The price of silver has lately ranged from $18 to $28 per ounce. You should not use this column as investment advice, since some modern-day alchemist may come up with a way to turn iron into silver, to the dismay of railroads across the land.
I mention this because the Legislature recently approved the governor’s new Indian gambling deal. Gambling hells across the state will offer online access to sports betting. We must pretend that the betting occurs on reservations, out of reach of the Florida Constitution.
That is because a 2018 amendment to the constitution required a referendum before allowing more casino gambling. Casino gambling was defined expansively: pretty much anything other than dog racing, horse racing and jai alai. If we deem sports gambling to occur in the gambling hells where it actually happens, it is against the law.
Gambling operations are generally profitable. They provide public facilities for those in need of money-laundering services. Other than that, they tend to suck the money out and leave empty shells of communities, with results resembling Atlantic City.
Money laundering and cash suctioning make gambling operations profitable. That means lots of pressure to ignore the constitution. For the governor and Legislature, pressure means they receive lots of money.
Money, in turn, means that they should expand gambling. This year, it will be sports gambling. It is to be in gambling hells statewide, but I imagine they would expand gambling to the moon, if they could find a way.
The rub was that this is barred by the constitution. So the governor and Legislature needed a way around those pesky voters.
Modern computer technology to the rescue! Companies set up computers pretty much anywhere; with the internet, the computers can be reached from nearly anywhere else. For instance, I once ran websites where the servers were up in Virginia.
So, the plan is that people gamble in hells across the state, but the servers should be on reservations. Or in Macao. It doesn’t really matter, the suckers are sheared in Florida.
There are about 22 million people in Florida. So, divide the $500 million the state hopes to receive by our population. The public is sold out for about $22.73 each. That would buy about an ounce of silver, about 14 silver dimes. That shows us the legislative mathematical thinking — we are not even worth 30 pieces of silver.
— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.