The Real Reason to Worry about Maryland Casino Unionization
Last Friday, the Baltimore Business Journal ran an article on the unionization of workers at Maryland’s new casinos.
Veterans Getting the Shaft
In my most recent policy report, What’s Hidden in Expanded Gambling Legislation, I am critical of the treatment that veterans’ organizations receive. It seems ridiculous that they have had to wait all this time to benefit from legalized slots while casino operators stand to make millions upon millions. But I didn’t realize how bad the situation was until I received an email from a legislative assistant to one of Maryland’s (few) republican delegates.
Changing Goals on Gambling
When did the goal for legalized gambling in Maryland switch from raising money for education to keeping up with the Joneses? Before 2008, it seemed like Maryland was united in the belief that gambling was a social ill and should be illegal. Then we decided that it was worth allowing some slot machines in a few select locations so we could fully fund Thornton legislation (which mandates spending increases on education every year). And here we are, four years later, ready to expand gambling already.
A Shell Game
When we legalized gambling in Maryland, one of our major motivations was – ostensibly – to raise money for education. I believe the phrase “slots for tots” was tossed around, suggesting that it was all just “for the children.” We played a similar game with the increased alcohol tax. It was claimed that the money would be raised to help those with disabilities. But, as Marc has pointed out (repeatedly, actually), that’s not entirely true.