Some people in Broken Arrow are up in arms because of an effort to put a tribal casino in that city.
Good for them. Oklahoma has way too much gambling.
According to the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, 31 tribes operate 130 casinos with 72,850 electronic games and 5,300 bingo seats. Gambling now represents 3 percent of the Oklahoma economy with gambling revenues of $4,750,000,000.00 in 2015.
The tribes try to justify this gambling monster by pointing the payments to the state and public relations schemes against human trafficking and for cyber security, tech innovation, energy savings and other “lipstick on the pig.”
They spend so much money with Oklahoma’s liberal newspapers, including the Tulsa World and the local TV stations, that they don’t have to worry about much coverage about the negative aspects of gambling, how it wrecks marriages, ruins careers, destroy families, empties bank accounts and fosters crime. A state senator went to prison because he couldn’t control his gambling habit.
Tribes promised that gambling revenues would prop up public education. Former Gov. Brad Henry, who negotiated the tribal gambling compacts, gushed about how public education would have plenty of money once we got casinos.
That didn’t happen. In fact, school financing is in terrible shape because of reliance on poor revenue streams (like gambling and the lottery).
Gambling is really bad business for Oklahoma. Let’s hope the good people of Broken Arrow can stop casino No. 131 from opening in their city.