Bringing Casinos to Maryland

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Maryland did not legalize gambling until 2008.  Since then it has been a long uphill battle getting the venues operational.  Many of the casinos met with legal and political opposition even after voters approved their construction. However, while the state has struggled to get their venues open over the last four years, the struggle to bring casinos to the state of Maryland actually goes back many, many years.

If you were to start at the beginning you would have to go back almost a decade ago with the election of Governor Ehrlich.  In 2002, Ehrlich won his election by a very popular margin. One of his major objects while in office was to get slot machine operating at the state’s racetracks.  Try as he might Ehrlich never managed to accomplish his goal.  Slot machines did not actually get the support needed from legislators and voters until 2008 with the election of Governor Martin O’Malley.  There was a sense that O’Malley would not have been able to get casinos approved by voters if it were not for the work of Ehrlich, but that is just how it played out.  Now the state has five legalized venue, although only two of them [...] Continue Reading…

Places to Wager

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Sometimes I feel like the people that protest casinos do not fully understand the danger of a board person and the purpose of public services.  They tend to have this misconception that if there were no casinos, then people would not gamble.  People have been gambling for about a long as civilizations have had currency and will continue to do so until the hydrogen bomb finally sends us back into the stone age.  During the prohibition era of the United States, outlawing alcohol consumption actually increased the consumption of alcohol.  Even worse, it even drove people to create their own brew that were not always safe to drink.  The same is happening with the war on drugs.  Now instead of smoking relatively harmless drugs like marijuana people are doing synthetic drugs like crystal meth and other concoctions that have the ability to convince a man to devour the face of another.

The same thing will and has happened with wagering.  Casinos are relatively harmless places to place wagers.  Now one can really control another person’s spending, but at least people are spending and wagering in a controlled environment with people that are not on the wrong side of the law. [...] Continue Reading…

Public Gambling House

Friday, June 1st, 2012

My father is an intelligent man who often finds a very interesting way of looking at things.  I have spoken to him on more than one occasion on the topic of faith and religion.  While my mother is a born again Christian that goes to church more than once a week, my dad only makes an occasional appearance.  He feeling about churches and temples are that they are not a place that a person necessarily needs to go on a regular basis.  They are there when you need it.  Communities have several buildings that operate the same way.  When you want a place where you can enjoy a drink, you go to a bar.  When you want a place to focus on studies, you go to a library.  And when you want a place to focus on your spiritual journey, you go to a temple.  You can do any of these activities at home or in other locations, however communities offer public houses for these activities.

This is how I feel about casinos and gambling.  Casinos are a public gambling house.  Much like a bar, it is probably a safer place to indulge in vice than in privacy.  If a [...] Continue Reading…

Casinos and Community

Friday, June 1st, 2012

As an artist in the city one finds themselves taking on different odd jobs just to pay the bills and maintain the freedom to continue pursuing your art professionally.  I have started bar backing at a bar in my neighborhood.  This experience has given me a lesson in humanity.  When you work at a bar you start to become familiar with the regulars.  Often times you will encounter people that you may not think it in their best interest to return to the bar on such a regular basis, but for many people the bar is one of the few places where they can maintain a sense of community.  This is especially true of older patrons that may be mourning the loss of a dear life partner.  However, it is not really your place to tell people what to do with their life or their personal health.  Even if you did not serve them they would likely go to a different establishment.

It is very hard sometimes serving people that you care about, yet have the feeling they are destroying themselves.  However, while you can make the judgement call on any given night as to when a person has had [...] Continue Reading…

New Jersey Regulated Casino Gambling

Friday, June 1st, 2012

It seems to me that New Jersey has forgotten the reason they decided to regulate casino gambling in the first place.  In 1975, when the bill was passed to bring slot machines and table games to the boardwalk the idea was that the people would follow.  That is exactly what happened.  The casinos of Atlantic City gave the town yet another rebirth in a long history of rebirths.  However, it seems like the town got spoiled on slot machine revenue.  The town became all about the gambling and no longer about the town.  Focus was spent on building up the casinos, but not necessarily the town.  Now that casino revenues have dropped due to competition this is causing a major problem for the town.

