Thursday, March 31, 2016

Editorial: Legislature should say no to lottery.

Will a state lottery become the pied piper of Mississippi as it plays a catchy tune but leads to ruin? The creation of a state lottery appeared  in the legislature this week as two amendments were attached to other amendments to bills that are still alive. Slipping such amendments into bills at the last minute when no one is looking is how Mississippi wound up with bad ideas such as the beef plant. The creation of a state lottery is no exception but it will continue the tradition of Mississippi yet again shooting itself in the foot.

Lost in the debate over a state lottery is any mention of the Mississippi casino industry. It is a perfect example of how capitalism and socialism operate. The casinos have poured millions, probably billions, of dollars into state coffers.  Jobs were created.  Cranes became a common site.  Property values rose. Casinos revitalized a Gulf Coast that was all but dead and Mississippi tourism expanded. Casinos brought entertainment such as concerts, Broadway shows, and even golf courses to Mississippi. Mississippi's casino industry expanded in ways not possible in Louisiana as that state's corruption kept it from enjoying its natural advantages such as New Orleans. Private investment dollars created the casino industry in Mississippi. There were no TIF's, no bonds, no Kior-type loans, nor other gummint money that was spent. The casino industry ran as capitalism is supposed to work: supply and demand.  However, Mississippi politicians can't stand success.  

A lottery is nothing but government for government. A lottery is a vacuum cleaner that sucks money out of the economy for the pockets of state government. It does not grow the economy. It does not create jobs. There is no multiplier that will improve the state's gpd. Money will be taken out of the economy and growth will remain sluggish.

A lottery will also hurt the casino industry in Mississippi, an industry that has done more for the state than a lottery ever will. However, Mississippi has a history of refusing to leverage its assets while blowing money on ideas that never benefit the state. The legislature wasted over $50 million on a beef plant that was slipped into a conference committee bill. Over $70 million was lost on Kior. Gulf coast ports? Why should we spend money to make them more competitive? Meanwhile the casinos are suffering as they face competition from Arkansas but our legislative solons do not only refuse to help them compete, but they instead wish to compete against them as well by creating a state lottery. Capitalism versus socialism. The private industry creates jobs and grows economies while yielding tax dollars, the government industry sucks money and creates nothing. Legislators will wake up one day and wonder what happened to casino tax revenue and never figure out it was they who killed the goose that was laying some pretty golden eggs.

However, such arguments mean nothing to so-called conservative lawmakers who love to bleat their support for the free market as they kill it. The Republicans and Democrats in the Mississippi Legislature are bi-partisan when it comes to SLRP, public records, and expanding their power. The legislature should for once get it right and promote the assets we already have instead of competing against them.


Anonymous said...

Hear, hear! The vast majority of stuff the legislature votes on from day to day only serves to undermine the free market. This is no different.

Anonymous said...

Well, of course, in a country that values freedom we should limit how those who earned their money spend it because a few among us will become addicts or are too stupid to decide or are waging welfare money.
We should assume the worst and those who know they are superior to others and have a different idea of what is or isn't fun should monitor the rest of us closely.
Even those who are wealthy and not math challenged can't possibly be allowed to gamble money they know will be put to good use even if lost and philanthropically if won.
And, even if a person's particular religion doesn't forbid gambling, the truly righteousness should be able to be in charge of he souls of strangers even! We can't have religious freedom for those who don't adhere to a fundamentalists interpretation of the Bible! And, we cannot let those of other religions be free to gamble. What a horror!
All of the good liberals masquerading as conservatives of Mississippi should make sure that doesn't happen!

Anonymous said...

The fight against the establishment is only growing. Though the sample was badly skewed there were some ominous takeaways from that Y'allP pre-primary poll.

Anonymous said...

The editor should provide proof that the lotto will have a negative effect on the casino industry. There are many states with both so finding evidence shouldn't be difficult. Finding an objective study may be difficult though. An example would be doing a study right before an economic downturn, showing decline in casino revenue and the study attributes this to the lotto.

Anonymous said...

