Vice Squad
Monday, November 12, 2007
Slots in Maryland

Vice Squad was in Baltimore this past weekend, perhaps explaining the blog neglect. But the news in Baltimore is pretty similar to the news in Chicago -- lots of talk of government budgetary shortfalls and slot machines as one way of dealing with them. Maryland lawmakers seem ready to pave the way for the number of legal slot machines in the state to rise from zero to 15,000. Millions of dollars in lobbying expenditures and campaign contributions from gambling interests have not affected the political debate, of course. Illinois and Chicago also appear to be headed towards a gambling expansion. Is there any ceiling to how much gambling can expand? Yes, but Illinois and Maryland are probably below that threshold right now. In Las Vegas, on the other hand, August 2007 gambling revenues were 4.4 percent lower than in August, 2006.

Speaking of gambling, Vice Squad is slated to attend a conference in New Orleans later this week. New Orleans contains a casino that holds a local monopoly but somehow managed to go bankrupt twice. Posting will remain limited until next week, I am afraid.

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