Gambling, not a good idea for Pennsylvania, not a good idea for meBefore casinos were legalized in New Jersey, Atlantic City was a pretty depressed place. The schools were in trouble, there was high crime, etc. Now, after years and years of casinos, Atlantic City is a ...depressed place. The magic of casinos has not done too much for them. That, I think, is a similar level of tangible benefits that we will see in Philadelphia. Depending the financial health of your state on a certain percentage of poor and elderly blowing their money on slots seems to be an immoral base for Pennsylvania to stand on. (And yeah, I think it is time we all started talking morals. A lot.)
Basically, what we have is Pennsylvania legalizing gambling to fund economic development in a way that does not involve the word 'TAX!" And, this is not even like the state lottery, where except for the bureaucracy that is involved, the profits at least totally benefit the state. No, this is a system where someone like Caesars will come in, make a huge profit, and throw a portion to the State. How efficient.
Anyway, the is all a long segue into a personal story about my own problem with gambling. I recently made a bet. A bet that I hope I win. It involves our dominant football team, and whether or not they make it to the Superbowl. My boss has the Philadelphia-will-always-lose streak going, so he and I agreed to the following: if the Eagles make it to the Supe, he takes me to lunch anywhere in the City. But... if they lose, I have to register as a Republican. Yikes. And so, with confidence in my team, I accepted. But, boy, I sure hope Brian Westbrook stays healthy. Because as depressed as I will be if the Eagles lose, I will be pretty inconsolable when I get a letter in the mail that says "The Pennsylvania GOP would like to welcome you to our party!"