Peter Wants To Rob Paul

This morning on local talk radio station WGMD, Delaware State Representative Pete Schwartzkopf was in studio with Dan Gaffney.

  Rep. Schwartzkopf came by to discuss expanding the number of casinos in Delaware from the current number of three, to five.  Rep. Schwartzkopf was also there to discuss the recent release of the Delaware Gambling Commission’s report on increasing the number of casinos in Delaware. The report is only a recommendation for the state legislature.

  To begin with, a majority of  the Gambling Commission recommended against increasing the number of casinos in Delaware from three to five. Rep. Schwartzkopf was a member of the commission and was in favor of expansion.

   Rep. Schwartzkopf  attempted to make the case that Delaware could increase the amount of revenue that is generated by gambling in the state, merely by increasing the number of locations at which people could gamble.First off , are there people standing outside of the current casinos waiting for hours to get in, so they can lose their money to the state ? I don’t think so.

  I argue that this is not the case. I argue that there are only so many gambling dollars out there and that no matter how many locations you create , you will not significantly increase the amount of revenue. The commission also seems to believe this , since they stated in their report that the three current locations would see a revenue drop if new locations were approved. Maybe as much as 15%.

 Let us look at the gambling dollars out there to be had, and let us think of them as a pie. It doesn’t matter if we cut the pie into three pieces or five pieces, we still have the same amount of pie, just smaller pieces. This brings up another of Rep. Schwartzkopf’s  reasons for expansion, he feels that the current owners of the three casinos in Delaware are somehow acting improperly, that  acting to protect their profits is somehow wrong of them.

  Rep. Schwartzkopf also made his case based on creating new jobs in Delaware. He stated that expansion would create five thousand new jobs. Mr. Schwartzkopf did not say how many of these jobs would be construction  jobs and how many would be permanent jobs. He did mention the reports findings that expansion would cause job losses at the current casinos, maybe as many as twenty-two hundred, that means that expansion would really only create a net gain of two thousand eight hundred new jobs. Not bad unless you are one of the twenty-two hundred people who currently have a job, but won’t if expansion is approved.

  Rep. Schwartzkopf made the statement that his main concern was the creation of jobs. Well this is exactly what you would expect to hear from a Democrat . Let us face facts here, the labor lobby is in favor of expansion, labor historically has supported Democrats. So when Mr. Schwartzkopf complains of the lobbyist for the current casino owners, I find it disingenuous.

  Also, if Mr. Schwartzkopf is only interested in creating jobs, I challenge him to propose legislation that would remove the state of Delaware from the business of collecting a share of the profits from gambling. Not likely since the state is only interested in expanding gambling in an attempt to increase revenue so that those in the state Capital who think as Mr. Schwartzkopf does, can keep on increasing the size and scope of government.

  Let us not forget that Rep. Schwartzkopf was out front on bringing sports betting to Delaware, and let us not forget what a fiasco that has been. Now he seems to want to once again take the lead on an issue that is doomed to fail in its proposed goal.

 Expanding the number of casinos in Delaware will not increase the amount of dollars spent on gambling, it will not draw more tourist to the state  . Often we hear from those on the side of expansion that we must do this to counter act the fact that surrounding states are going to expand their gambling operations. This is akin to the arms race of the cold war. They build a casino, we build two, we add more slots they add more slots. And of course the ace up the sleeve is table gambling, how long before we are told that we must institute table gambling or lose all chances of competing with surrounding states. And just like the arms race during the cold war, the end result is guaranteed mutual destruction.

  In my view , gambling has been a losing game for Delaware. Over the years since we started with the lottery and since we instituted slots and now with betting on the NFL, we have constantly been told by Dover that all we need do, to solve all of our budget woes, is to once again add or expand gambling in some form. Now we are told if we just open more casinos, we can once again solve our budget troubles. Don’t you believe it. Even if we expand the number of casinos, the surrounding states will go froward with their plans of expansion also, again slicing the pie into more pieces, but not creating more pie.

  Expansion may have some marginal short term effects on employment, but for the most part it is nothing more than a case of moving the profits of one location to that of another, while doing little to increase the revenue of the state.

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4 Responses to “Peter Wants To Rob Paul”

  1. JUDSON BENNETT Says:

    WOW !!-“Gambling a losing game in Delaware???”, as you pontificated. Do you know how much revenue that the state has gleaned from gambling over the years? Millions of dollars. What an eronious statement that is. Frank, what actually do you know about the gambling industry. If Del-Pointe is a destination with the fabulous resort ameneties that are planned, hell– Georgetown airport will become a hub of activity with flights from all around the world coming to our area to play.

