As Massachusetts keeps pursuing casinos as a magic salve for neglected areas, officials keep ignoring that America’s casino explosion has made each new casino far less profitable. Take Pennsylvania:
Nine of the 11 Pennsylvania casinos posted slots revenue declines in July, leading to a 3.7 percent overall decrease. [...]
“Harrah’s Philadelphia’s decline was surprising, given the size of the decline and the large increase in promotional free play,” [gambling analyst John] Kempf said. The casino, one of four in the Philadelphia area, has declined in slots revenue 11 months in a row, he said, and 17 of the last 19 months.
Sure, casinos make crushingly poor & crime-ridden areas (like, say, Springfield or New Bedford) even more crushingly poor & crime-ridden. But there must be huge benefits, right? So what are the benefits in Pennsylvania?
- The gambling industry pockets 86 percent of table revenue and
more than half45% [-ed.] of slots revenue.
- Homeowners received an average tax cut of 55 cents per day. Keep in mind that’s average, so mansion owners are getting a lot more and 2-bedroom homeowners are getting much less.
- The revenue has funded an increase in eligibility & small increase in benefit for a property tax & rent rebate program for seniors & the disabled.
If you don’t own a home & you’re not elderly, you are getting all the negatives and literally zero benefit to Pennsylvania having casinos.
Meanwhile here in Massachusetts, it’s being reported that gambling interests spent “only” $2 million in the first six months of 2013 on lobbying and getting a casino referendum passed in Springfield. Why, they’re practically giving up!