Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 17, 2003

Table gaming offers more jobs than slots create

Apparently the consensus among Maryland's political class appears to be "slots maybe, table games never" ("Officials draw the line at slots," Oct. 11).

But perhaps they have it backward. Every gaming table requires at least one dealer or croupier, as well as "pit bosses" and other supervisors guarding the integrity of the games and tracking the "action" of the players. Given the hours of a typical casino, that probably means more than three full-time jobs per table.

Table games usually offer players better odds than slots. And, best of all, table games have a higher barrier to entry -- they require knowledge of the game, of the conventions for exchanging money and placing bets and a willingness to take part in a very social act of gambling.

Slots offer players poor odds, combined with anonymity and convenience to encourage reckless impulse play. They offer the state a largely jobless revenue source.

Why not ban the slots and open craps tables at racetracks instead?

Steve Waldman

Baltimore

Keep the slots away from our tots

This resident of the Park Heights corridor does not want slots at Pimlico Race Course ("Pimlico owner says slot machines would speed improvements," Oct. 9).

I am not interested in the area's crime rate increasing. I am not interested in seeing the poverty-stricken areas of Pimlico take the fallout of legalized gambling.

The Ehrlich administration needs to find a different solution for raising money.

Steve Levin

Baltimore

If Baltimore County officials think having slot machines in the state is such a great idea, then why not put them in Baltimore County ("Casino owner scouts city for full-scale site," Oct. 8)?

Although this would be a bad idea -- because having slot machines anywhere is a bad idea -- at least that way the legislators wouldn't be hypocrites.

I say that gambling in any neighborhood is not worth the price. No slots near our tots.

Charles Oseroff

Baltimore

Spouting propaganda on weapons in Iraq

President Bush continues to make the case that pre-emptive war against Iraq was justified ("President defends U.S. actions in Iraq," Oct. 10).

Mr. Bush's continued insistence, against all evidence, on the existence of large quantities of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, reminds me of the former Iraqi information officer who, even in the last phases of the war, insisted that there were no American soldiers in Baghdad.

The president risks provoking the eye-rolling that came to greet every pronouncement by the Iraqi official.

That government leaders can be so intent on believing what they wish to be true is not a surprise. What remains to be seen is whether the American people can recognize propaganda when it comes from their own leaders as easily as when it comes from the mouthpiece of a foreign dictator.

Kevin Doyle Reisterstown

U.S. consumers front drug tab for Canada

When the drug companies say they can't permit cross-border sales of prescription drugs because they need the profits they make in the United States to maintain their research and development programs ("Border ruckus over pills," Oct. 14), what they are really protecting is the continued subsidizing of low drug prices in Canada by the American people.

Stanley W. Krohn

Baltimore

Welfare enforcement disrupted families

As usual, columnist Gregory Kane is airing black folks' dirty linen in public and, as usual, he is right on the money ("Absent fathers blamed for blacks' problems," Oct. 11).

But I have a slightly different take on the subject. During the 1950s and 1960s, welfare workers would make home visits during the middle of the night to see if a man was staying at the woman's house. If they saw a man, or any signs of a man in residence, welfare funds would be cut.

I remember my parents talking about different men in the neighborhood who left home because they were unable to find work, and how this was the only way their families could qualify for services.

This did nothing to promote intact families.

Shirley Hopkins-Thomas

Owings Mills

State's future relies on higher education

Kudos to Towson University President Robert L. Caret for highlighting the serious situation facing higher public education today ("Facing the gathering storm," Opinion Commentary, Oct. 8).

I vividly recall my undergraduate experience as a member of Towson (State) University's Class of 1994. This education was essential in preparing me for a successful career in today's society.

Today, as a community member, parent and active volunteer alumnus, I remain optimistic about the future of our university system even though I recognize the budget constraints it faces.

Maryland's public higher education schools have gained prominence and made wonderful strides in recent years. I just hope budget cuts and tuition increases don't cause irreversible harm to our institutions of learning.

The future of our state -- and the opportunities that will be available for my two young sons -- rely heavily on the investmests we make in Maryland higher education.

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