People leaving their kids in the car … to gamble? No love in Henderson, at least not on the retail level. And a shocking new low for poor Atlantic City. It’s got to be time for the Friday Slashback!
• Now who says the gambling industry is full of rapacious con men who only want your money, and no matter how nice their suits, how stilted their business rhetoric and how elegant their facilities, they’re basically just grifters operating a high-class version of a back-alley craps shooting ring?
Well, certainly not me! And now, we’ve got evidence that it’s not (entirely) true!
The American Gaming Association — the industry’s Washington, D.C. lobbying arm — came out strongly behind a program that aims to prevent people from leaving their kids in cars while they step inside to gamble away what was probably the milk money. Said the AGA President Geoff Freeman:
“We all hear these stories at grocery stores or theme parks. Many of us are parents of young children. If there is anything we can do to be partners to prevent children from being left in cars, we are glad to lead the way.”
Yes, because a casino is exactly like a grocery store or theme park — a staple of everyday life, or a place for good, family fun!
But seriously, folks, let’s not fail to appreciate what’s happening here. The gambling industry is actually saying there are customers it does not want to come in to its facilities and lose money. That is a significant development, because usually, the industry wants everybody to come in and gamble their money away. In fact, casinos have been known to build facilities specifically for kids inside their buildings (such as arcades, movie theaters or Kid’s Quest play areas) where junior can be safely socked away while mom and dad root for the little white ball to land on black 17, because that little tyke needs a new pair of shoes. And health care.
So, it’s a good thing that the industry is encouraging responsible gambling. In fact, this announcement came during Responsible Gaming [sic] Education Week 2014. That recognition was created by the American Gaming Association itself back in 1998, and today, the industry remains the primary force researching problem gambling. (Here’s some literature.)
What’s that, you ask? What about casino companies that see problem gambling as less a “problem” and more as a “business model”? Oh, come now. Let’s not spoil Responsible Gaming [sic] Education Week!
• The city of Henderson is totally not banning sexually oriented businesses. It just so happens that there aren’t any because nobody has applied to open one in the only zoning area available for that purpose, known in Henderson zoning parlance as GWB-1, for “Great Whore of Babylon.”
Only kidding. But not by much.
Edward Wheeler, who has been trying for five years to open a Love Boutique store in the city, is mulling his options after he was denied a business license by the city. The council cited the possibility that people might begin to suspect that Henderson residents have sex with each other if the store opened as its reason for denial.
Only kidding. But not by much.
Apparently, the city has declined to be very specific about just how much adult merchandise qualifies a retail store as a sexually oriented business, and a memo from the city attorney to the council says even 10 percent adult stuff might meet the definition. But really, its “whatever an icky sex shop plans to have on the shelves.”
Only kidding. But not by much.
• Meanwhile, wait until the Henderson council hears that expatriate Los Angeles porn film producers are moving to Las Vegas to escape a voter-approved county ordinance that requires actors to use condoms! Apparently, the fans don’t like the use of condoms in porn, even if it’s done to ensure the safety of actors.
But guess what? The state only wins with porn. Why? Well, the authors of that bill to offer film credits specifically exempted obscene or sexually explicit material. That means porn pays full freight in Nevada, people! And presto! We’ve diversified our economy.
• What are the odds that the right in Las Vegas is going to grab this quote from Rep. Joe Heck and use it against him from now until Election Day? “They [DREAMer kids] have become members of our society.”
• Well, what do you know? States that implemented a state-based health insurance exchange and expanded the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act have seen a drop in the number of uninsured people. This, by the way, should surprise no one: If you offer ways for people to get otherwise unaffordable health-insurance, they will take it.
But now we know how much: In states that implemented the health care law, the number of uninsured dropped by about 4 percentage points, compared to a 2.2 percentage-point drop in states that refused to implement the health care law. Some states, such as Arkansas, saw a 10-point drop in uninsured people.
By the way, in case nobody has said it recently. thanks Gov. Brian Sandoval, for helping more uninsured people in Nevada get access to health-care coverage.
• Wait, are you serious here? Donald Trump is suing to get his name removed from a pair of Atlantic City casinos? Donald Trump? The reality show guy? The “you’re fired” guy? The birther guy? That guy thinks the Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza are so rundown, they’re hurting his image?
OK, Atlantic City. It was a good run, but it’s over now. Time to pack it in and try something else. We hear medical marijuana has some promise…
• Mari Nakashima St. Martin has hit the lottery! She got a new job this week, moving up from state Sen. Mark Hutchison’s campaign for lieutenant governor to taking over as spokeswoman for Sandoval, whom polls show is loved by pretty much everybody. Rumor has it that job comes with a George Castanza-like bed under the desk for those long afternoon naps.
But seriously, folks: St. Martin has worked for the Nevada Republican Party (never an easy task), as well as running for office herself in 2012, so she’s put in the work. We wish her well. And we wish a truckload of Advil and Maalox for poor Tyler Klimas, the governor’s former spokesman who is taking over as spokesman for the problem-plagued Nevada health-insurance exchange.
• Oh, sweet! The Clark County Commission approved a resort-and-sports arena on the old Wet ‘n Wild site on the Las Vegas Strip! Awesome! The $1.4 billion project will feature a 22,000-seat, retractable roof stadium on 27-prime acres. Now, the county still has to address traffic issues, but somehow, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. We’ll just zoom in using our flying cars! Or use the transporter! Or ride in on our magical unicorns!
Too harsh? Well, I’ve always said I’ll believe an arena project will be built when I’m sitting inside it, eating a hot dog and drinking a beer. Right now, it looks like the only people who have even a remote chance of taking my money in an arena are the folks at MGM Resorts International.
• On this one, I don’t mind saying, I’m rooting for the bees.
• After yet another long week of bad news — floods, Ebola death tolls, angry bee swarms — I thought we’d close this week out with some good news. More Jersey Mike’s stores are coming to Las Vegas! Try the cheesesteak. Trust me. And I’ll see you next week!