Downtown casino: bad idea

Bernardo Vigil, A&E Editor

I’m not opposed to gambling. I’m opposed to old people monopolizing downtown, I’m opposed to taking away revenue from Native Americans (as if we haven’t already taken enough from them), and I’m opposed developers changing the state constitution so they an make some money; but, in principal, I’m not opposed to gambling because what grown people do with their money is their own business. That being said, if grown people want to waste their money at the blackjack table, I would prefer that they do it up at Mille Lacs.

With Block E––a downtown mall, developed in part by the city––playing host to failed business after failed business, the newest owners are looking at many options to make the space a success, one of which is a high-end casino. Ideally, this casino would turn Minneapolis into a “24-hour city,” a place where people can find entertainment at all hours of the night (even after the bars close). Unfortunately, all I see happening if this becomes a casino space is a flood of elderly people, and angry Ojibwe. Maybe I equate casinos with nursing homes because the only interactions I’ve recently had with gambling consist of my grandmother telling me about her most recent trip to the slots with Ana Rosa, and her other old friends. Either way, old people are the least of my worries.

The Native American tribes up north derive most of their tribal income from gaming and to place a non-tribal casino in the heart of Minnesota’s only major metropolitan would result in a serious financial hit for the tribe. Furthermore, the state has an agreement with the tribes that makes it illegal to establish any sort of major gambling institution (except the state lottery). So, in order to make this a viable enterprise, the laws (and according to My Fox, the state constitution) would need to be changed. It’s possible that none of this really bothers me, though. Subconsciously I might just not like the increased congestion this would bring to downtown.