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Friday, October 17, 2008


- 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."
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. []
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:
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 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).


El Angelo said...

Nader's stupidity aside, the bait-and-switch, I fear, is coming soon. Slots make a ton of money for states, and they're going to look for any excuse to put the money in the treasury instead of purses.

Hagley Library said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colins Ghost said...

"...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." Right on!

Good luck getting around the fed law re: sports betting. Delaware state law supersedes the fed law which was passed later. As I understand it, they could open a sports book. Current Governor is against it but if MD passes a slots bill it seems like their only option in separating themselves from the slots herd.

Superfecta said...

But what is Lyndon LaRouche's position on slots?

Anonymous said...

Why subsidize racing??

Well, to start, jobs jobs jobs.

All other sports are subsidized, and none provide the jobs that racing does.

Also, green space, preserving farmland that would otherwise be turning into parking lots.

As for Sports Betting at the Tracks, great idea Alan, as long as it is offered on site only, not over internet.

Anonymous said...

Tracks couldn't get by on the losers 10%. I think freelance bookies take care of the NFL very efficiently.

Anonymous said...

Fisher is willfully missing the point in his article (which he's done throughout the slots debate). It has nothing to do with "subsidizing" a "dying sport" -- slots will do nothing but create a level playing field for Maryland with its nearby neighbors, all of which have slots-enhanced purses.