Monday, November 01, 2010

When The Law Gives You Lemons

...Start squeezin'!

Take, for example, the innovative and clever philosopher-kings legislators of the next state to the left: they wanted to ensure the scourge of gambling was strictly limited in Illinois, and (as in many other states), discerned the very best way of so doing was to limit it to venues afloat, presumably so those overcome by the vice could be given a quick cold-water dousing, or possibly drowned.

Yeah, I don't get it, either.

But they, with their ever so much keener inner vision, did. And thus they passed a law: to be legal, a casino had to be supported by water. You know: riverboats. Barges. Fill out the right forms, cross the proper palms with silver, and probably even your weekend fishing-and-poker outings could be done up all law-abiding. Keep it afloat and it's Just Fine.

Enter a would-be casino operator who lacked a lake. They might not even have liked boats. But they had a lawyer!

It appears they had a singularly singular attorney, the kind of person who parses logic the way most people nibble chips. History does not record if he was in the tub when the "Eureka!" moment hit, but the Web takes us to the next step: his idea went to an engineer and an architectural firm, who ran the numbers and said "Can do."

Water, you see, is incompressible. It's really pretty strong stuff. And at land-locked (I checked) Jumer's Casino, the gaming floor floats atop a fraction of an inch of water! All legal as can be; it is, after all, "on water."

When the law give you lemons, start squeezing. And when it demands water, tank up.

(A tip of the hairdo to The Unwanted Blog, which mentioned the place in an article about an unusually-located monument dedicated to Vietnam veteran John Baker, who saw the elephant rather more closely than most).


Phillip said...

If they make stupid laws, they should expect people to get around them any way they can. Can't say I blame the casino, either.

Hat Trick said...

The original law required that the casinos could only operate while the craft was underway thus requiring them to leave the dock and we had several fine crafts around the state that would spend two hours cruising up and down their respective river. The operators started complaining that they couldn't operate that way because too many people were boarding for the river cruise instead of gambling. That's when they got the law changed to allow them to remain tied up at the dock so that they could get more gamblers through the casino.

Jumers has used a creative interpretation of the law. Why they didn't just buy riverfront property and float it on a barge I don't know. Their location is already at the juncture of the Rock and Mississippi rivers.