House Bill 2772 would expand off-reservation gambling but would turn over control to the Arizona State Department of Gaming. Bad idea. If we are to expand legal gambling, it should be regulated by market forces, not the government.
If licenses are required for gaming, they should be auctioned, as suggested by local columnist Bob Robb. Bob also questions the “prudence and morality of making state programs more dependent on gambling revenues.” This is a subject that deserves more attention.
Several months ago, I attended a meeting of the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council where the Department of Gaming was making a presentation about their budget. They began by stating that their mission was to maximize revenue to the state while maintaining the dignity of Arizona.
I could not help but make a comment during the call to the public: I suggested that their state mission was impossible because there is nothing dignified about Arizona running a gaming operation (the lottery), especially since gaming is such a reprehensible action that private citizens are prohibited from engaging in it.