It really will not help if we do get the lottery. The money will evaporate just like the taxes from the casinos.
We already pay enough in taxes. If we would elect honest people to wisely spend our tax money we would not need to be taxed so much. Why do people elect crooks just because they happen to belong to the same political party?

Anonymous said...

Does Nevada have a lottery?

Anonymous said...

Mississippi legislators are "Christian" enough to approve armed security details in churches, and denying services to people based on religious values.

And, apparently, "Christian" enough to also approve of gambling.

Anonymous said...

The money being spent on fuel to travel to, and lottery tickets in, our neighboring states when the Powerball jackpots are large isn't redirected casino marketshare. One of the proposed compromises offered in January of participating in the multi-state Powerball but only selling/dispensing from Mississippi casinos was an excellent solution.

How the thieves and corporate crony redistributionists in Mississippi's RINO controlled legislature would responsibly spend the net proceeds is another matter altogether.

Messick said...

Sports booking.

In casinos.

Live it, learn it, love it.

Make money off of it.

Anonymous said...

When you get older you will learn religion is just an excuse to do what you want to do.

Anonymous said...

The lottery will not affect gambling at casinos. Paying $5 at a gas station for a Wednesday night lotto drawing vs playing no-limit poker or blackjack at the Imperial Palace are two different experiences.

People enjoy different games of chance for different reasons.

The state needs revenue sources. When the lottery jackpot grows, Louisiana enjoys Mississippi's cash flow.

The anti-lottery argument reminds me of the anti-beer argument several years ago. You could buy bud light, coors light, wine, ever clear, jim beam, etc... but you couldn't buy a beer over 7% alcohol. Make any sense?

In Mississippi you can gamble playing slot machines, black jack, poker, hi-lo, roulette, crapps, etc. And the stakes can be from 1c to thousands.

But you can't buy a lottery ticket because it will kill the casino industry? Please.

Anonymous said...

Note how 10:39 enjoys of spewing anti-Christian venom to help his political argument.

Anonymous said...

This is what they call a "red meat" bill. Legislators introduce them just so the casino lobbyists will wine and dine them. After that's done they'll quietly let it die.

They don't really want a lottery - they just want another juicy steak at Tico's.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi is the armpit of the world. last in almost everything and politicians only in it for the money. amazing how everything they do benefits them. look at there retirement compared to that of public servants like police and fire. Fireman work 24 on 48 off for approx 2904hrs a year. regular 40 hour week approx. 2280hrs a year. yet fireman should still work 30 years for the same retirement. so fireman will work approximately 87,120 hours and regular worker 68,400 hours. Something is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Using Nevada as an example is an apples-and-oranges comparison. Nevada may not have the lottery but you can walk in to play Keno in hundreds of casinos and networked off-casino parlors 24/7/365.

Stopped to eat a quick scrambled eggs breakfast at Cactus Pete's in Jackpot, NV on a Sept 1999 road trip to play the golf courses around Ketchum and hit a 12-spot Keno ticket winning $18,000 before finishing my second cup of coffee.

Walked away with just over $12k in cashola after Fed withholding and casino tip. Drank too much booze to play golf worth a damn but lived real large the rest of the trip!

Anonymous said...

@11:46 - Excellent sage observation. A pox on all their houses. KF you are so correctomondo.

Anonymous said...

Lotteries are already competing casinos for gaming customers and casinos are still standing.

Anonymous said...

No, a lottery will not hurt the casino industry. Propaganda.

Anonymous said...

11:43--this is 10:39. You missed my point. You can't say you are being Christian in defending churches in the same way say you are just doing business by allowing another sin in gambling. Just like you can't claim a religious reason for not serving a black person in a restaurant, the same should be for gay people also.

its going to get struck down in court anyway. just like jim crow.

Anonymous said...

Free money from Mississippians going to surrounding states. Yeah, we need a lottery.

Al Underwood said...

I remember when liquor was legalized it would take care of education's money needs.

I've been in convenience stores where underprivileged people are spending their money on lottery tickets.

It's a tax...and an addiction

Anonymous said...

