Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: gambling


Online betting is a losing game for our state and our nation

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Barack Obama’s Justice Department, which has gotten picky about which laws it wants to enforce, decided in December that it wouldn’t apply the 1961 Wire Act to online gambling.

That decision, which reversed many years of federal policy, has produced a predictable sequel. Nevada and Delaware have legalized Internet gaming, and New Jersey may follow them by the end of the year.

Far more ominously, there’s a move afoot in Congress to legalize Web betting across the country. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other powerful lawmakers are pushing to repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

If the industry has its way with Congress, there’d be no safe havens. Washington has attempted to ban online gaming, but federal legalization would probably allow gambling websites in other states to accept bets from Washingtonians. Our state’s policy would be effectively overturned. Read more »


Keep thousands of gaming machines out of state card rooms

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

What nontribal gambling interests and their supporters haven’t been able to accomplish at the ballot box, they’re trying to make happen now in the Legislature.

House Bill 2786 deserves the same fate as past gambling ballot measures voters decided on: rejection.

The legislation sounds innocuous enough, enabling nontribal casinos to offer electronic versions of the cardboard scratch tickets they already sell. And there’s a carrot for legislators trying to close a big budget gap: Some of the proceeds would go to education, health and human services, and public safety.
Read more »


Gambling expansion: Still a losing political bet for state

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

One of the most irresponsible ideas kicking around the 2012 Legislature is the Republican proposal to pack local card rooms across the state with thousands of slot machines.
What Washington really needs is less casino gambling, not more.

A new Washington State University survey provides a timely reality check for those who think commercial gaming is a harmless industry that promises a free lunch to needy governments.

Commissioned by the state Gambling Commission, the scientifically designed survey suggested that:

• About 88 percent of Washington’s population doesn’t want to see gambling expanded

Read more »


Go broke gambling – in the comfort of your own home

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Good news for American gamblers. Someday soon they won’t have to get dressed and go to a casino to lose their money. They’ll be able to sit at home and legally throw it away – and many states will gladly help them do it.

Now that the Justice Department has reversed its longtime position against online gambling, expect to see a lot of states quickly move to start selling lottery tickets on the Internet – at the very least. Nevada and the District of Columbia are already poised to license online poker websites, and others are likely to follow suit.

Several states have been pushing for a relaxation in online gambling restrictions. The DOJ now says that the federal 1961 Wire Act only applies to online sports betting, opening the door for states to sell their own lottery tickets online and license gambling websites – for a piece of the action, of course. Read more »


Expanding gambling is no way to address budget woes

Of the ideas for raising revenue being bandied about in the runup to the special session that begins Monday, one of worst is an expansion of casino gambling.

The House Republicans’ scheme would give nontribal casinos – which now are limited to table games – the ability to offer the same video slot machines now available only in the state’s 28 tribal casinos. They claim that will raise about $150 million for the state, create jobs and bring in tourists.

Perhaps, but it would do that on the backs of those who can least afford it – problem gamblers and low-income people. Call it gaming, but it’s really a predatory tax on vulnerable people and their families.
Read more »