Our View

Our View

Idea to fund highways with casinos is a road to nowhere

Hey folks, we now know the majority of Arkansas voters were naive enough to buy into the idea smoking dope for medical reasons was a good idea, and they also had no qualms about the state operating a multibillion-dollar lottery where the loser’s money would go to pay for college scholarships.

So then, why should anyone actually think there is anything wrong with setting up three gambling casinos, one of which would be right here in Crittenden County along side Southland Gaming and Racing, with the loser’s money going to fund our state highway department?

Many of us have been around for quite awhile and have seen and heard quite a bit but this casino for roads idea by a group calling itself Driving Arkansas Forward absolutely takes the cake.

So seems lobbyist Don Tilton, who chairs this halfbaked group, wants the attorney general’s office to jump on board and endorse a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize casinos that would generate more money for highways.

Heck, if Arkansans have no qualms about smoking dope or gambling their money away on scratch off tickets then maybe they have no problems with throwing their hardearned money away at a casino table knowing their gambling money will go to fix the streets in from of their homes.

Maybe, just maybe they think gambling their money away at a blackjack table is better than paying more taxes at the pump, at least that is what Mr. Tilton seems to be of the belief.

So what will this amendment be called? It will be The Arkansas Casino Gaming and Highway Funding Amendment of 2018. The amendment would authorize three casinos and allocate 65 percent of the tax revenue they generate to the state highway fund to pay for roads and bridges.

From what we’re told the first license would be for a casino in Jefferson County. The net license would go to a gambling site in Crittenden County and the third would be available for Miller, Mississippi, Pope, Union or White counties.

For those of you out there who may have not given these issues much thought let us point out that while the state lottery does provide much-needed scholarships for worthy students it also has created an entirely new bureaucracy within state government, employs hundreds of state workers with very attractive salaries and does so on the millions upon millions of dollars Arkansans throw away on scratch-off tickets and lottery drawings.

Now, we all know the marijuana amendment was sold on the idea that smoking dope is a worthy alternative to conventional pain medicine used by patients with certain illnesses. But, how many Arkansans realize this up-andcoming industry will generate billions of dollars for the cultivators, the vendors selling the dope in their shops and even the state of Arkansas. It is all about money folks and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

And then there is this casino for roads malarkey that is nothing more than a less than cleaver scheme designed to make a bunch of private business operators very, very wealthy. Oh sure, 65 percent of the profits will go to roads but the fact is 35 percent of the profits will pack the pockets of these professional gamblers.

We would hope our attorney general snubs this con game idea and encourage voters in the future to be better informed on these proposed constitutional amendments before flipping the “yes” switch.