- During a campaign stop in Maryland (yes, he's running again), Ralph Nader said NO to slots.
"We oppose it because gambling is a sign of moral and economic decay.....Its benefits have been always exaggerated and its negatives have been under-emphasized."Yeah, well, who asked him anyway? However, Nader is certainly not alone in wondering why the racing industry should be subsidized. In his Raw Fisher blog on the Washington Post website, columnist Marc Fisher, noting that the industry generates just 0.2 percent of Maryland's economy, writes:
Mr. Nader views the slots referendum as a taxpayer subsidy for the racing industry that also hurts the poor, breeds corruption and ignores other the crucial needs in the state. [Hometownannapolis.com]
If the state is so eager to tap into our collective desire to bet on sports, why not choose a sport that's actually popular? How about legalizing gambling on pro football rather than pretending that Americans under the age of 60 are miraculously going to become interested in horse racing?Yo, ouch man, that's harsh! Well then, how about the concept of legalizing gambling on pro football at racetracks? I know (though this columnist doesn't seem to) that the legal obstacles are huge in the states not exempted from the federal prohibition on sports betting. But, as long as he brought it up, the concept is worth discussing. Besides being a far more wholesome form of degenerate gambling behavior than slots, it's the kind that might very well provide the kind of synergy that is clearly lacking at racinos. It's my belief that sports betting could juice up interest and business at the tracks if presented correctly and creatively, and help energize a sport which, whether the columnist cares for it or not, is a treasured part of the fabric of Maryland history, and one which provides - or, has provided, anyway - gainful and fulfilling employment for thousands of its residents.
- Fellow blogger John found an interview that Tommy Thompson did with the WSJ, and when John says that Thompson is clueless, he's certainly not kidding.
- Interesting profile of Governor Paterson in New York Magazine.
- I'll be doing the honors on the TBA blog over at Bloodhorse.com starting this weekend and through next week leading up to the Breeders' Cup, so I'll likely do the bulk of my intrepid analyses of next weekend's races over there, with help from other members of the TBA. You can download a complete list of the pre-entries (pdf file) right here, or here (not pdf).