Saturday, May 05, 2007

Subsidizing Vice

Saturday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on efforts by the owners of the Kenosha dog track to JS get tax relief for their gambling operations. They must think Tommy Thompson is still governor.

Among the "constraints" the dog track operates under that makes it economically unfeasable: competition from the casinos, they can't keep unclaimed winnings, and they have to pay a fee for each simulcast race. You'll forgive me if I'm a little unsympathetic to their economic plight.

The owners of the dog track made a bad bet and they lost. We should extend to them the same consideration they would have for their customers who do the same thing - the very source of their revenue.

Before we worry about the owners filing for food stamps and moving into subsidized housing, let's remember,

The Menominee tribe has an option to buy the track for $40.5 million. The tribe is partners with the Mohegan tribe in Connecticut to build the casino-convention center complex at the track and continue live dog racing. The Mohegan tribe would develop and manage the casino under a seven-year deal with the Menominee tribe.

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs is studying the casino proposal; a regional BIA office has already approved the plan. Gov. Jim Doyle has the final say.