Pro & Con on slots: Same old tuna!

I am writing all this slot machine stuff in my sleep. I was hoping for a real knock down drag out over the latest attempt to legalize slots in Miami-Dade County. So far it has been like watching a parade of zombies. Of course I am not on “the inside” and maybe the parimutuel owners who are financing the slots campaign are laying in the weeds waiting to see what the other side can come up with. To this point the group called “Yes for a Greater Miami-Dade Campaign” has produced a rather generic TV spot that does not stir a ton of emotion. Same arguments, the state needs money for education, times are tough economically, you get it and you have seen it. The “Yes” crowd carps about the lies the opposition is laying out. However other than a researched campaign piece that counter the argument crime is an issue due to the Broward slot operations there has been no strong retort to some obviously over blown rhetoric by the anti-slot crowd.

Those against the slots are a pale shadow of their former self. At one time a group called “No Casino” was a powerhouse anti-gaming lobby that was able to secure funding from many anti-gambling groups including, back in 1994, the Walt Disney organization and in tandem from the coffers of the late drug store tycoon Jack Eckhard. And there is the Miami Herald which, in the past, harbored publishers and company officials who openly opposed casinos, served personally on anti-gambling organizations. Herald staffers over the years privately complained about the paper’s hierarchy’s close alliance with the anti-gaming crusade. Many of them have departed with the take over by McClatchy. Gamers thought they’d get a better shake out of the Herald. The one blip on the radar is a man by the name of Doug Hurd who is a McClatchy employee. Apparently he is a middle management type, has nothing to do with editorial, I am told. The mild mannered Hurd hosted a meeting of a loose knit coalition which bills itself as “No Casinos Miami.” Doug Hurd is no Alva Chapman.

And then there is Jeb Bush, former Governor and bare knuckled anti-slots crusader who personally crushed the pro slots 2005 campaign in Miami-Dade. Jeb sent a letter of endorsement to an anti-slots rally. That’s it, he was nowhere to be seen.

This is not fun yet. Where are the “Big Guns” on both sides of the issue?


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