2:40, every time a politician needs a little pocket money they come up with something that is going to take care of education. The voters always falls for it. How they can believe that is beyond me. Every time we do not see any change in education and soon they will come up with another wild story. Haven't the voters ever read the comics? I will hold the football one more time. promise I will not move it. Suckers

Anonymous said...

I don't know anyone that goes to casinos that would stop or go less frequently because of a lottery. People are buying lottery tickets anyway in Louisiana and Tennessee. So if it were damaging to casinos the damage has already been done.

Anonymous said...

Who's editorial?

Is this JJ's editorial position, or some 'anonymous' contributor as an editorial?

Either way, its one person's opinion and lacks documentation. But still, should be attributed.

Anonymous said...

Al, nobody has said that a lottery would 'solve' any particular problems. It has been said that it would increase the revenue to the state that could be used to address problems. Reynolds' amendment did specify that the state's share would go to education and infrastructure - but I didn't hear him or anyone else say it would 'solve' the needs.

The basic fact is that a lottery would provide some revenue to the state, and it would be revenue that was willingly paid rather than taxed. Yes - I am sure that you have been in convenience stores where 'underprivileged people' were spending their money on lottery tickets. I would bet you have been in similar stores where the same 'underprivileged people' were spending their money on beer. Or they were spending their money on expensive coffee. Or soft drinks. Should we not allow those things either so that the 'underprivileged people' would not waste their money on them?

Maybe, Al, we should only allow the 'privileged people' to purchase alcohol. Or coffee. Or candy, even. Would that resolve your problem?

People are going to spend their money as they choose. If we don't allow a lottery ticket sale in MS, I bet you would find those 'underprivileged folks' that you talk about spending their money in the convenience stores buying gas to get to or from LA where they are going to buy a lottery ticket.

You can call it a tax; maybe it should be labeled a stupid tax. But, it is a tax that is willingly paid, not one that we are forced to pay because we earn a living, own property, drive a vehicle, etc. It is a tax that we choose to pay because we want to.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks easily purchased lottery tickets won't take away the penny and nickel slot players has never been inside a casino. There are thousands who limit themselves to ten and twenty bucks per slot session, and it will be much easier for them to buy lottery tickets. Might not kill it, but a lottery will definitely cut into the casino industry.

Anonymous said...

I was in a Louisiana casino the other night for dinner. I needed change, so I went down to the gift shop. There were three people in front of me, all of whom were buying lottery tickets IN THE CASINO. No way will this stop the elderly, fat, and crippled people who love these bush league Mississippi casinos from dragging themselves to Vicksburg, Tunica, or the coast for penny slots and $25 crab legs smorgasbords. #FishermansKeep

(Seriously. If you are feeling down about yourself, visit a Mississippi or a Louisiana casino on a Saturday afternoon. After watching the old people on walkers or in wheelchairs, the near-indigent wards of the government flush with welfare or disability cash, and the obese who navigate the buffet line on their Rascals, you'll feel like the pinnacle of health and prosperity.)

I am not a gambler, but I have no problem with casinos. They are privately run and people are responsible for their own behavior. However, when it comes to a lottery I have a much different opinion. The lottery is the government imploring its citizens to throw away their money on impossible odds. Visit a lottery state and listen to the (state government funded) radio ads that promise riches and say, "you can't win if you don't play!" Then go to a Tote-Sum and watch people who don't have a pot to piss in drop $50 on scratch cards. It's a pathetic spectacle.

This is the height of government irresponsibility. The state government should not be in the business of paying ad agencies and local media to craft and broadcast a message encouraging citizens to toss away their money. If they ran ads on Supertalk and WJDX begging you to donate to the state's general fund, you'd mock them endlessly, but throw a zillion to one shot at winning a few bucks and suddenly it's a bunch of hypocritical Christians who are keeping people from exercising their freedom.

Oh help me, Rhonda!

Anonymous said...

Penny slots? When the hell were YOU last in a casino? LMAO

Anonymous said...

