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July 19, 2010 / jimnv

Protection Racket for Gaming

A newspaper recently published an editorial about the governor’s plans to review state boards and commissions. In part, it said most boards are protectionist for a select few and don’t really serve the people. That might be true in some instances and eliminating duplicative and irrelevant boards and commissions would be a good thing. Can’t argue with that.

So, now let’s talk about the Gaming Control Board (GCB) and Gaming Commission.  These entities mainly serve the political interests of the governor, the legislature and the gaming industry that politically supports them. For example, gaming decides who they want on the board and commission and the legislature keeps their taxes low for political “support”. Talk about an openly protection racket, one that does not serve Nevadans or our visitors. Only in Nevada would this be tolerated and institutionalized!

In the spirit of the review process and government efficiency, let’s consider eliminating the current bureaucracy by transferring the regulatory and audit authority to the counties, move the technology division to the Department of Information and Technology and the rest of the agency to the Department of  Taxation.

I know the casinos, mainly in Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce love the current scheme and think it’s just fine. But it’s not. It only serves the gaming industry and keeps their taxes ridiculously low (the lowest on the planet) through political shenanigans.

Maintaining the current setup keeps Nevada dependent on casinos for revenue and we have seen what that can do to our educational system and state government in general. But then, casinos, mainly in Las Vegas don’t care about a good educational system because an educated population does not serve them and fair salaries for state employees doesn’t either.

Unfortunately the board and commission review is just more of the same from a governor who wants to show he is doing something. Instead he should be working on diversifying our economy and developing a state budget that does not rely so much on gaming. None of this will happen. And don’t count on the legislature to change things either.

Frankenstein’s Monster will still live. (March 1, 2009)


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