Slots for SEPTA?Tim Kearney, who ran against (and unfortunately, lost badly to) John Perzel, made an interesting suggestion in a Q&A in today's Daily News. He suggested that before the State sells any slot parlor licenses, they should write into law that the first 300 million dollars worth of profits (of an estimated 1.6 billion dollars) goes to mass transit.
The advantages are: 1) The Legislature doesn't have to pass any new taxes to fund mass transit. Every politician up there hates to raise taxes and be known as the guy who raised taxes. 2) We are not taking money away from anybody. This new rule - dedicating the first $300 million to mass transit - would be put into the law before the 14 slots-parlor owners are chosen, so they know about it going in.I mentioned before,\ that I am not a big fan of bringing gambling into PA, because the slots are effectively a tax on the poor anyway. But yeah, Kearney's idea (which would have to be tied to inflation) is not bad one. Now if he could only knock off John Perzel...
3) Most of the money that will be gambled away in slots parlors will come from roughly the same group of people who use mass transit. I used to work for Action Alliance of Senior Citizens, and I know that a lot of seniors who ride on SEPTA will be gambling in the slots parlors. So with my proposal, if they lose money gambling, at least some of that money will help the mass-transit system that they depend on.