GEOFF PENDER: Miracle or scourge? Legal gambling soon marks 25 years

As the 25th anniversary of casino gambling in Mississippi approaches, much has changed with what has in the past been called “The Mississippi Miracle” or a “scourge.”

The hate appears to have largely dissipated from Mississippi’s love-hate relationship with “cassiners.” There’s been no serious effort to repeal the law that legalized them or to tax them out of existence for more than a decade. There haven’t been any anti-gambling, sign-waving protesters around the Capitol in years. And gambling no longer appears to be an issue state politicians have to carefully tap dance or two-step around. At least not much.

Exhibit A: The state’s attorney general, a man with obvious gubernatorial aspirations who hails from the heart of past anti-gambling sentiment in Northeast Mississippi, recently floated the ideas of a state lottery and/or a tax on fantasy sports betting to help the state budget…

…No governor since Kirk Fordice (and he alleged he was anti-casino) has accepted campaign donations from gambling interests. But I don’t know that the masses would care if they did at this point.

Clarion Ledger