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King Ralph Shows His True Colors And Breaks... - Friday, October 17, 2003 at 14:21

King Ralph Shows His True Colors And Breaks Another Promise
by: R.B. Hutton

During the controversy over the Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) Premiere Klein put a cap on the number of VLT machines in the province pending the outcome of the inquiry chaired by Judy Gordon, MLA Lacombe, Ab.  Klein promised not to increase the number of VLTs until he had the report.  Klein also promised to protect small business (sport lounges, billiard clubs, small town hotels, etc…) that were dependent on VLT revenues.

We've heard this promise to protect small business from Mr. Klein on many occasions.  He purports to be the champion of small business.  His track record shows he is anything but the champion of little guy.

After the Gordon report recommended the ceiling be maintained on VLTs, Klein put hundreds of slot machines (manual VLTs) in the provincially licensed casinos to ensure large government profits at the taxpayer’s expense. 

Did he solve the VLT problem?  Certainly not and he definitely didn’t protect little player in this industry.  He rewrote the contract agreement between the Liquor industry and the government to enable the government to remove the VLTs from the small bars and transfer to the large hotels.  This put a tremendous financial strain on the small facilities (sport lounges, billiard clubs, small town hotels, etc…).  They were dependent on this VLT revenue to survive and Mr. Klein, as usual, is not concerned about the little guy - his only concern is the big guy.