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KENO can "take you broke" quicker than any of the games played in the Las Vegas casinos.
I write from experience.
If the manages to dismantle this latest revenue-raising scheme of Gov.
William Donald Schaefer, it may be for the best.
Success could lead to more objectionable forms of licensed gambling such as casinos, with their contemptible lures for new customers, especially the young.
For those who want to see keno continue -- it is, after all, an instant numbers game sanctioned by the state -- or Las Vegas-style casinos in Maryland, here is a true story dedicated to mind-changing: In the 1930s, I best casino near columbus georgia a resident of Phenix City, Ala.
The latter bristled with textile mills producing everything from ladies' hosiery to tire fabric.
If this industry failed to provide enough economic stability, the great Fort Benning military reservation, home of the world's largest infantry school, was a mere six miles to the southeast.
As did a majority of Phenix City residents, I commuted daily to my job in Columbus.
This left Phenix with the Russell County courthouse, a small cotton mill, a few honky-tonks and, above all, the "bug.
The bug "fell" at 4 p.
The original bug operators were long-respected residents of the town whose reputations were enhanced by their paying all hits promptly and in full.
The pay-off was 700 to 1, less a 10 percent deduction for the writer as was the rule in Baltimore when the numbers game was more prevalent.
In that Depression era, bets as low as a quarter were welcomed.
But, perhaps unknowingly, these men were creating a climate that was bound to foster growth of noxious weeds.
Slot machines began to appear all over town.
The honky-tonks became bases for organized prostitution, and the sale of drugs began.
Violence emerged shortly thereafter when a Columbus entrepreneur made the mistake of announcing that he "reckoned it was about time I took over that bug game across the river.
The next calamity was the bombing of the home of the best casino near columbus georgia of the Russell Betterment Association RBAa community group dedicated to clean living.
Fortunately, nobody was injured.
Convinced that more trouble was about to emerge, I went to see my good friend, the neighborhood druggist.
He was a young man with political ambitions who recently had been elected to the City Commission.
I told him I thought the commission should strive for legalized gambling to stop the violence.
The churches, the RBA, the police and the bug men would fight it tooth and nail, and I'm afraid that's an unbeatable combination.
In 1954, Albert Patterson, a best casino near columbus georgia Phenix City attorney, was elected attorney general of Alabama.
One of his campaign promises had been to clean up his home town once and for all.
He never got the chance.
Before he could be sworn in, he was gunned down one evening on a downtown Phenix City street.
Shortly after, the governor of Alabama put the town under martial law.
Fort Benning declared it off limits.
National Guard MPs directed traffic, and the slot machines found a home in the muddy bottom of the Chattahoochee.
All other gambling ceased.
here a long trial featuring a special prosecutor, a Russell County deputy sheriff was found guilty of Patterson's murder and sentenced to life in the penitentiary.
However, the deed had widespread ramifications.
Young John Patterson, Albert's son, was elected governor of Alabama in 1958.
Helped by a strong sympathy best casino near columbus georgia, he defeated George Wallace, who was making his first run for the office.
It was after this defeat that Wallace made omaha hand best poker infamous vow never to be "outniggered" again.
And the "Phoenix City Story," produced by Allied Artists with a distinguished cast, still pops up now and again on late-night TV.
Merritt now lives and tells tales at Charlestown, a retirement community in Catonsville.
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