I’ve long argued that it’s unfair that tribal casinos as businesses are allowed to play by different rules.
Just to be clear up front, I harbor no ill will to the tribes and their people and am disgusted by American history in how they were treated, but two wrongs don’t make a right. I also enjoy visiting tribal casinos and giving them my business, so full disclosure is necessary.
That said, I wish non-tribal businesses in our state could legally offer gambling.
Whenever legislation has come up to allow any business to be able to have gambling, I’ve voted for it. Always, however, tribes sponsor anti-gambling opposition ads. Of course they don’t want to allow Joe’s Bar & Grill to be able to add slot machines. Or, frankly, any company to come in that isn’t tribal and open a competing casino.
Competition among businesses is good for us. Alas, that’s not the case in Washington State and many other states, unfortunately, where gambling is allowed only in tribal casinos.
Case in point.
Sure, I get that they don’t technically fall under the same laws, but an arts & crafts store called Hobby Lobby is not being allowed to reopen, one that is following social distancing and safety measures vs. a gigantic tribal casino and it defies logic.
“They are not allowed to open under this phase,” said Mike Faulk, press secretary for Inslee. “It’s a state prohibition, so I’m not sure why they would ask local officials to give them clearance.”Inslee’s office: Hobby Lobby openings in Spokane area violate virus restrictions | The Spokesman-Review
The article details that Hobby Lobby can be open, but only for curbside pick-up, not for customers to come inside the store because their business is non-essential and prohibited from opening at this phase in the Washington State rollout plan.
Aye, the rub. Meanwhile, casinos are reopening which have dramatically more foot traffic than an arts & crafts store.
Movie theaters can’t open in Washington State because we’re not at that same phase. Maybe I should be wishing that tribes buy theaters so they could do so.
Don’t get me started on how a casino could be any less high risk than a movie theater.