I’m a big fan of table games, my favorite being blackjack. They’re a ton of fun and blackjack in particular has just the right mix of chance and strategy. It seems that Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania feels the same way. He is an advocate for the legalization of table games in Pennsylvania casinos and sees them as a way for generating extra revenue for a state that, like the rest of America, is hurting for cash.
When politicians want something bad enough, they usually resort to threats. It’s that way from city politicians all the way through the President of the United States. Such is the case here. Governor Rendell warns that if a bill legalizing the table games is not passed by the end of the week, the state will need to cut funds by laying off nearly 1,000 state employees, with the state prison system and the Department of Public Welfare seeing most of the cuts.
This is a common strategy. It is common for cities to claim that if they don’t get an increased budget they will lay off police and firefighters (rather than, say, not putting pretty plants along the highways). Prisons and welfare are kind of a state’s version of that threat. Rendell may in fact me serious about the threat, but if so, he would take a big hit politically. It will be interesting to see how things turn out.