27 May 2009

Pennsylvania's Organized Crime Family Grows

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Pennsylvanians gambled more in 2008 despite a national trend in declining casino revenues-
  • Americans were gambling less in 2008 but Pennsylvanians were gambling more, as the growth of racetrack-casinos represented the primary growth trend for the gaming industry, said a national report released yesterday.
    The American Gaming Association released its annual "State of the States" report, which showed casino revenues in Pennsylvania grew by 48.3 percent in 2008, far higher than that of any other commercial casino state. (The association does not track tribal casino revenue).Read more: "Pennsylvanians gambled more in 2008" - http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09139/971070-454.stm#ixzz0GiHKCMR7&A
My home state of Pennsylvania is run by one of the largest organized crime families in the world- the Pennsylvania legislature. It already controls the sale of liquor through its monopoly of state stores, runs the numbers racket through the Lottery and has recently added casino gambling to its portfolio. Once prostitution is approved and taxed, our state government will have morphed into a criminal syndicate that will be the envy of gangsters around the world.

The decision to approve casinos in our state was driven by the government's insatiable need for revenue in order to further grow and entrench itself in the everyday lives of its citizens. I love reading the term "revenues" used in referring to money lost by our fellow Pennsylvanians- usually from the social classes that can least afford to lose it. The state has effectively cannibalized its own citizens as bus loads of bored geriatrics are dropped off to lose the little government assistance they receive. The case for casinos was ruthlessly sold by our governor as a way of supporting our senior citizens. This argument seems a bit shaky when you are handing them a check in one hand and guiding the other to the one armed bandit.

Competition with the state is ruthlessly surpressed. No gambling with friends or through bookies (who probably give you better odds, plus its tax free.) No making your own liquor or importing it from nearby states that charge far less. If I was a pimp, I would seriously be concerned about the state pushing me off of my own street corner in the near future.

Help break the control of the state. Next time Grandma is feeling blue and depressed take her to the park or the library, play some checkers or watch "Matlock" together. Don't give her a ride to the casino.

1 comment:

  1. According to PA Auditor General Jack Wagner, "Casino revenue is subject to Pennsylvania's 55-percent tax rate on gross terminal revenue and the resulting proceeds are to be deposited into the State Gaming Fund, the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund, and the Pennsylvania Economic Development and Tourism Fund. For every net dollar that a slot machine generates, 55 cents should be returned to Pennsylvanians and designated for property tax relief, economic development and tourism, local community support, compulsive and problem gambling, and the horse racing industry."

    I love the irony of setting up a gambling enterprise and then using the proceeds to treat gambling. It's like setting up asbestos inhalation rooms and then using the proceeds to treat mesothelioma.

    PA has 8 casinos; WA has 33 Indian-run casinos. The difference being that under the compacts in WA, the state doesn't take a cut. PA's cut of 55% is pretty sweet.