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Better Gambling at the Racetracks

Expanded gambling in Maryland-first, slots in 2008, then table games and more slots in 2012-is often talked about in terms of revenues it will bring to education. But so far, it's the horsetracks that have seen a genuine improvement. We were aghast when, a few years ago at Pimlico, a friend hit a $2 trifecta-all three winning horses, in precisely the right order-and went to the window to collect about $25. That's abominable. Thanks to gambling-based subsidies, though, Maryland is doing better. Race 5 at Laurel Park on March 15, for instance, had a $4,595.20 payout for a $2 trifecta. And, according to a recent Los Angeles Times article, "since the slots started contributing to racing in Maryland, the average daily purse"-the amount paid out to horse-owners-"went from $160,000 to its current $250,000." Thanks, casinos.

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