Bruce Bateman and Jeff Turbitt wrote editorials this week supporting the latest incarnation of what is being called the Saipan Casino Act. Jeff is a Yankees fan, but he's still a good person. I've mentioned in a previous post that Bruce has a really great wife.
I respect both of them, but I take issue with their reasoning.
First off, let me make a confession: I have no problem with casinos and gambling in general. I had a great time taking Harry Blalock to the cleaners at the Rotary Club fundraiser and I went gambling at the Tinian Dynasty last April.
I've got a few issues with casinos on Saipan, though, and even more issues with the way this latest piece of legislation is written.
This proposal is being pushed as our salvation; our economic savior. If this passes, we are told, manna will fall from heaven and every man will receive six virgins...seven if you are of indigenous heritage. The proposal to legalize marijuana is no different...as is the as-yet-to-be proposed proposal to legalize prostitution. They all promise an end to the bitter times.
Legalize it. Regulate it.
That's the mantra.
But you know what?
Is this honestly the best we can do?
Do our children have to be drug dealers, pimps, and bookies to make it in the 21st Century? Is there no other economic activity that can exist on this island to support our people?
It is sad that no one thinks we can do better and it is depressing that no one thinks we deserve better.