Sunday, September 18, 2005

JuneauEmpire.com: Opinion: Alaska editorial: Some forms of gambling already exist in Alaska 09/16/05

JuneauEmpire.com: Opinion: Alaska editorial: Some forms of gambling already exist in Alaska 09/16/05: "Alaska editorial: Some forms of gambling already exist in Alaska

This editorial first appeared in the Voice of the (Anchorage) Times:

It would be one thing, perhaps, to condemn poker parlors as an evil crack-in-the-door that will soon open the way for big gambling operations in Anchorage and Alaska - if it weren't for the fact that gambling is rampant here already.
Unfortunately, we opened that door a long time ago. Once, the only authorized gambling in Alaska was the annual guessing game about the day and hour when the ice would go out every spring on the Tanana River at Nenana.
Sure, there was other gambling. The police every now and then raided a local club that had a few slot machines hidden away from the eyes of those who weren't members. There was pan and other games on which money was wagered.
But along came bingo parlors and pull tabs under the guise of being a way to raise money for charity (with the owners pocketing by far the biggest percentage of the take) - not to mention charity raffles by the thousands.
There was gambling here and gambling there, and big money everywhere. Various legislative acts over the years have condoned gambling while at the same time piously pretending it doesn't really exist.
But state lottery? Oh, no, that would be bad. Casinos? Heaven forbid, those are for Las Vegas and other gambling meccas. Card rooms? Surely not, because people would sit in them all day and night and gamble. Has anybody visited one of Anchorage's major bingo parlors lately?
We long ago opposed legalized gambling in Alaska. The Nenana Ice Classic was as far as we wanted to go. But that was a battle we lost during many years past. Like it "
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