The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

28 February 2003

Off track

Governor Henry still wants a state lottery, but it won't be this year he gets it, which suggests that maybe the operators of legal gambling in the state — non-commercial (yeah, right) bingo, Indian gaming, and horse racing — are breathing a little easier for now.

Remington Park in northeast Oklahoma City has had a couple of rough years, and I was wondering if perhaps, at least in this market, thoroughbred (and occasionally quarter-horse) racing had, um, run its course. Not necessarily, seethes Jo:

[H]orse racing isn't fading simply because its heyday is over. It's a myth and lie state government would love you to believe, but the fact is simple: horse racing has been slowly suffocated by the hands of state government, eager to make a quick buck on state gambling. There is no knowledge needed to buy a scratch-off, powerball is a guessing game. No need to pick up a program or the Form, no effort since you can buy state lottery tickets at 7-11. It is the ultimate in gambling convenience.

Hmmm. Of course, in Oklahoma they bet on fighting chickens (or did until last November), which falls somewhere between racing and the lotto in terms of brainpower required.

And I think at least some of Powerball's appeal stems from the fact that once in a blue moon, a truly enormous payout goes to someone who kicked in a mere handful of bucks. At the track, if you put a C-note on a hundred-to-one shot that comes home, you're handed a mere ten grand (before taxes). If I were going to shoot for the $2 million it would take for me to retire (1) instantly (2) in indecent comfort, I'd never make it at the races, and the fact that the odds are astronomical against making it from the state lottery (even if we had one, which, I remind you, we don't) doesn't seem to make any impression on me.

Posted at 9:18 PM to Soonerland

TrackBacks if any:

Granted, the odds of my winning the lottery are -less- than those of getting hit by lightning, I'd still throw a buck or two a week at it. My participation wouldn't be much, but, in the extremely unlikely event of my boat coming in........

My chances would be infinitely -greater- if the lottery were here where I could feasibly throw away that couple of dollars a week.

Posted by: Steve at 9:26 PM on 28 February 2003

Here in Georgia we don't have Powerball but we do have "The Big Game," which occasionally gets over $100 mil or so. That's when I pay my stupidity tax. After all, it doesn't matter how big the jackpot, the odds of winning something don't change.

Why bother with the tickets for a share of a measly handful of millions when you can go for a share of a really huge jackpot?

Posted by: Kevin McGehee at 11:22 AM on 1 March 2003

It matters not here how much the lotteries are elsewhere. I can't get tickets to -any- of 'em without a considerable drive. I'm -not- going to drive several hours to spend money on less than "a snow ball's chance in hell" and then have to drive drive back.

Posted by: Steve at 9:14 PM on 1 March 2003

Much of the decline at Remington has been blamed on Indian gaming casinos. Do they have a stronger presence in your state than they did ten years ago?

Thanks for stopping by Seething. :)

Posted by: Jo at 3:13 PM on 3 March 2003