Editorial: Gaming compacts are bad for California

"Listen closely, and you can hear a "ka-ching" sound emanating from the state Capitol. Armed with a jackpot of campaign dollars, wealthy Indian tribes are pressuring key state leaders to approve one of the largest expansions of casino gambling in U.S. history.

The Senate this month approved compacts that allow five Indian tribes to more than triple their number of slot machines, from 10,000 to 32,500.

These new slots and Nevada-style gambling palaces will add to the 50 casinos and 60,000 slot machines that already exist in California. Apparently, what happens in Las Vegas doesn't stay in Las Vegas. It is spreading across the Golden State.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata say these compacts are good for California and claim they will add $506 million annually to state coffers. There's reason to question those numbers.

Schwarzenegger's 2004 compacts haven't come close to generating the annual $175 million to $200 million that was promised.

Yet even if the new compacts allowed California to paper over its budget problems with an extra $500 million a year, it wouldn't compensate for the real costs of this massive casino expansion."

Get the Story:
Editorial: New casino compacts are a bad deal for state (The Sacramento Bee 4/29)

Another Opinion:
Jim Boren: There may be more than meets the eye in gambling bill (ScrippsNews 4/27)