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In Fla. Casino Fight, All Bets Are Off

Memo Pad

In Fla. Casino Fight, All Bets Are Off


An international resort company wants to build a huge casino on the shore of Biscayne Bay, where the Miami Herald now stands.

Journalists aren’t sentimental but they do appreciate irony. Having editorially crusaded for decades against opening South Florida to Vegas-style gaming, the Herald will soon be humbly relocated to make way for an extravagant $2 billion palace of wagering.

Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen is an award-winning journalist, commentator, and novelist. Hiaasen has worked for the Miami Herald since 1976, and his writing focuses on environmental and corruption issues in his home state of Florida.

His latest book is Skink—No Surrender (2014).

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  1. PjjP11 November 22, 2011

    Keep up the fight, we here in Oklahoma now have so many that a nice trip to Vegas is nothing to look forward to now. The problems they create, and the gambling additiction increases are not good for the state and they overide the increase in jobs a casino brings. I use to love the occassional trip to Vegas or wherever, now the appeal is gone. The casinoes have also brought their own set of problems here, prostition, robbery, and lets face it, the poor are doubly attracted to the gratification of instant money. Of course it doesn’t happen except for a few lucky people. On another subject; Carl Hiassen needs to write more books. He is a unique author and is enjoyed by many. I miss them.

  2. baldy ohoon November 22, 2011

    Precisely right. The proliferation of legalized gambling in this country is a sad sign of the times. Worst of all, States are becoming more and more addicted to gambling revenues–aptly characterized as a tax on the poor. State-run gambling–lotteries, video poker,online games, etc.–have become pervasive. That mindset could just as easily justify state-run high class whore houses.
    I must, however, quibble with the analogy to a Ford dealership being unhappy with a Honda dealer opening up down the street. Car dealers and other big retailers like to be next to their competition–the more the merrier. Just look at the “automobile rows” in major cities. I’m so old I remember when the illustration of this principle used to be that Woolworth’s likes to open up next door to Newberry’s.

  3. eye4bear@hotmail.com November 22, 2011

    What the article FAILS to mention is that there are already several casinos in South Florida, so this is not something new, just something on a grander scale. If I want to go gamble here now it is at most a 15 minute drive.

  4. cemab4y November 23, 2011

    If a casino wants to open in Miami, then roll out the red carpet. It is JOBS JOBS JOBS. I cannot imagine why a state/community would be against a huge firm coming in and hiring hundreds/thousands of people.

    True, there is only so much in the economy that can be gambled away. That is why the Kentucky Horse Racing industry is dying, and the Race Tracks are begging to have casinos installed at their parks. That is why the racing industry in West Virginia and Pennsylvania is experiencing a renaissance.

    Casino gaming works on a percentage. The average house game advantage is between .5% and 1.5% . The house takes a cut, and the balance is paid to the winners. Consider state lotteries, averaging 49% of the proceeds going to taxes, and the balance paid out.

    In a casino, the worst possible game for the player is craps. Even the name sounds like money being flushed down the toilet. But go into any casino, and that is where the big action is.

    Believe me, a whole “forest” of casinos is better than one “tree”. Take a look at Elko Nevada vs. Las Vegas Nevada.

    The function of government is to foster and expand freedom. If gaming is a tax on the poor, at least it is paid voluntarily.

  5. DAR November 28, 2011

    We will get them wither we want them or not but ask the people of New Orleans if the casinos there were and economic boom for them. I think it will be a shot in the foot for those of us who live here year round.


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