> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of T. A. McLeay > [log in to unmask] wrote: > ... > > Depends what they are massaging. Knoxville ran all the "Asian > > massage" places out of town about a couple years after they forced > > out all the poker machines that were "for entertainment only". This > > is the Bible Belt and the hypochristians seem to be happier if their > > vices are not blatently visible. Nevada seems to be the only state > > in the U.S. that takes the complete opposite attitude, thus building > > their economy by allowing activities that the other 49 states > > wouldn't. Legitimate gambling areas are now popping up everywhere, > > usually on reservations. I have yet to see anywhere that > compares to > > Vegas though. > > That's another thing we do over here. The Commonwealth government makes > it as hard as possible for state governments to earn their own money, > preferring to keep them on as tight a leash as possible. Gambling and > pokies are about the easiest way for them to earn their own > money (sales > taxes/excises are prohibited by the constitution and income taxes are > impractical). The poker machines were in just about every bar when I first moved out here. They all had a sign on them "for amusement only" but it was pretty common for barkeepers to pay out on any "credits" left on the machine even though the machines themselves were not capable of cashing out. Soon after I moved out here the local cops gave everyone 30 days to get rid of the machines or face felony charges so now the closest legal gaming is about 90 min. away on an Indian reservation. > There is however a strong movement against them, which is largely not > religious. Nick Xenophon, whose religion has never come up, has been a > hugely successful anti-gambling politician, electing himself and > unexpectedly a mate in the South Australian 2006 state election with 20 > per cent of the vote and getting a seat (elected November 2007, takes it > up in July) in the (federal) Senate with over a quota of the primary > vote (around 15%). (Most Australian upper houses use a combined form of > preferential and proportional voting; when minor independents parties > get elected they usually receive preferences from other candidates who > failed to reach the quota.) > > (I walked through Crown Casino here in Melbourne when I was 18 to meet a > friend; I have no idea how anyone could stay in that environment for > more than the few minutes I was there.) I liked the Crown when I was there. It was a bit crowded, so finding a table was kind of a chore, but the thing that really bothered me was having to pay for my drinks. In Vegas, the major casinos will give free drinks to anyone that's gambling. I also didn't know that there's no public transit late at night so I wound up having to take a cab back to my hotel.