Tuesday, May 15, 2018

South Dakota ready to go all in on gambling addiction

I began playing in Jerry Apeshit Apa's illegal poker games in the basement of Deadwood's Bodega a few years after Attorney General Bill Janklow shut down the whorehouses to distract the press from his role in the murder of Jancita Eagle Deer.

One frequent player was Walter Dale Miller even after he became Lt. Governor Miller. When poker became legal he played while he was governor and even after Janklow drove him from politics he came to Deadwood to play. Miller was horrible at poker sometimes pouring thousands into a game. Recall that after years of financial problems Miller's son and daughter-in-law, Randy and Mary, were convicted of tax crimes then served time in federal prison. The specter of Janklow operatives sabotaging Governor George Mickelson's plane still haunts me.

It took the lobbying of Walt Miller, Democrats "Five Dollar Bill" Walsh and Tom Blair to bring legal gaming to Deadwood to finance historic preservation; but, Republican greed has turned it into the prostituted cultural wasteland it is today.
A Deadwood gambling advocacy group is discussing trying to put a sports betting constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2020. Gov. Dennis Daugaard's office said in a statement that the state doesn't currently have any reliable estimates on the economic effect or revenue that sports betting could generate. "I welcome this decision because it recognizes the right of states to regulate in this area," Daugaard said. [Rapid City Journal]
Republican Denny Daugaard is presiding over spikes in childhood obesity, violent crime, suicide rates, homelessness, acute hunger, mass incarceration, coverups and a poisoned environment. There are no checks on executive power and the governor's cronies routinely raid the state's general fund. The state is second in addiction to gambling and teachers' salaries surf the bottom of the US. Wage slavery is the state's biggest claim to fame. Corruption and graft have become ordinary.

Imagine the number of lives touched by video lootery.
In partnership with the National Council on Problem Gambling, the South Dakota Lottery is reminding citizens that scratch tickets are not suitable gifts for minors, it was announced in a news release. Research shows that problem gambling can be established at a young age and lottery play is sometimes an introduction to these activities. Gift givers are reminded to ensure that any recipient of a lottery product is 18 or older. [Pierre Capital Journal]
Communities throughout South Dakota are being drained dry and becoming increasingly violent. The annual criminal costs of video lootery in South Dakota have soared to $42 million and the social costs an estimated $62 million. $9 million were lost because state and local sales taxes weren’t collected. When video lootery began in 1986 104 charges were filed for robbery, grand theft and aggravated theft. There were 1,037 cases in 1990 and last year they went past 4,000 yet South Dakota continues to raise revenues off those least able to pay.

My own obsession with poker and power wiped out a career and destroyed at least two of my marriages so i haven't played for nearly a decade. Going into a restaurant where poker is on teevee causes my mind to replay images of the past and renders me unable to take my eyes off the screen. When i was still playing Ricky Jacobsen, Chuck Baumann and Jeanette something took their own lives after losing everything in Deadwood's poker games. No doubt there have been others.

Despite lies from SDGOP video lootery, payday loan sharks, domestic violence and homelessness are inextricably linked putting children at risk to more catastrophic consequences far more often than has happened in states that have legalized or lessened penalties for casual use of cannabis.

There is a better way to reverse red state collapse than the all-consuming addiction to gambling.

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