Oklahoma gambling not paying off

Oklahoma leaders who talked up the large return from state supported gambling are recalculating the odds of a big payoff.

Revenue from tribal casinos is lower than state officials predicted but they say it’s too soon to say whether initial projections were too high.

The state of Oklahoma has received $4,951,206 for the calendar year. At that rate, the state will receive about $12 million this fiscal year, but state Treasurer Scott Meacham had projected $40.5 million.

The problem seems to stem from casinos not rushing to replace current gambling machines with new machines that are covered under the gambling compact with the state.

Oklahoma’s compacts allow for certain faster machines and card games in which the casino can’t profit from the outcome.

Imagine that! Who in their right mind would ever dream that casino operators wouldn’t rush to ditch their existing slot machines that don’t require a cut to the state, and replace them with new machines that require a state kick-back? Those crazy Indians must be drinking firewater or something.

But how can you blame state politicians for being “overly optimistic” and under-estimating the intelligence of Oklahomans? It works for them to get elected.

And these are the folks who made this sports bet on the NBA Hornets.

If the team does not earn 5 percent more in local revenue than it made in New Orleans last season, Oklahoma City would be required to pay up to $10 million to the Hornets.

The state and a group of businessmen who have not yet been named have agreed to split those expenses if the Hornets do not meet the revenue benchmark of approximately $40 million

I have a feeling this might be the same group of unknown buisnessmen who Gov. Keating optimistically promised would help completely privately finance the Capitol dome.

But how can you blame politicians for being “overly optimistic” and under-estimating the intelligence of Oklahomans? It works. And face it; have you ever felt the satisfaction of gambling with other people’s money?

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