But George, to those "spending" that seed money, it's seen as an investment. Meaning, if they spend those millions today, within 5 years or so, they are expecting far more money to be coming in. And to the State, that means a steady flow of new revenues.
If those same investors became philanthropers, donating to schools and universities, that would be great. But would the State coffers get a steady stream of new revenues of equal size?
Like it or not, there are a lot of people out there who are compulsive gamblers. It's the craziest thing I've ever seen. I went to a conference a few years ago, in a casino hotel in Biloxi MS. In order to get to the conference rooms, we had to go through 3 smoke-filled floors of gamblers. It was busy at all times of day, as far as I could tell. Booz, cigarttes, and gambling. They seem to all go together.
If Maryland wants to replace its horse-racing deficits with other forms of gambling, I guess it shouldn't be surprising. (They won't get a dime from me, though!)
Call me old school and old-fashioned, but I've never been a fan of legalized gambling. States for 30 years have rationalized the revenue upside, but it's essentially preying on the populace and wrapping it in some honorable outcome (education, highways, whatever).
As George points out, the House always wins and the benefits are dubious.
I don't take the least bit of pleasure from gambling, however as a revenue generating measure, it appears to work quite well.
I've never understood why "counting cards" should be considered a sin, in these casinos. Isn't that the whole point of card games? Can you imagine a bridge player that DOESN'T count cards? Sort of the difference between playing with some measure of intelligence, as opposed to playing like a dumb-*ss!
Overall, naturally, the house has to win. Else, it wouldn't stay in business!!
The House always wins, unless you are the remarkable Blackjack player Don Johnson. As a "Whale" sought by hurting casinos, Johnson fleeced most of the casinos in Atlantic City by evening the odds in his favor, bringing a pile of his own cash, picking his spots, then continuing to play with the House's money until he was asked to leave.
Here's a link to Johnson's remarkable story:
A relevant passage from President Obama's victory speech early on the morning of Nov. 7, 2012:
"We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers -- (cheers, applause) -- a country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation -- (scattered cheers, applause) -- with all of the good jobs and new businesses that follow."
So George, are you suggesting that the Obama faithful like to have great government services, but miss the fact that any such can only come from a sound and strong economy (i.e. an economy that supports business)?
And this is surprising in what way?
I'm suggesting that in a presidential campaign where there was little or no discussion of the technology sector as an engine of economic growth, the President of the United States at least inserted a paragraph in a speech watched by millions about "discovery and innovation."
Will this alone spur innovation? No. But at least it's back on the agenda after 18 months of mud slinging.