On the other hand, Governor Rendell wants to take more money from taxpayers, by encouraging them to play video poker to pay for his higher ed program. I’m going to avoid discussing the moral implications of legalizing gambling (I’ll leave that to Cato and PA Family Institute).
Instead, I will note:
- The higher ed funding plan is ill-conceived.
- We should not be creating new programs when facing a massive budget deficit derived from over-spending.
- There is a real hypocrisy in cracking down on poker (online or friendly games), which is a game of skill, while allowing video poker, a game of chance in which a computer guarantees a certain level of “the house” winnings. The real distinction seems to be that gambling is wrong, unless state government get a large cut of the profits.
- Gambling taxes (like tobacco taxes, another revenue source Rendell is pushing) fall mainly on the poor.
- Who is going to monitor this program, the cronies at the Gaming Control Board?