We need to interject some studies into this discussion, studies of effects
of casinos on areas where they're already operational. I don't have any at hand.
They do exist, and perhaps somebody can provide a link or two.
One finding is that casinos bring little or no new money to an area--they suck up existing
discretionary income, and that includes what people normally spend in local
restaurants and bars. Contrary to the pitches of the casino-mongers, the
Ratner-types of this world, existing local businesses do not prosper when
casinos come to town. In this regard, casinos have an economic impact much the
same as Wal-Mart.
Another finding is that casinos put a strain on social-service spending and cost us all way more of a tax burden there. I'm thinking of the effect of the Tunica, Mississippi casino complex and it's effect on the social services of Memphis, Tennessee. People work in Tunica, either in the casino economy or the underground economy, get few or no employee benefits, and return to their homes in Memphis, where they become recipients of social
services, compliments of the taxpayer.
Casinos also cost the local economy in the costs of development, the incentives they exact from the local politicians.
Casinos are economic parasites. They take indirectly from those who don't gamble as well as directly from those who gamble. We need to examine the numbers in all future discussions. There is a dearth of numbers in this dialogue.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Buckeye State Blog -- Community Blogging Ohio Politics--The casino issue gets some play--my comment is way down, about like at #17: (title: it's the economics)