Entries Tagged 'Video lottery' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council limits Video Lottery when it suits them

Like the recent property tax hike and ignoring the zoning amendments when it comes to Wholestone Foods, it seems the city council only does the right thing when it suits them;

Tuesday’s council meeting finally saw a vote on a series of video lottery terminal requests and malt beverage license approvals applied for by Commonwealth Gaming and Holdings that, taken together, would comprise four establishments holding 10 video lottery terminals each, all within one building near East 69th Street and South Cliff Avenue.

“It just completely violates the spirit and the intent and the letter of state law, which is that it’s supposed to be separate businesses with 10 machines,” said Neitzert in an interview.

So why did you vote for this reach around of state law in the past? The city council has had the ability to limit Telephone Booth VL casinos for years, and NOW they are realizing they can do these limitations?!

Part of the issue is a 2019 ordinance passed by council which allowed separate casinos operating under one roof to share cooler space and employee access points.

It was a compromise that followed several denials of licenses that CGH had applied for, as city ordinance says alcoholic beverages cannot move from one establishment to another, and that walls must separate businesses that hold licenses to sell alcohol.

Neitzert, who voted in favor of the ordinance, said CGH had always said they were looking to operate two establishments under one roof, not three, four or five.

I figured when they passed that ordinance that casinos would find a way to expand it even more. While I wasn’t a 100% sure this would happen, I initially opposed the change because the city council should be doing everything in their legal power and authority to limit VL casinos and not just automatically approve new venues when they come before the council. While they like to cry about a couple of Med MJ dispensaries they seem to have no issue with a junky VL casino on every corner in this city. Video Lottery has destroyed more lives in this state than MJ could ever do and the tax revenue just gets wasted in the general fund. Besides contributing to more crime, addiction and bankruptcy, a job at a casino isn’t exactly a career move unless you own the place.

When the latter two video lottery terminal requests came to a vote, they failed in a 5-3 vote, with Councilors Curt Soehl, Marshall Selberg and Alex Jensen voting in their favor.

And you gotta wonder what these three clowns were thinking? Further proof our city council is NOT truly citizen representatives.

Sioux Falls Video Lottery 4-Plex Casino deferred

A few years ago the council took the idiotic step of allowing two separate casinos in the same building with a door separating them. State law says you can only have a maximum of 10 machines per casino space/address. So they pull this little trick of separating the casinos by suite number and they can max out machines.

I knew if they approved this with all their fancy conditional uses like separate bathrooms, entrances, chain link fences, separate coolers, etc, that the sh!t would run down hill. I think there have been several applications put in for other locations.

Tonight, councilor Starr had had enough and 5 out of the 7 councilors present decided to defer the use until they can hear from the applicant who was not present tonight. (Jensen and Soehl voted it down)

As you can see below, the applicant wants to put 4 casinos next to each other in the same strip mall with different suite addresses so they can max out at 40 machines.

I have long known the council to be nuttless when it comes to challenging the state when it comes to telephone booth casinos, but isn’t it time they put a middle finger up and finally say we have had enough of these sh!tholes. Let the state sue us! I welcome the lawsuit! Maybe we can finally allow the city council to legally tell VL casino applicants to go away and stop any new casinos from opening in this city ever again.

The council can deny the applicant based on suitable location, we will see how this dog and pony show goes.

Video lottery & the hypocrisy of the Sioux Falls City Council

At the Sioux Falls city council meeting Tuesday night, there was another fight of sorts. It had to do with an attorney who represents several bar and casino owners in town who just can’t get over the fact they should have ONE employee per casino. In the rest of the state, where hillbillism is alive and well, towns are allowed to have an imaginary line in between licensed casinos, so basically they can have ONE employee run two casinos. The state only allows 10 machines per VL license. This is regulated by the state, and the state legislature has NO desire to increase that number, so munipalities like to bend the rules a bit and create weird boundaries between casinos, or should I say NO boundaries.

I think the state legislature should repeal video lottery. As we have seen in Sioux Falls, all they are, are magnets for trash, robberies and various other crimes. I laughed when the attorney who was representing the casinos said that they are ‘small business owners’. He said it like they were the corner grocery store in a small town just trying to get by. Most small businesses have a business model, you pay them for a service or product. Casinos simply take your money and you get nothing in return. I can almost guarantee the state takes in less taxes then are paid out for the problems caused by video lottery. But that is a discussion for another day. Item #15, which was a 1st reading passed for a 2nd reading hearing. It’s a reach around of sorts that would allow casino owners in Sioux Falls to have ONE employee for two casinos, like a lot of other towns in South Dakota. While it passed for a 2nd reading, I think Stehly and Starr made it clear they don’t support it and that it makes the casinos less safe.

But Item #15 isn’t where this ended. While a majority of the council seem to approve of this rule change, when it came to amending and adding to the legislative priorities list at the end of the meeting, they seemed to show their true colors of hypocrisy. Starr made a motion to add to the priorities list that basically state law should change so VL casino owners could have 25 machines per license. I literally laughed out loud, and laughed even harder when the council voted down his amendment, the exact same members who were for item #15.

And they wonder why I call them hypocrites?

