House Kills Casino Bill

Today the House did the right thing and killed House Concurrent Resolution 3033, which would have proposed – via a vote of the people – amending the State Constitution to allow the state to have up to six state-owned casinos. However, earlier in the week, the bill was amended from "state-owned" to "privately owned".

Of course, the resolution didn’t go down without it’s primary sponsor, House Majority Leader Al Carlson, lobbying on the floor for it’s passage. But it was Rep. Dan Ruby (R – District 38) who stole the show by reminding his colleagues in the House that the state often suggests people with addictions need welfare services as a solution to their problems and that the legislature often creates it’s own problems through proposals like this.

Ruby’s best line came towards the end of his comments when he said, "…if gambling and welfare was the solution to our problems, the reservations would be paradise. I don’t think anybody agrees that it is." Ouch. That’s what we call brutal honesty.

Throughout the floor debate, it was mentioned multiple times that failure on the legislature’s part to pass the resolution will just result in an initiated measure being proposed to make casinos a reality. I agree with Rep. Dan Ruby. If the State Constitution is to be amended to permit casinos, then let the people go through the initiated process to make it happen.

It is certainly not the proper role of government to be in the casino business. Should the people choose to propose an initiated measure to make casinos a reality, I would hope that it will be for full legalization to allow private businesses to handle the demand, not the state. If there is not sufficient demand for private businesses to build, fund, and maintain casinos in North Dakota, then there shouldn’t be any. And on the flip side, if there is a demand, the state shouldn’t be put in a position to snub out the private sector opportunity.

The vote wasn’t even close with a final tally of 28-63.

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About T. Arthur Mason 295 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.