Since the recession, states around the U.S. are having trouble with their budgets. Trouble as in there isn’t enough money. And we’re not talking falling short a little bit, but a lot. As in millions—or billions in some places—short.
With states being at such a loss in terms of money they’re forced to cut programs and jobs, including programs and teachers in our children’s schools. And since cutting jobs hurts the economy even more and cutting education programs hurts our children, states are beginning to look at other ways of bringing in money.
Legalizing or expanding gambling offerings, such as blackjack tables, is being looked at or acted upon in at least eighteen states this year. And it’s only March.
While I’m not going to complain about a wider selection of casino games and it being easier to play blackjack, just how desperate are states for more income?
Check out what Rep. Kraig Paulson, the Republican leader in the Iowa House said: “Absolutely, we’re addicted to gambling dollars.” And this man is an opponent to expanding gambling in his state. But he also understands that his state needs revenue as well.
So what all are states up to?
-Iowa has begun a new state lottery.
-Pennsylvania has legalized table games, like blackjack.
-New York is adding 4,500 video lottery machines.
-The Governor of Connecticut wants his state to offer Keno in restaurants.
-More lottery machines have been installed in Florida. Florida is also trying to reach a deal with the Seminole tribe in regards to blackjack tables at their casinos.
-Kansas has increased its promotion of Dodge City.
-Missouri is switching and upgrading its slots game offerings to include fancier, more entertaining slots.
-And Maryland is adding 10,000 slot machines.
For citizens that are opposed to opening up gambling offerings, take a moment to consider another option: raising taxes. Suddenly, while you still aren’t in favor of things like blackjack tables, expanding a state’s gambling offerings don’t seem so bad. Because nobody wants to pay more in taxes.
Turning to gambling isn’t a sign that states are loosening up their morals. Legalizing and expanding their gambling offerings is a sign that states are looking for ways to increase their revenue while not hitting their citizens any harder. Yes, gambling will take more of their money, but it will be money willingly offered by citizens, whereas no one likes to pay taxes.
So when you’re not happy to hear about more blackjack tables or some other form of gambling coming to your state, think of the alternative—you could be paying more in taxes.