Isn’t Video Lottery GREAT!


I’ve been saying, once someone gets killed maybe we will all realize that this stupid experiment isn’t worth it;

With surveillance video rolling, a young man in plain clothes robbed a Sioux Falls casino at knife-point Wednesday night, forcing the 60-year-old clerk through the business by her neck.


The crime at Paradise Casino was the 21st business robbery of the year in the city, one shy of the total for all of last year. Video lottery casinos have accounted for about half of those.

Almost one a week! WOO-HOO! I have been kind of disappointed though, there hasn’t been one in my neighborhood for awhile. I love it when investigators yell at me and tell me to mind my own business.

Clemens encouraged casino managers to do what Paradise did: Lock the doors at night and leave it up to employees to let customers inside. He said similar strategies saved two casinos from being robbed earlier this year when would-be robbers showed up at locked doors.

Actually the first solution would be to install ATM’s in the casinos that dispense winnings from scanning a ticket so that the cashier doesn’t have access to large amounts of money. But the best solution would be to get rid of this stupid way of funding government, once and for all.


#1 Costner on 07.10.09 at 6:29 am

Whether you think Video Lottery is a reasonable way to fund government or not has zero connection to the fact there are Casino robberies.

Petty criminals go where the money is, so if video lottery didn’t exist they would be holding up liquor stores and convenience stores instead. The net effect on crime is miniscule. If you want to ban businesses because they attract crime every other bar in town as well as ever liquor store would need to close tomorrow.

Frankly I’m a little disappointed in the creativity of some of these guys. The average take for a VL casino robbery is normally only a few hundred dollars. They would be better off hitting up a movie theater or the typical Walgreen’s in most cases.

#2 Ghost of Dude on 07.10.09 at 6:55 am

That would require a bigger crew, and a better-written script.

#3 l3wis on 07.10.09 at 7:08 am

So true GoD. They hit up VL casinos because they are easy hits, and easy escapes since most of them are in residential areas.

#4 Plaintiff Guy on 07.10.09 at 7:17 am

In a bad economy, casino’s are the focus for robberies but there are benefits. 1. People stay away. 2. Fewer customers, less gambling problems. 3. If business slows, they’ll close. 4. The state gets it’s cut and the public benefits (maybe). 5. Thieves get jail and lesser crimes will be fines or forgiven.

#5 Ghost of Dude on 07.10.09 at 11:09 am

The state gets it’s cut and the public benefits (maybe).

There’s the rub. While the benefits derived from VL are obvious and easily linked to it, the downsides aren’t as quantifiable. The social costs of gambling addiction, the impact of the opportunity cost of people spending money at a VL casino vs. other local businesses, and the money spent by law enforcement tracking down and incarcerating casino robbers.

#6 Plaintiff Guy on 07.10.09 at 1:17 pm

Ghost, full agreement from me. I gamble when I go to Vegas. It’s entertainment and very small stakes. It takes a good loser to appreciate an infrequent small win. They call it ‘Gambling’ for a reason. When they name it ‘Winning’, I’ll go often. I’ve gone into casinos here for a free cold beer and a $5 video game. It’s not safe anymore. I’ve stopped.

#7 Costner on 07.10.09 at 2:12 pm

“While the benefits derived from VL are obvious and easily linked to it, the downsides aren’t as quantifiable.”

Replace VL with almost any vice people have and the statement still applies. Alcohol, adult themed stores, strip clubs, or even smoke shops could all fit into this category just as easily.

I guess I’m the type of person who feels people should be able to choose how to spend their free time with the basic rule that if their actions cannot have any direct negative impact upon others. If someone wants to blow their paycheck on video lottery or a game of dice in the alley I could care less just as I don’t care if someone wants to spend $600 a week in sniffer’s row down at Scarlets.

When I start caring is when they decide to break the law or cause direct harm to another human being, but outside of that I figure it’s really none of my business.

Part of this stems from the fact it is so difficult to calculate the true social costs. I suppose one could argue alcohol is most costly than VL will ever be, but I doubt you would convince many people that we should have a dry state.

#8 l3wis on 07.13.09 at 7:01 am

I agree with you Costner that people have their own free will and if they want to blow their paycheck on VL that is their deal. But when the social costs, threat to public safety and crime outweigh what we are getting out of it, it’s time it goes.

#9 Costner on 07.13.09 at 7:11 am

Well good luck quantifying the social costs to the point you can make that call.

I know it seems bad when you get half a dozen VL robberies in a two week period, but in the scope of things it is very infrequent and thus far nobody has been seriously hurt or killed so I’d have a tough time selling this as all that harmful to society.

Now compare those social costs to the amount of revenue coming in that can be used to pay for services such as police and fire fighters and which can be used to keep taxes lower which in turn allows a greater number of people to have more of their money in their pockets which they can use to better their lives in ways important to them…well I would still argue the social benefits far outweigh the social costs.

#10 l3wis on 07.13.09 at 11:16 am


What is the money being spent on? Seriously? It goes in the state general fund while the communities and counties are responsible for the social costs. It is freaking joke of a scam.

#11 Costner on 07.13.09 at 11:29 am

It really doesn’t matter what the money is being spent on. I don’t fall into that trap of money from source X goes to fund project Y, because at the end of the day it all is divided up how our omniscient leaders want it to be.

Case in point – if you were told a certain percentage of sales tax would go towards road repair it might give you a warm and fuzzy feeling, but we all know they have a figure in mind they want for road repair. So intead of fully funding it from other sources they just use a sales tax percentage….either way it gets the same amount (or rather gets shorted by the same amount when other priorities come up).

So the bottom line is it doesn’t matter where the money goes so you might as well just say it goes to the state. The fact is, having taht source of money means the state doesn’t need to obtain the revenue from other sources, so that means no additional income taxes or other clever tax schemes to collect the same amount.

I equate VL as a self-imposed tax on the stupid. Since I don’t play VL, this essentially reduces my personal tax burden, and in my case the benefits outweigh the negatives. That might seem selfish, but then again I’m not forcing anyone to play VL so I don’t feel too bad about it.