Wacky columnist seems to be anti-gambling – unless dogs are involved

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Former Florida lieutenant governor Jeff Gottcamp wrote a column that ran on two websites – SunSentinel and Florida Today. In the editorial, Gottcamp seems to take an anti-gambling stance but also seems to support greyhound racing.

After reading the OpEd, I’m not sure he knows what he’s for or against – unless he’s simply pro-dog racing and this was a means to a new twist on supporting the industry. This latest push for decoupling of greyhound racing from the casinos might have turned into another way to warp the debate.

He notes voters turned down casino gambling, three times in three different decades. And he suggest a move to expand gambling in the state would violate its constitution.
Then he challenges the accurate suggestion that forcing the casinos to hold dog races violates free-market principles, by writing – “Let’s be clear — there is nothing free market about gambling. It is a highly regulated industry for a reason.”

Funny – since greyhound racing is not a highly-regulated industry at all. But then the gears are switched on the editorial and he rightfully notes the millions of dollars in tax breaks that has gone to dog racing and the casinos. But he goes around to the other side with the foll0wing:

If racetracks are free to operate as gambling facilities without being required to have live races — the very purpose for their existence — in a very short period of time we would see a massive expansion of casino-style gambling in Florida as the racetracks cut deals with casino operators.

Whhhaaaatt? The very purpose of the casinos existence is to make money off gambling. The only difference it would make, if one option for gambling no longer existed – dog racing – is that dogs would no longer suffer and die.

To suggest that simply by dropping the mandate that dog races be held somehow more gambling would follow, is more than wacky. How does he even think this stuff up? There are other motions on the Florida table for gambling, but merely ending dog racing would not directly lead to more gambling. That’s just wacky mentality.

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