Blog 20 Below

Initiatives 429, 430 and 431 have been passed in the state of Nebraska. All three initiatives amend Nebraska’s policy on gambling.

Initiative 429 permits games of chance, such as slots and blackjack within permitted areas. Initiative 430 permits racetrack gambling in addition to establishing a committee whose purpose is to regulate such activities. Initiative 431 stipulates where taxes procured from gambling institutions would be distributed to. This initiative proposes to give a sizable percentage of taxes to county governments as well as to programs aimed toward the eradication of gambling addiction.

Opponents of the initiatives argue that the benefits of permitting gambling do not outweigh the negative effects of gambling addiction, which may become more widespread if a vast population of people is given easier access to gambling.

However, proponents of the initiatives insist that gambling has always been close to home in the form of lottery tickets and scratch cards and the potential tax revenue would be worth risking a rise in gambling addiction.

I agree that gambling should be permitted because of the tax relief that it could grant to Nebraskans; however, I believe that such activities should be highly regulated in order to ensure that gambling addiction does not become a widespread issue. I believe that perhaps a system could be instituted which would limit the amount of times that an individual could visit a location in which gambling was licensed within a given period of time. This would ensure that such locations could maintain a steady flow of income while minimizing risk of gambling addiction. Whatever the case, this issue should be handled with the utmost care and attention to detail.

In other news

O'NEILL — Class C No. 4 Guardian Angels Central Catholic made the 120-mile journey from West Point to O'Neill count. The Bluejays used an 8-0 run at the end of the third quarter to outlast the No. 6 Eagles 54-41 in girls basketball action on Friday.