Thursday, March 5, 2009

Free Drinks- Bet on It

When I woke up today, I turned on WGN radio and heard a report saying that a bill was introduced in the Illinois Senate that would allow gamblers in Illinois casinos the luxury of free drinks.

I might as well have written the rest of the story (r.i.p Paul Harvey).

I very swiftly made a comment to my girl along these lines: "Of course they want to. The casinos are losing tons of cash ever since the smoking ban went into effect. All the other states around us don't have the ban. Even Iowa, (they've got a statewide ban too), lets you light up in the casinos."

It's not rocket science.

The radio report continues, saying that revenues are, you know, down, and with the economy, you know, the way it is, maybe we (meaning the state of Illinois) should consider doing something to, you know, lure people back to Illinois casinos.

Free Drinks! Finally!

Something like that.

So I searched around to get the juicy quotes (is this really news, here?). Today's are from the State Journal Register, out of beautiful Springfield, where all the magic happens. When it comes to legislating fun (read: nanny laws), the darndest things are said by the usually typical characters:

1) The Lawmaker- “It wasn’t a huge issue until you had the smoking ban. It was kind of like a one-two punch,” said Sen. Dave Syverson, a Rockford Republican (Republican?) and the measure’s co-sponsor. “When you take away smoking and you take away drinking, you create a real disadvantage for our boats.”

2) The Church Lady- “Studies have found that when people start drinking, they tend to gamble until they have lost everything,” said Anita Bedell, a spokesperson for the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems. “I think (casinos) are out there looking for more money, and alcohol is a good lubricant.”

Uh, she THINKS casinos are out there looking for more money? And who conducted these so called studies anyways? You drink and gamble til you've lost it all? Why, that's unheard of. Preposterous. Nobody in their right mind would do that.

Never mind.

3) Management- “Casinos are required to be very cautious when serving drinks,” said Tom Swoik, executive director for the Illinois Casino Gaming Association. “In most cases, it is not going to be free drinks for everybody. There are certain players that frequent the casino that are larger gamblers than other people that would be served the drinks.”

Did he just say that only high rollers would get free drinks?

Honestly, who comes up with this kind of stuff? I'm not gonna sit here and tell you what you already know. About how people who like to gamble usually like to drink. About how people who like to drink (who knows, maybe lots of people) also like to smoke. About how some people like to smoke AND drink while they gamble. About how when people who like to smoke AND drink might be inclined to leave the casino because they are forced to do one without the other and they aren't happy about that and they're already outside anyways and already lost enough as it is so maybe I should just leave now...

Wait, I wasn't going to tell you that stuff. Sorry.

So, for all you folks, Dems and Repubs alike (equal opportunity, you know), who like to legislate how, when, where and in what variation/order/combination we are allowed to have fun, I say to you:

Stop telling me what to do, give me health care, and leave me alone.

So it goes...

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