Kudos to 1/2 the council and mayor for voting down casino loophole

Sioux Falls City council meeting, 10/10/17 (FF: 45:00)

Bravo to councilors Erpenbach (who led the charge), Starr, Rolfing, Stehly and Mayor Huether (breaking tie) for voting NO on the casino common space ordinance.

I was actually surprised it tied, but wasn’t surprised Mike voted NO. It is well known in certain circles he doesn’t like VL casinos. I think he called them once ‘junky’ looking.

It was a stupid ordinance for a couple of reasons. While it probably makes sense to have adjoining casinos who have the same owner sharing a beer cooler, that really was only the minor intent. While the separate casinos would have their own set of machines, name, signage and their own entrances and bathrooms, the casino owners wanted them to ‘share’ ONE employee. Besides the fact that the casino owner is being a tight wad when it comes to labor, he is actually endangering his ONE employee more and making BOTH sides of the casino more vulnerable to robberies. Stand alone VL casinos are already burglar magnets, how does this make them anymore safe? Fortunately at least half of them saw that this was very bad idea when it comes to crime and safety. What was strange was that Kiley said he agreed with the NO voters, but voted for it anyway. Now that’s leadership Rick.


#1 Warren Phear on 10.11.17 at 7:36 pm

Am a little surprised this was a 4-4 split. Even more surprised by who was on what side of an issue that should have been an easy 8-0 shutout.

#2 The D@ily Spin on 10.12.17 at 8:46 am

I’m surprised too that there are those on the council that support casinos. Makes me wonder about their business interests and political contributors. Casinos will eventually disappear. State participation is meant for schools. Yet schools are worse off than BC (Before Casinos).

#3 Michael Wyland on 10.12.17 at 11:17 am

Actually, the initial proposal was for the SD Lottery to benefit education, but the education lobby rejected that and asked for the state’s proceeds to go into the general fund instead. The rationale was that, if lottery funds were earmarked for education, that earmarking would be used to justify less general fund support.

The key thing to remember is that this political horsetrading went on before video machines were added to the scratch tickets of the SD Lottery.

At the time the SD Lottery was approved, state funds accounted for about 25% of K-12 educational expenses. Currently, state funds account for more than half of K-12 expenses. The major change happened when property tax relief was enacted by the state in the 1990s. In exchange for statutory limits on annual local property tax increases, the state assured assessments based on 100% of “full and true” property values, offered a property tax rebate to homeowners to cushion the blow of the new valuations, provided additional funds to schools and the option for local governments to “opt out” of the property tax cap and have the option for local voters to overturn an opt-out decision by a local government.

#4 Hornguy on 10.12.17 at 4:52 pm

They *are* junky looking. It’s the first thing I thought when I first visited Sioux Falls in 2007. They make the community look low-rent.

A broken watch is still right more often than Huether, but glad to see he got this one correct.

#5 Suspicious on 10.12.17 at 5:10 pm

I too am wondering if these casino owners are someone’s big donors. Which counselor introduced this legislation? Wasn’t it Christine Erickson?

If this is a “pay back to a donor” situation it doesn’t reveal the kind of character I want in a councilor serving on the council!!

#6 The D@ily Spin on 10.12.17 at 9:02 pm

Robberies happen most often in State Casinos. It’s a safe city if you keep a distance and if we give police the raise Huether denied them.

#7 scott on 10.13.17 at 6:29 am

speaking of junky looking, there’s a big silver building on the north end of town….

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