Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Will Berger/Moore Slip Vegas-Style Gambling Into the State Budget?


Although (as previously discussed) a bill to legalize Vegas-style gambling casinos in North Carolina has been drafted, it's never been introduced. There is strong speculation that Berger/Moore may slip the expansion of commercial gambling into the budget bill:

Not introducing the bill to expand legalized casino gambling in the state as a stand-alone bill would result in no committee meetings where the public can comment on the issue and no separate vote. Legislators would have the choice of voting for the budget that included expanding legalized casino gambling in the state or voting against the entire budget that includes raises for state employees, including teachers and everything else in the $30 billion budget. (John Hammer)

Sounds like a Phil Berger kind of plan: Get the deed done without too much hassle from the public, which polling has shown is not enthusiastic, at least not in Rockingham, Anson, and Nash counties, where new casinos have been proposed. (The draft bill doesn’t list those counties by name. Instead, it spells out criteria for eligibility -- lying east of Interstate 77, being a border county or one traversed by Interstate 95, having a population of less than 100,000 people, and being one of the 40 most economically depressed counties in the state -- which kind of narrows it down. But House Speaker Tim Moore made it explicit in July, telling reporters that new casinos would be in Anson, Nash and Rockingham counties.)

Nash County citizens are getting nervous too. The chair of the Nash County Commish told local lawmakers that there needed to be a local referendum. "[A] controversial item like this, the people have to be involved," he said.

A public referendum -- and all the organizing that would go with it, the yard signs, the newspaper editorials -- is exactly what Berger/Moore don't want. Devoutly don't want, because a referendum would be such a ... gamble.


Wolf's Head said...

How about a casino in Boone?

Red Hornet said...

What about Hamsterdam in Boone?

Red Hornet said...

Well, Raleigh's got a whore house, right in the state legislature.