Rick Impallaria Responds

My colleague Brian Griffiths took a few members of the Republican caucus to task on some of the legislation they have submitted concurrent with Governor O’Malley’s slots proposal

I offered front page response space to each of them. Delegate Impallaria’s office sent us his press release on the subject with the possibility that the delegate may respond directly to questions later.

Delegate Rick Impallaria (District 7, Baltimore and Harford Counties) will introduce legislation in 2008 to help mitigate potentially harmful effects of gambling in the State of Maryland.

One bill, entitled Video Lottery Terminals – Gaming Cards, would require that persons playing VLT’s must use an insertable card, which would be used like a debit card, and which would require the use of a valid ID to purchase.

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The other bill, entitled State Lottery and Video Lottery Terminals – Credit Cards – Prohibited, would prohibit persons from borrowing money (at high interest rates) using their credit cards for gambling.

“This coming session we stand more of a chance of passing gaming legislation than in the recent past,” stated Del. Impallaria. “In the event we do, I think we should be prepared to protect Maryland citizens from some of the worst effects of gambling activity.

“The use of gaming cards would have several effects,” he continued. “First, it will enable operators to identify people with gambling addiction problems. Much like a bartender is required to cut off a customer who has had too much to drink, this will at least stop a gambling addict, and perhaps induce him to get help. Also, any winnings would go on the card, making it easier for the State to track income and collect the proper taxes. Further, it may help to identify persons with suspiciously large amounts of cash – an indication of possible drug dealing.

“Prohibiting people from using credit cards to gamble is almost too obviously a good thing to require much comment,” Delegate Impallaria further stated. “One of the scariest things I have been told about is the presence of ATM’s in the big Atlantic City casinos. How easy they make it to access your money. While most people would perhaps not need this protection, the most vulnerable, those disposed to abuse gambling, should have the protection of the law.”

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