Don't back the wrong horse in the casino game

The Delaware State News has been printing some fabulous material lately, but unfortunately, I’ve been too busy to keep up much of a commentary on matters that interest me. I shall defer to Sher Valenzuela’s knowledge in respect to her Public Forum letter (March 29 edition [“Reforming Unclaimed Property Program”]) about restructuring the state of Delaware’s management of “found money”: I think Mr. Simpler, our state treasurer, ought to be listening to her. Meanwhile, I shall leave it to watchdogs like Robert Duff (the 30 March edition [“Forty-seven senators and Logan Act”]) to question what our national legislative and executive branches of this country are doing. What really lit me up was the former governor of Maryland, Mr. O’Malley’s, quote in a March 30 edition article saying (I paraphrase) the presidency is now a crown to be passed between families.” [“O’Malley: Presidency ‘not some crown’ for families,” Associated Press] Gee, the papacy was that way for eons, and as for not being able to dig up decent candidates in any election, anywhere, well, no one with half a brain wanted to be Caesar after Caligula, literally. Claudius was mentally handicapable and did a better job. I’ll stick to what I know and reference my own Public Forum remarks of March 26, “Catering to casinos is losing gamble.” Therein, I wrote, “I am talking about that insidious succor of idle hands and addicts, online gambling.” Lo, comes the front-page headline on the March 30 edition: “Del.-Nevada online poker network opens.” Man-o-man, those Vegas businessmen are going to make out like bandits. Who said you can’t make money on a bad deal? Even as some folks see this country slipping into anarchy, I am reassured that capitalism is alive and well because there will always be a way to hound-dog a buck and nobody knows that better than that sort of businessman and our state legislators. Mr. Peter Couming’s comments in the April 2 edition [“It is no longer a sin …], referencing my letter about “Catering to casinos,” reveals a regrettable lack of understanding on his part on several points. First, most of the world’s religions still regard gambling as a sin, not that I’m particularly observant religiously. Politically, I’d best be described as a fiscal conservative, but I personally think everyone should go to the devil in their own way as long as they’re not asking me to pay for it. Another matter he seems to be uninformed about is the fact that the casinos were allowed into the state of Delaware chiefly to support the floundering harness-racing industry. If that industry goes away, the casinos’ reason for being here is moot. Therefore, if Mr. Couming’s intent was to lend his voice in support of the casinos, he has done the exact opposite by writing the remark that says “Maybe the horsemen may have to go it alone and maybe they should … .” Moreover, I wonder if he realizes that those Vegas boys are going to be putting the squeeze on the Delaware casinos right along with our legislators. Geez, I’d rather see the revenuers get it than Vegas. In response to other comments Mr. Couming made, the shuttered businesses along U.S. 13 were largely the result of the economic debacle of ’07/’08, which is helping to kill the casinos, too. Delaware’s chief industry now is retirees. The care of seniors is the booming industry here, not gambling. So, Mr. Couming, think about getting some training in the geriatric health care industry if you want a guaranteed job for the next 20 years, and stop backing the wrong horse.

Carol Hotte Dover

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