The contortions that editorial writers have to go through to make a case for banning video poker in North Carolina would be funny if they weren't so sad. Today's half-baked advocacy in the Greensboro News-Record is telling.
Sound public policy demands a better effort to eradicate an unhealthy influence from society. It's true that people can satisfy their urge to gamble by visiting Cherokee or legal casinos in other states, playing games of chance online and, yes, buying North Carolina lottery tickets. Yet there's good reason to draw a line somewhere. Video poker is over the line.
There may once have been good reason to draw a line somewhere, but that opportunity was wildly missed when the State itself got into the business of gambling to fund public education. Standing at the bottom of that slippery slope, North Carolina policy makers have no business imposing a different morality on the private pursuit of games of chance.
Depending on which state you use for comparison, it seems that properly licensed gambling businesses in North Carolina could generate several hundred million dollars in tax revenue annually. Projections in Nevada from gambling are pegged at nearly $1 billion for the upcoming fiscal year.
With our governor and legislators scrambling like crazy to generate more and more suckers for the NC Education Lottery, isn't it time to spread the wealth? If it's okay to bless the roll of dice to fund public education, it's probably long past time to let the rest of the chips fall where they may.