Now Atlantic City is experiencing the problem of gamblers simply gambling and going home.  They are not staying around in the area to spend money in local shops and stores.  One can hardly blame them when Atlantic City gets headlines which include tourist being stabbed to death by mentally ill homeless people in broad daylight.  If New Jersey wants to see a rebirth of Atlantic City they are going to have to focus on Atlantic City. [...] Continue Reading…

Time Square Casino

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Time Square has changed a lot over the past few decades.  To go there now you would not think that only a few years ago most of the storefront shops housed porn shops and xxx rated movie theaters.  It is hard to picture the now tourist crowded streets as the hangout for pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers, but that was the case.  Now the same streets sort of seem like the amusement park version of itself.  It has been great for revenue in the city, as much as New York City residents like myself hate to go down there.  Only a few years ago, the city began closing off streets to accommodate the large amount of tourists that were pouring into the streets anyway.  What I find most absurd about Time Square is that for all the thing for sale and/or being advertised on its massive signs, none of it is anything that people actually need.

It seems to me that a small casino would be right at home in the middle of Time Square.  I highly doubt, with the overwhelming surveillance and the constant police presence that the venue would become a victim of crime.  It would be a [...] Continue Reading…

Atlantic City is Building New Casinos

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Atlantic City is trying everything in its power to spring back from what seems to be an endless stream of losses.  Ever since Pennsylvania decided to get into the casino gambling business Pennsylvania has not been able to command the gambling market of the northeast in the same way that it once did.  This summer the city has its hopes up that the opening of a brand new top of the line casino will be enough to turn things around.  I, unfortunately, believe that New Jersey has their focus on the wrong thing.  While their casinos could use a few improvements I do not think a new casino or renovated casinos will be the answer to their needs.  The problems facing Atlantic City likely have more to do with the area than it does with the casinos.

It is great the Atlantic City is building new casinos and repairing the ones that they have, however, if they really want to turn things around they are going to have to start cleaning up the area surrounding the casino.  Atlantic City could really benefit from some family centered business.  However, that is not going to happen when their streets are littered with [...] Continue Reading…

Casinos Do More For A State

Friday, June 1st, 2012

The issue that is constantly at the focus of any debate about legalized gambling is tax dollars.  Typically when a state decides to regulate any form of casino gambling they are doing so in an attempt to generate more income.  Often times casino money will be dedicated toward education and infrastructure projects.  There is no doubt that states manage to collect hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars every year from taxing casino gambling.  However, on the other side of the argument, those that oppose casinos claim that casinos are more of a drain on taxpayer dollars than they are a help to the state economy.  Due to the effects of compulsive gambling more people end up on welfare and claim unemployment checks.

However, I have to believe that since only a minority of gamblers end up with unhealthy gambling habits that casinos tend to do more for a state than they take away.  Even if it is true that casino gambling cause more people to depend on state help, many states take a portion of gambling proceeds to aid in funding such programs.  So these do not exactly occur at a loss to the state.  I think it [...] Continue Reading…

Zombie Film

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Like most of the country, I cannot seem to stop thinking about the horrifying case in South Florida where a homeless man had his face eaten away by another homeless man.  The situation sounds like something out of the early stages of a zombie film.  But, the situation has had me thinking about my stance on prohibition.  I am for the most part not a fan of prohibition.  I do not think it is a reasonable answer to substance and vice.  People are going to do it anyway and in less safe ways without regulation.  However, I have had to consider the fact that substances seem to be getting stronger as years go one.  There is some thought that the attackers behavior came from a new type of LSD that has been connected with other bizarre crimes in the area.  I am not sure if this would happen if there were regulations in place and people were not forced to make their own substances.

I believe that people should be allowed to do to their bodies what they please and when it comes to gambling do what they please.  When it becomes a problem we are dealing with ill people [...] Continue Reading…

Casino Conspiracy Theories

Friday, June 1st, 2012

I have never been a huge fan of conspiracy theories.  I often find them a misplaced waste of energy that could be devoted to actual education about important subjects.  However, it would be naive to think that everything that happens in politics and major social issues are as they appear or as they presented in the mainstream media.  I have recently been thinking about the claims from New Jersey shelter operators that many of the homeless in Atlantic City have been bussed in from neighboring states.  While that may seem far fetched I can think of a few fact that would cause me to think otherwise.

The first major case is the cleaning up of New York City under Mayor Giuliani.  There is no secret that Time Square was little more than a cesspool of drugs porn theaters only a few years ago.  Now it has become the Disney World version of itself.  One must consider where all of those people from the opposite side of the track disappeared to.  Another thing to consider is how much revenue Atlantic City stole from other state over the years with their casino operations.  Now states like Pennsylvania are in direct competition with [...] Continue Reading…

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