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A Bet on Odd

by on February 5, 2013

Backing New York State is a losing proposition. Bettors could make a fortune by putting their ducats against whatever the state does, as there’s no surer wager than banking on the state’s population continuing to dwindle. If you think present tax rates attract businesses, you’ll be joining those already here in destitution soon.

As an example of why the gaming table is tilted, the state is graciously giving you rights they have been keeping from you. They might actually let adults have fun, and the low stakes indicate just how closely life is regulated for remaining patrons at this faded oasis. Politicians who have put New York in an impossibly deep hole feel entitled to dictate just how people waste their cash:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is eyeing western New York-most likely Niagara Falls-as part of his plan to allow a limited number of non-Indian, Las Vegas-style casinos in the state.

The Buffalo News reported Sunday that the governor will soon propose a full-fledged, privately operated casino in Niagara Falls. A Cuomo administration official confirmed Sunday that the administration will recommend a western New York casino, but only if the state Gaming Commission finds a decade-old compact with the Seneca Nation of Indians to be invalid.

You can open the type of business in question if the government ever gets around to approving it. Even if they lightened up, they’d still have too much control:

In his budget proposal last month, Cuomo proposed permitting three casinos upstate-defined as north of Putnam and Rockland counties-and allowing the new Gaming Commission to recommend specific locations. Cuomo would expand that number to four if the potential Niagara Falls casino is given the green light by the commission.

The pit boss’s arcane rules make the hall intolerably stuffy and definitely lacking in enjoyment. Someone who arbitrarily picks betting sites like he’s throwing darts at a state map also negotiates with tribes like it’s centuries ago:

The Seneca Nation was granted exclusive rights in 2002 to operate three casinos west of Route 14, which runs south from Wayne County to the Pennsylvania border. The state and the Senecas have been locked in a dispute over the contract for the past several years, with the nation withholding more than $450 million in payments to the state in escrow in the meantime. The issue is currently in arbitration.

The Senecas and state argue over who gets what according to the lines they drew. If you’re not a member of one of the two groups, you may feel left out. You may also be noticing that this place is being micromanaged into oblivion to everyone’s irritation:

If Cuomo’s casino plan is to move forward, state lawmakers will have to again pass an amendment to the state’s constitution, which would allow New York to regulate up to seven casinos statewide. After that, the public would have to approve it at the ballot box before taking effect.

We can’t wait until the government gives us permission to vote to waste our money as we please. Any dopes who want to bet should be free to do so without being treated in the same criminal class as eight-round magazine owners or wedding photographers who back traditional marriage. If you want to bet on the spins of a roulette wheel in someone’s garage, it’s your capital to fritter. Besides, such a venue would have less overhead than some joint on the boardwalk or Fremont Street with a fancy chandelier.

As it stands, the champions of tolerance only authorize slot machine ownership for members of a certain race. And while it’s nice of them to get around to attracting cash to the state by perhaps allowing more, it may surprise the government class that approving casinos not a matter of developing the economy. Betting on anything should be a private transaction, and, as with every other activity, financial development is the byproduct of mutual trade. The trick is that success doesn’t come when Albany attempts to engineer it.

People might very well think it’s stupid to rely on a deal of cards to profit. But they should also mind their own business. Humans are free to choose the diversions of their choice, as they almost always burn through money, anyway.

Plus, a small percentage of players can beat the system: unlike with, say, spending one’s entertainment budget at a tavern, you have a chance to win back your money at a craps table. Some choose to not gamble on having fun at a Chippewa Street hoochie house, and that probably makes them more knowledgeable about odds than singles bar patrons.

The necessity of a constitutional amendment to permit casinos shows how stifling this state is to anyone trying to have a little fun. For once, Cuomo should let us live it up instead of seeing us as means for providing the capital with as much revenue as can be squeezed. Or they can just keep peddling lottery tickets. Albany knows all about bad bets.

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