Initiative 892 — the gaming-industry-in-Eyman’s-cloak gambit to plant slot machines on every Main Street in the state — is so clearly flawed and dangerous, that I don’t expect a single editorial board to come out in its favor. The Seattle Times, arguably Washington’s most influential paper, is leading the chorus with a strongly worded editorial: “Reject I-892’s state gambling expansion.”
Initiative 892 is a crass attempt to expand gambling in Washington by exploiting uncertain promises of property-tax relief and animosity toward the recent economic success of Indian tribes.
This comes on the heals of an article in the Sunday Times that exposes the lies Eyman has been using to promote the initiative. [I-892’s tax savings in dispute] As we have frequently pointed out, I-892 is not revenue neutral, and will not provide the tax savings Tim promises.
In fact, between loss of revenues from other taxable activities, and rising costs from problem gambling, I-892 will likely cost taxpayers more money than it saves them. Indeed a Maryland study (whose citation eludes me at the moment) suggested that slots would cost the state $3 for every $1 raised in taxes.
I-892 is a sucker’s bet. And the more voters know about it, the less they’ll support it.