Monday, October 20, 2008

Economy is down. Casinos? A different story

Casino gambling is a booming business in Oklahoma, despite of the bad economy. Indian casinos gambling is a thriving $2.5 billion dollar business with casinos and hotels built in various parts of the Sooner State. Arkansas has no lottery and no casinos, but for those who live along the Oklahoma border, there is a casino located right near the Arkansas Line. For example, Choctaw Casino, Inc. has a location in Pocola, OK. The casino is located right on the Arkansas line near the city of Fort Smith. Cherokee Casino, Inc. has a location in Roland, just 6 miles from downtown Fort Smith. The Katoowah tribe wants to build a hotel and casino near downtown Fort Smith, but this is not legally possible. Casino gambling is illegal in Arkansas. The only thing Arkansas has is an initiative on the state ballot for people vote for the lottery to fund education in the Natural State.
That may pass, but many voters believe that this will lead to making casino gambling legal. Hence, the formation of the Katoowah hotel and casino. A religious war over this issue has started here over gambling. Arkansas could become the place to be left without a lottery and/or casino gambling. Every state that borders Arkansas has either a lottery or casino gambling, one or the other or both. Arkansas has some gambling; it's church bingo and the Oaklawn horse races in Hot Springs.
Personally, I am opposed to lotteries and casino gambling. There are two casinos located very close to where I live, but I never go and frequent these places. I don't buy lottery tickets. The chances to win hundreds of millions of dollars are very slim for me. Regardless, if Arkansas joins the bordering states or not, I still won't participate. But, what makes it so bad as the economy tanks with layoffs and budget cuts is that fact that these casinos are experiencing a boom and if I lose my job and there is a job offer to me to work for an Indian casino, what am I going to do?
A person who is a Christian, a devout Jew, a Muslim, or a Muslim following the Sufi path could never work for a casino, an adult book store, or work for a liquor store. But if that's all there is,
what am I going to do? Starve? It's something to ponder about.

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