Friday, July 20, 2012

EDITORIAL >> Know when to fold them

It appears that at least one of two efforts to bring casinos to Arkansas will be on the November ballot.

A proposal by Texan Michael Wasserman to run seven casinos in Arkansas has fallen short of the needed signatures, but the plan brought by professional poker player Nancy Todd to run four casinos seems headed to the voters.

It seems that many of her collected signatures were under less-than-honorable pretenses.

At many of her petition drives, she had her motor home painted with slogans espousing voters to save poker in Arkansas. Poker is not at stake — a longstanding way of life is though.

The implications of the messages on her motor home are that people can’t play poker in Arkansas or won’t be able to without the formation of her four casinos.

First, poker has been played in the state about as long as sippin’ whiskey has been around. No one is threatening the guys’ or girls’ night out and the opportunity to chew the fat, smoke a stogie or two and lose or win a few bucks playing penny poker.

When was the last time a friendly neighborhood poker party was busted?

Todd wants to make money, lots of it, and she knows most of it won’t come from poker rooms in the casinos but from slot machines.

Even as popular as the World Series of Poker is and the game of Texas Hold ‘Em, there are casinos across the country closing poker rooms and replacing them with slot or video machines, which are less expense and bring in more money. In Laughlin, Nev., the River Palms and Edgewater casino have closed poker rooms in the past year. So has the Fitzgerald and the Silverton in Las Vegas.

Todd is no different than any other casino-want-to-be-magnate — it’s about the money, not poker.

Here’s an idea: Tell her no and then bring some chips and a pizza over Friday and let’s deal real friendly like — like we always have.