Entries Tagged 'Video lottery' ↓

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.

We likes our SIN taxes in SD (H/T – Helga)

Well isn’t this funny.  All those pious right wingers and South Dakota leads in being a state that profits from sin. Can they say hypocrites???

From 24/7 Wall St.: As state budgets strain under huge debt loads, they are counting increasingly on “sin taxes”, one of the few reliable sources of revenue in these uncertain economic times. 

States have profited from the public’s voracious appetite for easy money (gambling), nicotine (smoking) and booze (alcohol) for years. Some are more successful at it than others. A few states generate less than 1% of their revenue from preying on their residents’ vices while sin accounts for between 5% and nearly 13% of the budgets of others. Some of the difference can be chalked up to varying rates of addiction, but aggressive tax policy also plays a part. Pennsylvania makes the greatest percent of its revenue from gaming taxes of any state. It charges a 55% tax on slot machine proceeds. Conversely, Las Vegas collects only 8%.


5. South Dakota
Most Profitable Sin: Lottery ($117 Million) 

Revenue From Sin: $212 Million (11th Lowest)

Total State Revenue: $3.8 Billion (The Lowest)

Percent Total Revenue From Sin: 5.63%

The National Association of State Budget Officers estimates that South Dakota collected less revenue than any state last year. That is why the state’s $212 million collected from “sin” is the fifth biggest percentage of government income in the country. The state collects the 19th most in gaming taxes in the U.S., although this is primarily because 29 states do not collect taxes on their casinos at all. The state’s biggest source of sin-based income is the South Dakota Lottery, which generated roughly $117 million in revenue last year. The state’s cigarette tax is $1.53 per pack, roughly triple that of North Dakota. The state’s alcohol taxes are also higher than most, at 27 cents per gallon of beer. According to the South Dakota newspaper The Capitol Journal, the state’s revenues from video lotteries actually dropped as much as 15% last year, possibly because of a smoking ban in casinos and bars which was enacted in November.


I have a better idea, let’s get rid of telephone booth VL casinos all together!


What a great way to spend taxpayer money, fighting a failed experiment called Video Lottery;

City Councilor Vernon Brown said the Supreme Court historically has given cities wide discretion on land-use issues. He expects the residents of Sioux Falls would like to see the matter appealed, calling it a public safety issue.

Wouldn’t spending taxdollars on getting rid of this stupid form of tax collection (which probably costs us more in social costs, as you point out . .

“I don’t think we want to locate the businesses that get the most armed robberies next to elementary schools,” he said.

be a better solution? While I agree with the judge that the state has the right to regulate VL casinos, I think all of these suits prove that VL is costing us more then helping us. It’s time to put it back on the ballot in 2012 and get rid of it once and for all.