Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Herald Argus

Herald Argus:
"‘A fair shake’
Still, Fritzen said he generated anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 annually from tip boards and other games -- the kind of revenue that many tavern owners can’t afford to lose.
“We’re not happy. It’s really biting into our livelihood,” said Gene Samuelson, who with his wife Barbara owns Hilltop Bar in La Porte.
“We deserve a fair shake,” he said.
“You have to have entertainment gaming to pay your bills. It’s that crucial for a lot of businesses,” said Larry Rose of Western Inn in La Porte.
While Rose said he could recoup some of the lost profits from illegal gambling by becoming a licensed Indiana Lottery merchant, he said he could never make up the difference completely because gamblers are less likely to play the lottery because the odds of winning aren’t as good as with pull tabs and tip boards.
It’s always been understood, Fritzen said, that tavern gambling games, while a much-needed source of income for some, hold more entertainment value than anything else.
“Which one of these bar owners is making millions and retiring? None of them,” he said.
While tavern owners argue that much of the profits reaped at casino riverboats are sent back to Las Vegas, tip board and pull tab money, they say, gets recycled back into the local economy."
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