Monday, February 18, 2008

South Bend Tribune: The hard facts on 'easy' money

South Bend Tribune: The hard facts on 'easy' money:

"The fact is, every grocery and drugstore, gas station and convenience stop sells lottery tickets these days. They're sold over the counter or from vending machines.

There is a casino within a short drive of virtually every Hoosier. Casinos started out as riverboats and have edged ever farther inland. Of course we also have horse tracks -- now with slot machines.

This year the General Assembly is contemplating allowing pull tabs -- low-stakes paper gambling methods -- in bars and
taverns.

The argument is one of fairness: Pull tabs are allowed at bars operated by charitable lodges. The edge this gives the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, the Elks and others is hurting bar business. To compete, bar owners say, bars need a gambling draw of their own.

That argument ignores the fact that nonprofit fraternal organizations, unlike for-profit bars, use their income for causes that often benefit their communities. But the central concern is this: Easy money comes from the pockets of hard-working people. Some of them are Hoosiers who can't afford to lose the dollars they put on the ponies or pump into slot machines."
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