Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Unintended Consequences in the War on Vice

I shouldn't call gambling, or "gaming" as they prefer to call it, vice but I'm old-fashioned and it was one of the vices when I was growing up, along with pornography. There are clearly still people who think that way on the Oregon Coast and they have some big signs telling everyone. Unfortunately, they are probably having the reverse effect.

In Florence, we have a casino and have had for several years. All the legal hoops have been gone through and the tribes are building permanent facilities to replace the temporary ones they first opened. A new hotel is going in. It's a booming affair.

Meanwhile, on Highway 101, the local opponents (People Against a Casino Town, or PACT) have a big sign that reads "No Casino." Evidently, they haven't got the legal message yet and there is still some silly lawsuit working its way through some courts somewhere. The folks at the casino tell me that they have people coming to their front door, commenting that they wouldn't have even known that Florence had a casino except for the big sign on 101.

Up in Lincoln County, some local opponents of pornography have put large signs, again on Highway 101, next to a couple of "adult stores." The one in Newport reads, "Pornography Hurts Everyone." It is much more visible than any signs on the store itself. I'm guessing that many people find the store because of the sign.

It's just a thought, but maybe it's not a great tactic to give a lot of free publicity to activities you just want to go away.

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