CasinosCasinos 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 gambling on Atlantic City and surrounding areas found that not only did crime spill over to surrounding areas which were easily accessible from Atlantic City, but some of the areas had no measurable economic benefit from casino development. The fact that gambling leads to crime has even been measured. In 1994 the national crime rate fell to percent, while in the 31 places they get new casino 04, saw a 7.7 percent increasing crime. Governments are creating environments were normal people, without criminal background, are being lured into activities that could lead them to commit serious crimes. The average compulsive gambler resorts to crime to support his or her habit is usually someone with a good job, better than average intelligence, and has stable relationships.
According to a 1992 report by the Minnesota state planning agency, about 60 percent of all pathological gamblers engage in crime to support their habit. Different crimes are committed by different ages of gamblers. Adults tend to commit white collar crimes like writing bad checks, but teenagers are more prone to steal from their parents and loved ones. State gaming revenues come disproportionately from lower income residents. Problem gambling behaviors are highest among the poor and minorities. Studies indicated poor and working people spend a disproportionate part of their incomes of gambling. Some researchers have called gambling the fastest-growing teenage addiction, with the rate of pathological gambling among high school in college age youth about twice that of adults. In Atlantic City, the lure of gambling is so strong the over 30,000 underage people are either thrown out, or stopped from entering a casino each year.
The higher ones income, the more will tendency gambling as entertainment were as a way to socialize with other people. Conversely, the lower ones income, the more gaming tends to be seen as investment. With the poor who cannot afford such investments as the stock market or real estate, gambling is meant to be less as play and more as a sincere chance to transform their lives for the better. While the poor did not spend much more on gambling the middle income families, they do spend a much higher percentage of their income. Probably the most devastating consequences of gambling are the hidden social costs imposed on the gamblers and their families and the local governments.
The gambling is addiction we should be controlled, but for the most part is not. Perhaps this is because widespread legalization of gambling is such a relatively new phenomenon that the long-term effects of not been totally seen. A study in Iowa show that in 1989, only 1.7 percent of the residents had a history of compulsive gambling. In 1995, four years after Iowa became the first state to admit riverboat gambling, the number of compulsive gamblers had jumped to 5.4 percent.
The costs associated with treating these compulsive gamblers is also putting a strain on the local governments and social services. In most cities were gambling has become legalized, the number of the gamblers anonymous groups has nearly doubled indicate a strong need for help with addiction to gambling.In conclusion, the casino gaming industry is clearly an important provider of jobs, wages, and taxes for the U.S.
economy. The jobs created are well paying which match the national average wage and exceed average wages of several other industries. Furthermore the casino gaming industry creates additional jobs in the number of domestic supplier businesses. But at what price? The state and local governments lose on this deal. Compulsive gamblers cost the state an enormous amount of money each year, and with the number of problem gamblers growing with the casinos this is a problem that will not go away. The illegal gaming market is so enormous that its profits each year, surpass that of the top 100 American corporations combining.
This includes IBM, all the automotive industries, and many more. The gambling industry makes a lot of promises it knows will not be fulfilled. But, once the revenues are tasted by the local governments they can never turn back. The casinos have lobbyists in Washington as well as local levels. Its not like the old days of bookies and craps houses, now its huge business.
The owners of the casinos are the same owners of movie companies as well as amusement parks, they are all just forms of entertainment to them. If people could learn to play responsibly then there really wouldnt be much harm but when you NEED to win you have already lost.