April 28, 2017
Audio Features
Bernstein With a Twist
This is a weekly program with commentary on current issues.
Episode
OPEC is drilling a hole through Indian gaming!

When costly crude helps pump the life out of the casino biz, when we can no longer count on our Golden State gamblers to support the state treasury in the manner to which the governor promised we'd become accustomed, it's time for the governor to relinquish his failed role as Debtinator and strap it on as Terminator. OPEC has gone too far.

After reading our story about the 400 layoffs at Pechanga, I drove to S'Berdoo's San Manuel casino, where (supposedly) nary a firing is contemplated. I wanted to talk to unfazed gamblers to reassure myself that the pipeline between the slots and Sacto is gushing at full force. After all, this is an urban den. Concentrated population. Shorter trips. Fewer gas worries.

Then I met Natalie Sanchez, who was playing her Sun & Moon slot. Everything sounded gaming compacterrific. She only lives five miles away. She's been coming here for years. She wagers $200 every two weeks. Ka-ching for Kalyfornya!

Then the truth dribbled out like a penny jackpot.

Before gas prices triggered a budgetary review, Natalie visited San Manuel thrice weekly, gambling at least $50 each time. That was $600 a month. She's down to $400. She's not alone.
Episode Date: July 25, 2008
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