A fool and his money are soon parted. Give a fool a welfare check and it will part the doors of a convenient store where Mr. Patel will give him a lottery ticket. The ticket cash goes to the State of Mississippi in an agency with a civil servant who will spend it as fast as he or she gets it, just like the fool with the welfare check. What's missing? The business that supplies the tax money. That's what's missing. If the business doesn't get the fool's money (other than Mr. Patel who will also include the can of malt liquor and a slim jim in the sale) the business suffers and less taxes are paid to the State that issues the welfare check. Even a first-grader can understand that. But the first-grader's teacher WANTS you to pass the lottery. I'll let you finish the rest. Bye neighbor.

Anonymous said...

@6:03, when was the last time YOU were? Probably half the slots in riverboat casinos are penny slots. These old folks don't want to pay $1 a pull, so they run to the penny slots. Of course, you can have up to 25 lines on a pull, each costing a credit, and your jackpot is multiplied based on the number of credits, and the points you earn on your Players Club Card for discounts on the buffet add up faster with more credits, so most of them are paying 20 cents a pull or more, depending on the machine configuration.

Don't mock someone when you have no f***ing idea what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

not all lottery ticket buyers use a welfare check.
not all that receive welfare are fools
not all dollars spent by civil servants are wasted

some aspects of state government that require money are necessities
not all tax money comes from businesses selling to welfare receipents

some MS money (from welfare fools and others) will be spent on lottery tickets, even if it is in LA or AL
MS would make some money out of the tickets if they were sold here, even the money from tickets bought by welfare dollars in Mr Patel's store

So - for the first grader, thanks for your thoughts. the above are worth about the same as yours.

Anonymous said...

Please give me a quick pick for the powerball, and I really wish I could pick up a bottle of wine too. But, I'll have to make another stop at liquor store cause I live in good oil' backwards Missippi led by Dewey Feel and Tater.

Gimme Three Squares said...

I like the annual Super-Bowl pool.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I offended you @7:34 PM for playing penny slots. Need a charitable $5 donation? Can I bring you a box of donated food? LOL

Anonymous said...

Reed continues to write good articles even though he hasn't worked for a newspaper in years.....

HDMatthias, MD said...

Who wrote this editorial? Kingfish?

Anonymous said...

It is an OpEd piece albeit unattributed. IMHO, we should have the lottery. My rationale that $ are leaving the State presently is a more concrete argument than the one given.

Anonymous said...

It is obviously a JJ editorial. It would be attributed if someone other than KF had penned it. Do y'all get into this sort of wad when other publications publish editorials?

Piggy Banks said...

Whether there are penny slots is as immaterial as Heddy Dale MD PhD Femme Fatale Mathias' persistent, little nit-picky questions.

What continues to irk me is that there are so many who actually feel called upon to protect the poor from themselves. There are more middle income wage earners in gamblers' anonymous than there are welfare recipients in the same program.

Anonymous said...

Heddy don't play no penny slots @7:34 PM. Time for you to move up to nickels.

Anonymous said...

Five Dollar Slots will bring you to ruination just as quickly as will Five Dollar Sluts. Get Right With God! Shun the ways of the Devil. Stock up on kerosene and torch cloth. Prepare to meet the three legged unicorn. The end is near. Don't drop the soap!

Anonymous said...





Lottery-funded programs include a variety of scholarships and awards, after
-school programs, and now the new Tennessee Promise initiative, which fully funds tuition at community colleges and other two-
year institutions.

Since the fall of 2004, more than 1 million grants and scholarships to in-state institutions have been awarded to Tennessee students.

Ford Kirkdice said...

I don't see how playing $5 per week on the lottery affects any person's decision to go to a casino.

Anonymous said...

11:02, do you realize how far $2,000 goes toward tuition today? I'm paying nearly five times that amount PER SEMESTER PER STUDENT for my two kids to attend one of this state's fine institutions of higher learning. I'm simply not willing to grovel for even a 20% tuition break if it means a lottery. There are several moral lessons in there for my children. And like legalized gambling and liquor, the social costs will never balance out.

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