By Ben Bull
Published September 27, 2007
So Flamborough Councillor Margaret McCarthy doesn't want to divvy up her ward's share of the Flamborough Casino slot machine profits?
Can someone please explain to me what I'm missing here? Why is it OK for the Flamborough wards to keep this entire windfall - $3.8 million last year - while the rest of Hamilton gets stiffed? Should Ward 4 keep Stelco's business taxes? I just don't get this logic!
Sure, I know we're talking about a municipally-run business here and not straight property taxes, but isn't Hamilton everyone's municipality?
Of course, we could get into the morality of collecting taxes from gambling. I've had an insider's perspective of this business and I can tell you, it's not pretty.
For every government mandated responsible gambling campaign, there's a far greater effort towards achieving the casino's main objective - to get 'em gambling and keep 'em gambling. I once attended a meeting where a Casino executive told me, "If we could put urinals by the slot machines we would."
But that's another debate entirely.
For now I can only wonder where the logic is in all this. Here's hoping that Councilor Tom Jackson gets his way and these municipal dollars can be directed to where they need to go and be used for the benefit of everyone.
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