The Oklahoma Legislature will convene for a special session here in a few weeks to try and solve the state budget crisis they created, and already, many lawmakers are hard at work floating out bad proposals to raise revenue.
One of those ideas is courtesy of State Rep. Kevin Wallace. He wants to legalize roulette and dice games at Oklahoma tribal casinos, because you know, the best way to raise money is by making it easier for sad, desolate people who are already broke to lose money.
His plan does come with a catch. Here are the details via NewsOK.com:
The chairman of the Oklahoma House Appropriations and Budget Committee announced Tuesday that he plans to propose expanding Indian gaming to include roulette and dice games as part of his solution to filling the state’s $215 million budget hole.
Committee Chairman Kevin Wallace said he wants to offer the opportunity to operate dice games and roulette to tribes that are willing to give up rebates they receive for the registration of vehicles by tribal members who obtain tribal license plates.
I’m a liberal libertarian type and think all forms of gambling should be legalized and regulated. If you want to waste your money on a game of chance that you statistically have no chance of winning in the long term, feel free. It’s your money. Just don’t complain and blame Obama when you’re broke and life is in dumps.
That being said, I don’t like this plan at all.
First of all, one of my favorite games to play on Oklahoma roads trips is “Guess the Native American tribal license plate.”
“Okay. What do we have coming up here? Is it Sac and Fox? Noooo. Potawatami? Nooo… Oh wait. Muscogee Creek! I should have known.”
If tribes have to trade plates for roulette tables, it ruins all the fun.
Second, is raising money by making it easier for people to lose money really the best way to fund government? That’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul’s bookie. It’s a bad investment. We’ll just waste the extra revenue on welfare to support the gamblers.
That being said, at least Wallace came up with an idea. The standards and expectations for Oklahoma lawmakers are so low now that even that’s an actual accomplishment. Mary Fallin agrees:
“I commend House Appropriations and Budget Committee Chairman Kevin Wallace on bringing his ideas to the table,” Fallin said. “It’s a start, and I look forward to working with the House and the Senate on addressing our budget shortfall. My staff and I have been holding discussions with legislative leaders from both parties as well as listening to the people of Oklahoma the past few weeks, and are working diligently to find a solution to the current fiscal year’s budget hole.”
Yep, these are the people who are going to solve our state budget crisis. That’s like calling the contractor who screwed up your remodel to come fix it. We’re screwed.