1920s the government outlawed liquor, and we all know the result of that fiasco. If they had done their homework then, we never would have experienced the violent prohibition era. So here we are again listening to people who havent remotely done their homework. How much crime does Saturday night bingo in Catholic churches foster?
Check Nevadas crime rate compared the other states since the thirties when they okayed slot machines everywhere and anywhere. The gaming revenue also kept that state from having to collect real estate taxes for many years. And those who say that allowing slots to save horse racing (the sport of kings) does not create more jobs, they obviously havent visited Mountaineer Park or Charlestown where the once dank, dilapidated grandstand, lounges and eating areas have been transformed into clean, triple-A , well attended entertainment vistas. And as I said earlier, slot machines dont bite, they will add to the employment roll as construction workers will have to be hired to remodel. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire they will save two long respected, historic businesses (Suffolk Downs and Rockingham Park), and also important, earn much needed money for the state. I did my homework and vote 100% for the legalizing immediately of slots. All states that didnt do this when Nevada was smart enough to see the value should be ashamed of themselves.
In the 1960s and 70s Pownal Vermont boasted a beautiful 144 acre horse race track property that employed over 700 people. The entire site, stadium and all was sold 18 years ago at auction for $250,000 and it will soon become Green Mountain Energy Park. That rounds out the New England states gambling situation. They all have gambling licenses. Conn., R.I. and Maine, have slots. N.H., Mass., and Vt. Do not. Go figure.
Roland Hopkins is the found of The New England Real Estate Journal, Norwell, Mass.