POKER PALACE PROMOTER: Nancy Todd

  • POKER PALACE PROMOTER: Nancy Todd

I wrote yesterday that Delaware North, owner of the Southland Park casino at West Memphis where gamblers pour more than a billion a year into the slots, was financing a campaign to fight a couple of casino amendment campaigns, particularly a drive headed by Nancy Todd, a Las Vegas consultant and poker player, to give her exclusive right to operate four casinsos, in Pulaski Miller, Crittenden and Franklin counties.

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The Southland park anti-casino campaign has already hit mailboxes with a hypocritical mailer decrying the predatory nature of casinos on families. Southland oughtta know. The flyer, needless to say, doesn’t identify the underwriter or that it is the work of the infamous Markham Group of secretive political consultants.

Nonetheless, the Southland opposition makes some good points. One is this: Why give some monopoly casino rights to a single operator? Who better to know the benefit of a Crittenden County monopoly than Southland? Still, there’s truth in this. If we’re to gamble, let’s gamble. Let’s have competition and the greater investment this brings.

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This is a better criticism: The unregulated nature of what Nancy Todd proposes. Here’s what the amendment says: It is a measure “prohibiting the General Assembly and any political subdivision of the state from enacting any legislation, rules or regulations regarding casino gambling; prohibiting casino gambling at any other than the locations operated by Nancy Todd’s Poker Palace and Entertainment Venues…”

Wow. Forget for a minute that this language arguably could clearly make illegal the casinos operating (as electronic games of skill parlors) at Southland and Oaklawn. Consider what a prohibition on regulation means? Supply your own nightmare. Scary stuff. Even the carefully regulated gambling businesses in other states — and our own lottery — have been subject to problems inherent in the cheaters and crooks that flock to any place piles of cash stack up.

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I had a brief discussion in e-mails yesterday with Todd about the monopoly angle and lack of regulation. Her response: