It would seem, at least to me, that Delaware State Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf is up to his old “EXPANDING GAMBLING” tricks again.
He has sponsored HB 194, with co-sponsors Reps. Atkins,Booth, Hudson, Lavelle, Longhurst, B. Short; Sen. Sokola.
This Act authorizes any holder of a valid Delaware thoroughbred or harness racing license granted as of September 1, 2008: (1) the right to become a video lottery agent if it otherwise meets the eligibility criteria for licensure; (2) the obligation to maintain a certain minimum number of harness racing race days; and (3) the duty to make payments to the State Lottery Fund comparable to those made by existing video lottery agents. This Act also exempts the granting of a video lottery terminal license to a newly created harness racing track from triggering a reduction in the statutory minimum number of days that existing thoroughbred or harness tracks must offer harness racing.
Here is a link to the full text of the bill, http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis145.nsf/vwLegislation/HB+194/$file/legis.html?open
Now if I read this right, and I am no lawyer, but it seems as if these so-called race tracks, need only hold races on twenty days out of a five-year period and I see no requirement for the number of races held on each of these twenty days. So does this mean that they could hold one race on each of the twenty days and qualify for slot machines? Or could they qualify by only scheduling twenty race days? What if no one shows up to race?
Excuse my cynicism, but when I see Rep. Atkins of the 41st District as a co-sponsor I have to think that this may have something to do with Del Point, the proposed “RACE TRACK” and casino for the Millsboro area. I also believe that this is another in a series of moves to expand gambling beyond the confines of the race tracks.
We have already been subjected to the expansion of the types of gambling allowed in Delaware from video slot machines to sports betting , to now full-blown table gambling. And since Rep. Schwartzkopf would allow more venues for slots, is it such a stretch that he would in the future support allowing these same venues to have table gaming? I think not.
The idea that Delaware will solve its fiscal troubles through gambling revenue has been proven to be a false hope over the years. First it was the Lottery, then slots, then more slots, now it is sports betting and table games. Where will this end. At what point do our legislators realize that the only way to solve our fiscal troubles is to cut spending and reduce the size of government.