    You might ask– What is my expertise? I ran a junkit operation for the Sands Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City from Washington , DC. I know how profitable it will be once table games are included. I know the business backwards and forwards. The Commission made judgements based on politics, not reality. Are there moral considerations–indeed there are. Will there be casulties ?Indeed there will be a few more, but it will be profitabe for the State and for Sussex County. The State funds the Delaware gambling council to help those who are compulsively hooked. Someone who has the disease can go to Harrington or Dover from Lewes as fast as they could go to Del-Pointe. I can be in Atlantic City in 30 minutes by plane and lose or win $20,000 in no-time if I really want to do it. I despise the moral indignation and hypocracy by those politicians in Dover that want to support one casino, but not another.

    How many Casinos in Atlantic City Frank? Vegas? Reno? They all are making money. Delawareans will not be the sole support of Delaware Casinos–they will come from everywhere Frank and Delaware will profit. Schwartzkopf is right and you are wrong.

    Let’s outlaw gambling in Delaware totaly–shut down everthing. Let’s outlaw cigarettes and close all the liquor stores as well. Let’s stop all controversial movies that are R rated. Maybe– make our women wear Burkas and cover their faces. Then lets open up the Bread lines. Frank some of your posts are pretty good–you missed the boat on this one, because you don’t know what you are talking about. Your self righteous convictions and obvious prejudice against Pete have clouded your logic.

  2. JUDSON BENNETT Says:

    This passionate message concerning the Gambling Commission’s actions was sent the Coastal Network for distribution by local conservative network member— Jim Sumstine. Scroll down:

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Jim Sumstine
    To: pilotajb@dmv.com
    Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 2:35 PM
    Subject: DELAWAREANS RISE UP!! Please Forward

    Dear fellow Delawareans,

    Yesterday, five of our legislators led by the actions of Sen. Patricia Blevins, voted to reject and ignore the findings of an independent, third-party study, paid for with our taxpayer dollars, that determined adding two new casinos was in the best interest of our state, labor force and taxpayers.

    These legislators apparently do not care about the average Delawarean and would rather protect their fat cat friends and lobbyists in the casino industry than do what is best for you and their constituents. They do not support free markets and competition, something you and I have to deal with every day in our industries. Instead, they want to protect the current monopoly and the profits of wealthy, private individuals and shareholders at our expense. This must be stopped!

    The study projected that adding two new casinos in our state would produce 5,000 NEW JOBS and would add $120+ million to the state coffers per year and help get our economy going again. We need those jobs and we need that money in these tough times to support state services and the families of our state employees.

    Please write or call your legislator to tell them this must stop! Stop supporting monopolies, stop cowing to special interest groups, and start listening to the studies that we pay for!

    PLEASE E-MAIL, WRITE OR CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS NOW! You can find links to their email addresses here: http://www.delpointeresort.com/legis/. You can find more detailed contact info for Senators here: http://legis.delaware.gov/legislature.nsf/sen?openview&nav=senate and more detailed contact info for Representatives here: http://legis.delaware.gov/legislature.nsf/Reps?openview&Count=75&nav=house.

    Please forward to all the people you know that care about our Delaware economy, our Delaware workers, and our Delaware taxpayers.

    Thank You,

    Jim Sumstine

  3. frankknotts Says:

    Mr. Bennett, I apologize for the delay moderating your last comment, I have been busy. While I may not agree with expanding gambling , I do hope that concerned citizens from both sides of the debate will contact their legislators.

  4. frankknotts Says:

    Mr. Bennett says, “Will there be casulties ?Indeed there will be a few more, but it will be profitabe for the State and for Sussex County.” Well as long as it is profitable , why should we care, right? Are all ideas that are profitable good ones Mr. Bennett? Or is it only a good idea if it is profitable for a government run idea ? I mean selling drugs are profitable for those who sell them, so should the state sell drugs? Oh wait , we already give the needles to the junkies, so why not sell them the drugs? And that too was an issue that Rep. Schwartzkopf championed. We as a society lose a bit of the moral high ground when we attempt to “PROFIT” from that which causes harm to others.
    As for Del-Point being a destination, well wouldn’t it be one without the gambling ?I don’t remember seeing the slot machines at Busch Gardens.
    And let us be honest , just as there are those lobbying against expansion, there are those lobbying for it, but I guess if you agree with them then that makes anything they do to forward their goals okay.
    “How many Casinos in Atlantic City Frank? Vegas? Reno? They all are making money.” Well Mr. Bennett I don’t choose to live in any of those places, do you ? Tell me since you have such intimate knowledge , what are the areas like that surround the casinos in Atlantic City ? Are they somewhere you would like to live ? Or better yet , would you like Del-Point next door to your home ?
    My point about gambling being a losing proposition is based on the fact that we must always expand and add new forms of gambling to keep feeding the beast of bigger government spending. And at what cost ?

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