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Casinos are NOT economic “engines”

October 23, 2013

It is a fallacy, and a hoax promoted by the gambling industry and government, that casinos and other forms of gambling, are economic “engines.” Unlike diverse retail businesses, manufacturing facilities, research and development firms, casinos produce no tangible product which enriches the community at large. They are profitable chiefly for the owners, and more so when they keep as many people onsite by reducing and discouraging competition from the surrounding community.

Casinos create no added value to the local economy, they simply suck money from those local businesses and keep it for themselves (the house always wins). The casino’s self-centered operation has the effect of reducing the number of dollars available to stimulate and support local businesses. Besides the initial construction jobs for the casino facility, which might be provided by the local labor pool (a short term endeavor at best), casinos basically provide only low paying service jobs. Many employees can be lured away from the local businesses, as casinos create stiff competition for local hotels, B&B’s, restaurants, entertainment venues and even retail sales businesses by providing those services at their own venues. What you end up with is a “Casino town.” … As an example of what can happen, go look at the community around Foxwoods and talk to the folks there as I have.

Don’t be fooled by the hype of the Casino industry or the slanted, self serving and unsubstantiated wording of the referendum you will be asked to vote on this November. Vote no on Proposition One!

Marcus Arthur
Saugerties, NY