Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Taking my libertarian streak out for a breath of fresh air

Along with my rather wide progressive streak is a sprinkling of libertarianism. I'm widely opposed to government interference in the lives of individuals. I expect that sets me apart in some respects from some of my progressive bretheren. Especially on the subject of gambling and casinos.

Oregon is preparing to tackle the issue of nontribal casinos. While casinos are not individuals...they're places of entertainment where individuals pay to participate. Its a legitimate business. And while I've read arguments against it, I'm disinclined to come out against nontribal casinos or casinos off of tribal lands.

This doesn't mean I'm against the regulation of casinos that do end up off of tribal lands. Its absolutely the job of government to hold any business accountable that preys on individuals or is dishonest with them in some way. Its also appropriate for government to regulate whether or not children can participate.

I do think that we need to be honest with ourselves and not allow gambling to be couched as "family entertainment". I agree that those sorts of labels are at best misleading and at worse a nefarious attempt to talk voters and legislators into something. But I have yet to hear appropriate reasoning for disallowing these casinos altogether.