On a warm summer’s evening, on a train bound for nowhere
It appears Baldacci will veto the Washington County racino legislation unless it is sent to voters as a referendum or some other compromise is reached. There don't seem to be enough pro-slots votes in the Senate to override a veto.
I can't understand how anyone could argue that a slot machine parlor is legitimate development anywhere in the state. I've visited a Casino a few times (I think I'm up $40 overall) and there's a feeling about them that can't be described in words. If you go at night, alcohol has left its mark and the place is full of happy, inebriated weekend gamblers and tourists entranced by the pretty lights and spinning wheels. If you go in the day, however, the sound effects seem gratingly loud and the corridors of slot machines are haunted by sadder, more focused folk. These aren't tourists, these are local gambling addicts, the source of the vast majority of Casino revenue.
We've already heard the statistics during the Casino referendum vote; slots won't bring money and jobs to Washington County, they will suck the region dry. Lottery sales there are already the highest in the state due to the county's poverty rate and a racino will find a base of gamblers ready to go bankrupt to improve the bottom line of an out-of-state corporation. The costs of treating addiction and dealing with increased crime and bankruptcy will be trumped only by the human costs of child abuse, domestic violence and suicide.
The only reason I can see for supporting such legislation is a belief that tribal sovereignty should trump all other concerns. I, obviously, don't agree.
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