Is Rep. Haugaard going to lead the charge in repealing video lottery?

I found this quote from Haugaard in the Argus Leader yesterday interesting;

Rep. Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls, pointed out that the role of government is to “never exercise a vice upon the citizens” and questioned how state officials can stop the “steamroller” of legalized marijuana.

Not to get in an argument on whether legalized mary jane is less harmful then legalized video lottery (and probably raise a heckuva a lot more tax revenue). But if Haugaard is so concerned about ‘vices’ being thrown upon the citizens of South Dakota I’m assuming he will lead the charge to have the legislature to repeal video lottery in our state during the next session? I have often argued that VL is a revenue neutral, if not a revenue negative on our state with all the social costs associated with it in crime (robberies), bankruptcies, broken families and even suicide.

So Steven, will you do the right thing and repeal this vice on the citizens of South Dakota?

Sioux Falls Planning Commission approves more criminal activity

‘There are two kinds of Video Lottery casinos in Sioux Falls, Ones that have been robbed and ones that will be robbed.’ – Scott Ehrisman

Let’s face it, all VL casinos in SF have become magnets for thieves. We certainly don’t need anymore. I have believed for a long time that the social cost to taxpayers far outweighs what the state makes from them.

Last night at the planning commission, (Item#8) they had a ‘sensitive use’ permit to approve for an alcohol license for a casino. Let’s face it, this isn’t about the license, this is about plopping another VL casino in the middle of an established middle class neighborhood that is already struggling with crime. The commission could have easily voted down the license (that is why it was sensitive use). Only one did, John Paulson.

The neighborhood testified against the casino, NOT because of the alcohol or gambling but because VL casinos get robbed, consistently and non-stop in this community. That’s a reality.

Commissioner ‘Know it all Nick Sershen’ said the neighbors were calling people who gamble and drink criminals. Uh, no they weren’t, they were saying VL casinos attract criminals. It just goes to show the planning commission members don’t give a rat’s ass about keeping neighborhoods safe. While they will debate the ‘safety’ of an electronic church sign for 45 minutes, they had ZERO discussion on this item before approving it. This was an easy one. They failed huge!

It’s funny, when the Bonus Round Bar by my house was a casino, it got robbed 1-2 times a month. Since they have converted it to an arcade bar, I haven’t heard a peep about a robbery. I’m not saying that there haven’t been any attempts, but I think burglars tend to case a place before robbing it, and once they realize it is NOT a casino, they move on.

Will the closure of Pay Day lenders in SD affect Video Lottery Revenue?


Most may tell you that they don’t take loans out from pay day lenders for gambling but for rent. Which is probably true, because what usually happens is they spend their paycheck on gambling then don’t have money over for rent.

It will be interesting to see if Video Lottery revenue goes down due to the fact people won’t be able to get quick cash. I suspect in the first year it will probably be around 15% percent, but I think within the 2nd year, you are going to see revenue way down due to the closure of pay day lenders.

Maybe it is time to eliminate VL once and for all?

How to stop a video lottery casino

What is Video Lottery really costing us?

After hearing about the recent property tax increase for Minnehaha county (due to an uptick in prosecutions) I’m starting to think it is time for our public universities to do a study on what video lottery is costing taxpayers due to the crimes related to it;

Investigators say Denae Baustian stole more than $170,000 from the department.  In a Lincoln County Courtroom Tuesday it was revealed that she used an ATM card to take money from department accounts which she then used to play video lottery.

I have argued for years that VL is probably costing us more then what we get out of it due to the crime surrounding the venture (embezzlement, robberies, divorces, incarceration, etc, etc.)

Isn’t it time to end this ‘experiment’ that has only been good for the machine owners and not the taxpayers?

What did SF City Hall do to piss off the SD Supreme Court?

Oh, that’s right, they continue to wipe there ass with the US and State constitutions;

SIOUX FALLS, SD – The South Dakota Supreme Court says the city of Sioux Falls exceeded its authority when it enacted a zoning ordinance controlling the location of businesses seeking to place video lottery machines in their establishments.

The justices agreed with a lower court ruling that regulation of video lottery is a state function to the exclusion of municipal regulation.  Casino owner Rick Law sued the city after it sought to regulate where he could open new casinos.

The justices in their decision said municipalities are not given the power to license video lottery establishments or otherwise control the location of such establishments.  But they said municipalities do have the power through zoning to control the location of alcoholic beverage establishments.

Agree or disagree with video lottery, doesn’t matter. The state controls the number of machines a business can have. When the council voted on this I knew they were barking up the wrong tree. I think Quen Be De Knudson said something like, “Bring on the court challenges.” Another genius move by De.

This is why funding state government with gambling revenue is a bad idea

One more reason why video lottery was a stupid idea to begin with;

For the first five months, the Sioux Falls area saw about a 15 percent decrease. But in June, when the new casino opened, the percentage dropped 22 percent to 26 percent.

Well, duh. It’s volatile just like sales taxes. When the economy is down, people spend less money (and rob more). I have often suggested that the state moves to an income tax structure and dumps video lottery and regressive sales taxes (on essentials). But we know who is in charge, don’t we, and that ain’t never gonna happen.

I like Cory’s twist on the concept.