The Willamette Week (pardon, Pulitzer-Prize winning Willamette Week) today published an interesting bit of news about video slots: poor people lose far more of their paychecks to them than rich people do.
Oregon's 30 highest-grossing ZIP codes (out of more than 400) generated more than half of last year's entire video-lottery proceeds. Almost two-thirds of those top-30 ZIP codes fall below the state average in per-capita income.
Quickie comparison: Lake Oswego, with a median income of $84,192, has 3.2 outlets per 10,000 people and spends $1.2 million a year on them; but in the Kenton to Boise neighborhood (97217 ZIP), the median income is $38,442, there are 16.4 outlets per 10k, and the the sales total a whopping $19.4 million.
Video poker produces revenues for schools (after a kickback to the tavern owners) and it is an optional expenditure, not a tax (leaving aside compulsive gambling), two things liberals love. Liberals also generally chafe at Republican-style intervention into the legal ways people choose to have fun and spend their own money. But it's also clear that poorer neighborhoods, where people are trying to make ends meet, are the principal donors to this fund, which makes it seriously regressive. So what's a good liberal to do?