It is not always as dramatic as a Steven King novel, but a deal with The Devil always takes an evil twist in the end…
In the lawmaking business, they use the phrase “Sin Tax” when they make those deals. And there’s a recent evil twist on a current pact with “Old Scratch.” Because the income needed to fund education and veterans benefits is down. So cue the sinister background music as I reveal the culprit; that fewer people are gambling in Missouri Casinos.
The simple fact is Missouri gets money two different ways from casino gambling. The state gets a fee each time a patron walks onto the gaming floor and the state gets a cut of the overall action. Part of the per-head fee funds the Missouri Veterans Commission. And part of the tax on overall revenues goes toward public education.
The Kansas City mayor when Kansas City casinos first arrived was Emanuel Cleaver. And somehow, this is a man who has been involved in making several “Satan Sandwiches,” as he likes to call them.
Gambling obviously preys on our weaker citizens. You can see the pensioners sitting at the slot machines. But it becomes even more apparent when you see the busses assigned to pick them up from their group homes. Check the casino parking garages. You won’t find a lot of high end automobiles there.
Not all of the sins in Sin Taxes are equal.
You can find many studies that show drinking in moderation can add to longevity. You can find studies that show red wine can combat cancer. I can’t find any studies that say casino gambling has any good long term outcomes.
When the casinos first hit Kansas City, local nightclubs and restaurants took a huge hit and the support for our local live music culture thinned out. Restaurants closed. The casinos did not kill Kansas City, but we still limp a little.
Read the medical definition and make your own judgment. Pathological gambling disorder (PGD) is characterized by gambling behavior that is persistent and recurrent and that causes significant impairment in a person’s life with family members, at work or at school
Old Scratch is good at this. He offers unacceptable options. Shall we find a way to help the casinos increase the money they take out of Kansas City? Shall we raise taxes on already overtaxed citizens? Shall we make our children and veterans do with less?
Maybe the devil will replace this money with a new offer and we could make another bet.
Marijuana might save us.