Aberdeen organizers hoping to build a new veterans’ center asked the Brown County Commission to contribute $300,000 toward their $5,000,000 project. Chief fundraiser Thomas Croymans told the commission that one state lawmaker has expressed concern about the project’s planned inclusion of video lottery machines:
He said one legislator also expressed concern about video lottery machines that would be in the center. Croymans said that legislator was worried about the video lottery machines, which encourage gambling, in a center aimed at providing services to veterans, some of whom struggle with different vices.
On the other hand, he said, the machines will also help provide a stream of income to provide those services [Elisa Sand, “Group Backing New Veterans Center Seeks $300K from Brown County,” Aberdeen AmericanNews, 2021.05.19].
Hmm… if the organizers of this project can count on the tax revenue raised by their video lottery machines to pay for the public services required to remedy the harms caused by those machines, maybe the organizers could just take a loan out to build their project and count on their cut of the video lottery take to pay off their debt. The new machines were averaging almost $100 a day last December. Install ten machines, take the half allowed by the state, and you could put a pretty big dent in a monthly mortgage payment.
Besides, the state already sanctions their gambling activities, so what more public subsidy does this project need?
The Brown County Commission took no action on the $300K donation request.