A tell-tale sign America's chips are down: States are increasingly turning to gambling to plug budget holes.
Proposals to allow or expand slots or casinos are percolating in at least 14 states, tempting legislators and governors at a time when many must decide between cutting services and raising taxes.
Gambling has hard-core detractors in every state, but when the budget-balancing alternatives lawmakers must consider include reducing education funding or lifting sales taxes, resistance is easier to overcome, political analysts said.
"Who wouldn't be interested if you're a politician who needs to fund programs?" said Bo Bernhard, director of research at the International Gaming Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas — a government-funded program.
It is simply a hidden tax on the poor and it is fool's gold for policy makers. Makes the heart sad. Read it all.
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