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如何治理赌博问题依然是难题

时间:2014-1-18 15:07:41  作者:  来源:  查看:0  评论:0
内容摘要:  赌博本来只是一种碰运气的投机行为——在小概率事件中占便宜,这是人之常情。而为赌博立法,则意味着为这种占便宜的惯常行为注入确定性,将合理的变为合法的,将小概率变为大概率,因此,立法本身就处于悖论之中。换句话来说,赌博立法为赌博设定了门槛,将原本的群众演员隔在了围墙之外,于是,看...
  赌博本来只是一种碰运气的投机行为——在小概率事件中占便宜,这是人之常情。而为赌博立法,则意味着为这种占便宜的惯常行为注入确定性,将合理的变为合法的,将小概率变为大概率, 因此,立法本身就处于悖论之中。换句话来说,赌博立法为赌博设定了门槛,将原本的群众演员隔在了围墙之外,于是,看的多,玩得少,掌权者便只好自导自演了一场“合法”的危机,在赚得盆满钵圆之后,留下破落的场子和飞扬的丑闻,而那些非道德的“合法”演员也不得不独自承受自己赚来的“道德”报偿……其实,赌博与博弈就差了法律这一层窗户纸,而赚钱与不赚钱也恰在那一层窗户纸上。当政府不得不将经济发展的目光转向“投机”领域时,衰退似乎也就在转眼之间了。
  身处名利场之中的美国政府,一直将赌博视作公共政策的符号,而不同时间、不同身份的赌徒则型构一座无形的“符号山”。四年前,立法者曾为赌博立法,然而四年后他们却发现,商业法律制度可能消解了“符号山”的民间基础,并重构了既往的政策成本--现在,拥有了法律外衣的赌博,却更多地转向地下,重披暧昧的“身份”外衣--“为赌博立法”带来的是更多立法失调和政策难题。我们深知,当度假型赌场蓬勃发展(至少三家以上)且立法完善时,赌博应当公开化、正常化,但是现在,似乎一切事与愿违。
  重新选举获胜后,政府官员Patrick声称,他并不打算为赌博再立新规以拓展市场外延。而白宫发言人Robert DeLeo也指出,治理赌博问题已不再是他的施政重点了,尽管在一年之前,他曾经主张狠抓赌博,并对其进行独立立法。而当地议会主席Therese Murray则已经将工作重点放在如何利用经济起飞的大好机遇上面了,但是,这还没有得到Patrick和DeLeo的支持。由此可见,赌博将不会作为议会未来的工作重点了。
  去年夏天,Patrick DeLeo Murray在赌博立法方面就没有达成一致--拟对三家拉斯维加斯型赌场和两条危险重重的国家赛道进行立法处理。他们的最大分歧主要集中在立法可能形成的种族区隔,而立法形成的“透明”赌城也有可能引发国际争端。因此,赌场立法失败意味着Patrick施政纲领的彻底失败。而当赌博荣登大雅之堂并受到人们的顶礼膜拜时,Patrick向全球声称,将赌博作为施政符号的做法已经不再灵光了,赌博再不能(给政府)产生更多回报了。
  三年以前,在Patrick提出首项赌场治理方案时,争辩语境就已经发生了根本性变化。那时,像大西洋城、拉斯维加等赌场圣地早已陷入了举步维艰的经营困境。而在经济萧条期,即便是那些赚钱的联营赌场也已经挣扎在生存边缘了。
  理论上,三类赌场在法律框架下进行联营竞争应当是便于实施且被广泛认可的。但是,赌博的复杂性,以及一些政治压力,导致赌博立法发生了功能置换,立法受益者也只限于一个(或相邻)赌场,一个(或相邻)村镇,一个(或相邻)开发商。这些作为政策符号的赌场已经不能有效释放政策压力并进行自我管理,而这意味着,政府和立法机关可以从立法中坐收渔利。
  国家领导人不得不忘掉,哪怕是暂时忘掉,赌博立法曾产生了2亿美元的预算赤字。而经济衰退则迫使国家再次转向“符号领域”的建设--国家第二次以一种投机的方式来解决投资与消费的问题。而现在,是正视现实的时候了。
  译文:
  THE ODDS of getting things done on Beacon Hill may be improved when the Legislature gets back to business: Gambling the issue that exposed more legislative dysfunction and gubernatorial frustration than any other over the past four years appears off the table for now — which is where it should remain at least until all the principals can agree on a pared-down bill to license no more than three resort-style casinos.
  After winning reelection Governor Patrick said that he is not inclined to make another push to expand gambling. House Speaker Robert DeLeo who last year led the gambling charge with single-minded intensity also said it is no longer at the top of his to-do list. Senate President Therese Murray has yet to tip her hand on priorities for the upcoming session but without support from Patrick and DeLeo a gambling agenda in the Senate would not get far.
  Last summer Patrick DeLeo and Murray failed to reach agreement on a bill that would have legalized three Las Vegas-style casinos and a pair of slot parlors at the state’s race tracks. Those “racinos’’ were the main source of disagreement and the bruising battle of wills among Beacon Hill leaders came up snake eyes. The failure meant that the beginning and end of Patrick’s first term were tainted by unsuccessful efforts to legalize casinos. What he learned from it Patrick told the Globe is that “all the air goes out’’ of Beacon Hill and “nothing else happens’’ when gambling fever breaks out under the Golden Dome.
  The contours of the casino debate have changed significantly since Patrick first offered a casino plan three years ago. Gambling meccas like Atlantic City or Las Vegas have faced significant economic stress. Even the lucrative casinos in nearby Connecticut have also struggled during the recession.
  In theory licensing as many as three casinos to compete with those in Connecticut should be achievable and even broadly acceptable. But with gambling comes complications including political pressure to tweak the legislation to benefit one site or another one town or another or one developer or another. Beacon Hill has proved itself incapable of handling these pressures. After buckling down on other issues perhaps the governor and the Legislature can muster the good will agree on a pared-down bill.
  But with a projected $2 billion budget deficit state leaders need to forget about jackpot fantasies at least for the moment. They rolled the dice on gambling — twice. Now it’s time to face reality.

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