And the Money kept rolling in

Today the Aberdeen American News had a little blurb about the Video Lottery income for 2005.
South Dakota video lottery net income*
1996 $176 million
1997 $178 million
1998 $185.2 million
1999 $185.2 million
2000 $193.8 million
2001 $194.8 million
2002 $207.7 million
2003 $212.2 million
2004 $216.7 million
2005 $220.4 million
What does this mean? Nothing really. I thought it was worth mentioning in light of the fact that a group is out there trying to refer video lottery to the public once again.

This weekend I spent a few hours scoping out an establishment with a couple of machines. (I'm researching whether it would be feasible to buy the business.) With this business, and many others like it in South Dakota, whether people like to think so or not, there's no doubt that "VL" provides small town businesses the opportunity to stay open.

That extra $20,000 or so in income to a small town tavern or convenience store can mean the difference between having a local place you can buy milk at 10pm at night (so your kids can have a bowl of cereal in the AM) and driving 20 or 30 miles to Wal-mart - a trip you're arguably not going to make until the next day.

It's not just a matter of replacing the income in the state budget. It can be a decision of economic survival for those small town businesses. Like it or not.

(And take $5 off the totals for 2006. For the first time I've stuck money in one of the machines in months, I actually came out ahead.)


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