Letter to the Editor

Casino wins if customers lose

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It is amazing to see how quickly various entities grabbed for the carrot the casino is dangling. The promise of a $125 million expenditure and the creation of 400 jobs is exciting. With much less fanfare Sabreliner announced the creation of 400 jobs with only a $6.7 million outlay.

Much of the casino allure is smoke and mirrors. When riverboat gambling passed years ago, we envisioned cruising riverboats. Casino owners quickly discovered the difficulty and expense of following maritime law. So they approached the right people and got this law changed. Today, they don't have to cruise.

Many suggest leaving senior citizens alone to have fun and lose $20. If that is the case, why did casino owners again contact the right people and have the $500 daily loss limit removed?

A retired Missouri trooper told the Southeast Missourian crime was not a problem at casinos. Apparently, Missouri considered the casino a probable place for crime. Taxpayers provide salary and benefits for a trooper to be on duty. Does any tax-producing business enjoy such protection at taxpayers' expense?

Yes, casinos put money into local tax coffers, but this too could change. The Caruthersville casino appealed its tax assessment and now pays only a fraction of what it once paid.

Given today's economy, I suspect the casino issue will pass in November. If so, it will pass without a yes vote from me.

I find it difficult to comprehend a business plan that suggests a business can only win if its customers lose. But, then, I'm not a gambler.

TERRY ROLLINS, Cape Girardeau