Casinos Essay

1253 words - 5 pages


Casinos have become a form of entertainment for millions of Americans. In fact, Las Vegas, considered to be the home of casino gambling, is third only to Disneyworld and New York for tourism with 260 million visitors yearly. While it is true that casinos generate billions of dollars in revenues hardly any of that makes it back to the local economy as promised by the lobbyists to have casinos built in a city. Effects on local economies include construction jobs are created as well as hospitality jobs within the casino. While it is true jobs are created though usually they go to people outside the communities. The lobbyists for these huge casino companies state that it will also revive a dying economy if they allow casino gambling in their cities. Contrary to this claim though, Atlantic City has the highest unemployment rate in New Jersey. They claim restaurants, movie theaters, and other local businesses will benefit when exactly the opposite is true. Who is going to eat a local restaurant when the casino is offering free meals and drinks to gamblers. By 1996, Atlantic City casinos were devoting 318 million dollars to promotional food and drinks. Also in Atlantic City, over 900 of the 2100 small businesses there closed and the number of local restaurants was reduced from 243 to 146. Richard Byron, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, describes gambling expenditures as Money Extracted From Other Consumer Spending. When casinos come into a small community such as Atlantic City or Biloxi the people living in that community start to go there for entertainment instead of movie theaters, restaurants and other places they used to go to before. In 1994, more people went to the casinos than went to major league baseball parks and more money was spent on casinos than books, albums, and theme parks. It also affects real estate values, in Atlantic city the average cost of a house dropped 24,000.00 after the casinos were built and 11,000.00 for cities close to Atlantic City.
The reason for this may be because of increasing crime rates. The casinos would have everyone believe there is no change in crime statistics after they come in but this is not true. The American Insurance Institute estimates that 40% of all white collar crimes have their roots in gambling. Compulsive gamblers will bet until they have nothing left: savings, family assets, personal belongings, anything that can be pawned or sold. They will borrow from co-workers, family, friends, or banks but will rarely admit that it is for gambling. They will borrow theirselves into bankruptcy. In South Dakota, the state has experienced increases in chapter seven bankruptcies. But personal debt is by far not the only problem for compulsive gamblers. In the same two years the bankruptcy increased in South Dakota, the number of divorces increased nearly 6 percent. Also, child abuse and neglect are high among the crimes that compulsive gamblers commit. A study of the impact of casino...

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