6.30.2004

A tax on the mathematically impaired

The closest casinos (featuring table games such as blackjack) are 4 hours away in Atlantic City. Anybody who managed to open up a casino closer to home would be sitting on a gold mine, Trebek.

I mean... sitting on a gold mine. Period.

There is a group looking to put casinos in D.C. But not the real, fun kind; it's the kind where you sit down and stare into one of 3,500 "video lottery terminals." Apparently they're like slot machines, but no details have been released with regard to payouts. Presumably these would be worse than traditional slots, which typically pay out 90-95 percent of a bet on average. Meanwhile, state-run lotteries sometimes pay out as low as 50 percent of cash wagered per play (to use typical Pick 3 games as an example).

Earlier diatribe about house edge here. We have many lottery games in all three jurisdictions, including government-run keno games in D.C. and Maryland. All are gigantic rip-offs. Blackjack, which for some reason has a greater "evils of gambling" stigma attached to it, generally offers no less than 99.56% payout per bet if you play correctly, and is more fun because you actually get to interact with real people instead of a computer screen. I get my fill of staring at a screen when I'm at work.

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