“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3
Do as I say, not as I do: so sayeth House Bill 80, a bill that outlaws electronic gambling in our state. This bill was sponsored by Rep. Melanie Goodwin (D – Richmond), and has now become state law.
The true irony here is that the state has been running the North Carolina Education Lottery since 2006, thus causing one to question the lofty morals espoused in this piece of legislation. By what right would the government ban a service in the private sector, that it practices itself for profit?
Is it immoral for the private sector to practice gambling, but OK for the government to do so? Perhaps our state bureaucrats are so saintly that only they can be entrusted with the administration of a gambling program, this industry must be just too dangerous to be left to the public. Very doubtful, however, that our dear bureaucrats are of any higher moral caliber than the average private sector Joe. It seems the North Carolina state government wants to discourage gambling due to the fiscal irresponsibility it encourages unless the government itself is the benefactor of such bad behavior.
Before the state government can rightfully be in a position to moralize via legislation to its constituency, it must be ready to practice what it preaches. Therefore, there is no justification for the government banning a form of gambling in the private sector, citing moral principles that is currently breaching in its administration of the North Carolina Education Lottery (NCEL). Our state government, however, is reluctant to bite the hand that fed it $419 million this year alone. Thus it seems the General Assembly finds it of greater utility to stray in this position of moral ambiguity, so long as the money keeps flooding in.
For being a pot calling a kettle black, HB 80 is the week’s bad bill of the week.