Monday, October 22, 2012

What O'Malley Doesn't Understand About Question 7

It is amazing what Martin O'Malley is spinning when it comes to Question 7 on the Maryland election ballot. Question 7 pertains to allowing more casinos in Maryland and allowing table games, such as craps (I just said craps) and poker.

From a national perspective, the United States is getting saturated with gambling.  First it was New Jersey and Nevada.  Then the Indian nations were allowed open casinos.  We added casinos in South Dakota, Connecticut, and West Virginia.  Then Delaware, Michigan, Pennsyltucky, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, and Ohio.  And this does not take into consideration the lottery, which is aimed at creatively separating poor people from their money.  Governments rely on the pairing of two old sayings.  One, that "a fool and his money are soon parted" and two, "a sucker is born every day."  When it comes to the lottery, the poor people lose their money to government-sanctioned gambling.

O'Malley says that Marylanders spend $550 million annually in other states.  One of his recent Tweets is:

@GovernorOMalley

Every year, Marylanders spend $550 million at casinos in other states. Q7 keeps that Maryland money in Maryland.

Is he implying that if Question 7 passes, that money will stay in Maryland?  Is O'Malley saying that Marylanders will stop going to Las Vegas?  Is Carolyn Goodman aware of this?  Is O'Malley saying that Marylanders will stop going to Atlantic City?  Marylanders will stop going to Charlestown, West Virginia and Dover, Delaware?  Anyone with a 4th grade education (which eliminates most Baltimore City public school students, victims of Martin O'Malley's failed education policies when he was Mayor of Baltimore) knows that this is not a realistic scenario.  People will NOT stop going to these places.  We may keep some of that money from going to West Virginia or Delaware.  But those other destinations?  Those are party destinations.  What our misguided politicians fail to see is that Las Vegas and Atlantic City are vacation destinations.  This may be mind-blowing to Martin O'Malley, but Arundel Mills Mall is not a vacation destination.  People aren't flying in from Milwaukee and Denver to go to Perryville.

How much of that $550 million will stay in Maryland?  I may be misguided here, but I think it will be about $30 million.  People will go to National Harbor and the Casinos in Baltimore as a novelty interest destination.    After a year, interest will wain and those parlors will begin to show less revenue every month, just like Perryville is showing now.  Once you've been there, I'm sure most people will not return.

Imagine the next bachelorette party: "Hey, where do want to go?  Let's go to Biloxi, Mississippi! No, let's go to Las Vegas.  No, let's go to the casino next to the Ravens' stadium that's next to that really bad neighborhood on Russell Street."  Make sense?  Of course not.  It's not going to be the huge financial success that O'Malley thinks it is going to be.

This Question 7 is a boondoggle.  I think the better answer is allow table games in the existing casinos. Swap out the casino in Perryville for the one at National Harbor. National Harbor is on a river next to Washington, D.C.  Millions of eople already go to Washington, D.C. every year.  Add this as a Maryland attraction for vacationers visiting the Capitol.

Perryville, on the other hand, is on Interstate 95.  Outside of the casino, the other tourist attractions are the I-95 toll plaza, Port Deposit, but avoid it during heavy rains, and the state-of-the-art library that opened in 2008.  The only advantage that Perryille has is its proximity to the interstate and Philadelphia and New York City.  People can drive another hour to visit the bustling destination of Hanover, Maryland, or 30 minotes more to National Harbor in Prince George's County.

We must focus the rest of our attention on rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure in Maryland, specifically the crime-riddled neighborhoods of Baltimore.  And that terrible intersection at Deer Park Road and Lyon's Mill Road in Randallstown.

Again, vote NO on Question 7.  Let's revisit the legislation next year and do it properly.

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