BUSINESS

Poor economy has legislators singing different gambling tunes

TAGs: American economy, Gambling Expansion

Rosecroft RacewayIt’s happening county by county and state by state in the U.S, the worse the economy gets, the faster one time opponents of gambling and gambling expansion begin to sing very different tunes. For those who were naive enough to think the debate on gambling was one of a moral nature, it’s time to wake up and smell the money.

The Washington Post reports that the Rosecroft Raceway, the storied horse track in Prince George’s County that closed last summer, could all of a sudden be reopening as soon as next week. And already, the new owners are plotting its next chapter: as the site of one of Maryland’s largest casinos.

Keeping in mind the fact that up until the latest dip in the economy, Prince George’s politicians have refused to host a gaming site and have repeatedly cited concerns about slot machines preying on the poor and increasing crime. Oh how quickly they’re singing a different tune.
With the promise of millions of dollars in proceeds to bolster the recession-battered budgets of host counties as well as the state, all of a sudden, Prince George’s leaders say it’s time to be more accommodating.

As the Washington Post reports, a former chairwoman of the county’s House delegation in Annapolis, Carolyn J.B. Howard said, “My personal view is, if we can have gaming across Maryland, why not have it in Prince George’s County, so we can benefit from the proceeds also…Times do change.”

Times do change and apparently so does the argument that gambling preys on the poor and invites crime and causes more addictions. To be frank, the argument was nonsensical to begin with.

The Washington Post reports that Penn National Gaming, which bought Rosecroft at a bankruptcy auction in January, plans to reopen the facility as early as Aug. 18 for betting on simulcasts of races from other harness tracks across the United States.

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