Tim Eyman got to speak yesterday on behalf of Initiative 892 — unopposed — before the Association of Washington Businesses. His comments were picked up in the Bellingham Herald and the Olympian… and they were lies all! At least the headline was accurate: “Eyman touts his initiative for gambling.”
Timmy continues to call I-892 “revenue neutral.” It is not. According to Office of Financial Management estimates the initiative will cost state and local governments at least $69 million a year in lost revenues from other forms of gambling. And that doesn’t even begin to calculate the lost revenues from other taxable activities that will surely result from this $1.2 billion shift in consumer spending.
Tim continues sell I-892 as “leveling the playing field” by allowing other businesses to compete with the tribes. But the “fairness” issue is a racially-loaded load of crap.
Fairness for whom? The handful of out-of-state and foreign gambling conglomerates who own most of the card rooms… who got into this business knowing the rules, and now want to change them?
Or fairness for the two thousand bars, restaurants and bowling alleys who will be allowed to put slot machines in every community in our state? As I’ve said before, a bowling alley claiming they need slots to compete with the tribal casinos is like Chuck E. Cheese’s saying they need a liquor license and strippers to compete with the Deja Vu.
And of course, Tim continues to say that I-892 is “good for taxpayers.” My ass!
An owner of a $200,000 home will save less than $23 a year! Meanwhile, direct costs to taxpayers from problem gambling — which already approaches $100 million a year — will surely skyrocket as this $23 billion in new wagering increases state gambling over five-fold!
The only winners from I-892 are the big gambling companies that have written and financed it. For example, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, will suck $20 million a year in new profits north of border… not a bad return on their $200,000 investment.
Tim Eyman is an admitted liar, and the media needs to do a better job of evaluating his factual claims before repeating them.