While it is certainly is good news that the state of Maryland hasn’t denied permission to developers hoping to install slots in a new casino planned in the Anne Arundel Mall, the rationale on which the decision was based and the fact that they require permission at all is deplorable.
The amount of tax revenue and number of jobs that a new casino could generate for the state should not be the basis for government getting out of the way of private business owners. The government should not be in the way in the first place.
The Maryland state lottery has been drawing money from residents since 1973 and it is sheer hypocrisy and protection of the state’s monopoly for politicians to limit the amount and types of gambling offered by private operators.
Beyond hypocrisy, the real issue is individual liberty and the proper role of the government. The question is, should governments limit the choices of individual consumers and business owners if their actions do not violate the rights of any other individuals? Certainly not. The government shouldn’t be in the business of determining if gambling should be allowed, what kinds, how much, or where it should be allowed. These rights should be left to individual property and business owners.