Thursday, January 10, 2008

Economic Impact of Casinos

The great state of Connecticut has some of the largest casinos in the world, they enviously contribute to our state 400 million dollars in tax revenue each year. We are also told by our leaders that that amount is higher than what most other states get.

Casinos have told local communities that they are a positive contributor to the economy, and as far as I can tell from the early days they were. They created thousands of jobs, employed countless contractors and built magnificent spectacular displays of modern architecture in our state.

Casino's are advertised with star attractions, with big national names and celebrities from all four corners of the world. The stars are the attraction but the objective is for you to gamble along the way.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun each gross billions of dollars annually, and have each enjoyed a monopoly in our state for over a decade. This success has not come without its price, however. Bridgeport, and its associated Golden Pequosset Indians have fought hard and have continued to lose its battles in the wake of a competitive challenge from the state of CT and its vested interests from Foxwoods, and Mohegan Sun; Each vying to protect their interest. The Golden Pequossets have also threatened to reverse titles on countless properties in Fairfield county as a threat.

Yet this pales in comparison to negative effects of the dreaded and painful Gamblers Anonymous. The millions of people seduced by the serotonin high of winning money at the expense of others.

Casino's often try to ignore this type of bad press and dupe the public that they are somehow an industry, and that they will contribute to society in a health commercial way. While there is no way we can fully assess the economic impact on CT and its citizens I can say that casinos have not demonstrated much benefit to the local towns or CT, now already mired with over 18 billion in debt.

Casinos also do not not manufacture anything, contribute positively as they grow, or provide many respectable living wage jobs. Casinos are an industry that sells the illusion of chance, when in reality every brick, every window, every decoration in their palaces are built on the blood, sweat, and tears, of losers. This is hardly an industry worth nurturing as the "backbone" of a sound economy.

The historical model of casinos on local communities is more like what happened to Atlantic City where a once middle class community slid into greater poverty and a reduced standard of living for the local inhabitants. As the economy slips, the corruption of casinos may seek to expand in an effort to fix the problem they created. People are quick to propose and build casinos, because there is the illusion of riches and as state funds dry up and our state debt continues to rise, I get concerned that feeble minded legislators will see such a ploy as an opportunity to bring NY revenue into CT. The goal being to procure perhaps another 300 to 400 million in tax revenue.

Please read all the documented links in this diary today and know that this is only a short term fix with a devastating long term consequence that will ultimately deliver more misery to an already troubled state. It is the wrong direction.

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