The research shows that legalized gambling eventually causes
For every $1 that gambling brings in taxes, it costs the tax payer at least $3. Gambling makes poor people poorer, causing a drain on social welfare agencies.
With the exception of gambling related businesses like pawnshops, new businesses do not want to locate near casinos, and existing businesses tend to close. Casinos draw from only a 35-50 mile radius, and they kill off any entertainment, restaurant, and hotel businesses in the area and deplete the income available for retail businesses. Any businesses that do survive will experience increased absenteeism and decreased productivity. Interestingly, the best workers - the Type A personalities - are the most likely to become pathological gamblers.
In order to understand why gambling has these effects, you need to understand that about 80% of gambling revenues come from only the 10% of the population that gambles heavily. In other words, casinos feed off the addicts - they're like legalized drug dealers.
The baseline rate of gambling addiction is about .75%. Addiction usually doubles within a 50 mile radius of a casino and increases the closer you get. Poverty increases the chances of addition. Nevado has an addiction rate of 3.5%, but probably due to poverty levels, Mississippi has a rate of 4.9%. So thanks to casinos, we are the poorest and the most addicted state in the country.
Gambling addiction is a serious and destructive disorder that is very hard to treat. Desparate to recover from losses, the addict follows a predictable path. They start by exhausting personal resources, maxing out credit cards, selling insurance policies, selling possessions, borrowing from family and friends. Then they turn to crimes, like fraud, embezzlement, theft, robbery, and violent crimes. Bankruptcy rates are 100% higher in counties with casinos than without. Finally, they may resort to suicide. Nevada has the highest suicide rate in the country.
Will our City officials fall for the bull being fed them by the drug dealing casinos? Or will they pay attention to the overwhelming research showing the devastating effect of casinos? I'm afraid of the answer.
Coming to your riverfront?