General Question

Snoopy's avatar

Would you vote to have a casino in your area? Help me vote.

Asked by Snoopy (5793points) October 26th, 2008

Do you think they are a good source of jobs and tax revenue? OR
Do you think they attract an unwanted criminal element and drain people of their money?

This issue is something that I have to vote on and I could argue either side….Please share your thoughts.

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45 Answers

Mtl_zack's avatar

casinos do not necesarily provide jobs now that there are electronic tables and dealers. roulette is now controlled with computers, as is keno, blackjack, poker and other card games. i think the only game that will never be run by a computer is craps because it has the excitement element.

Snoopy's avatar

@Mtl zack Good info. Does that mean you would vote against a casino?

wundayatta's avatar

Vote against it. Politicians like casinos because they don’t have the guts to raise taxes. You should read the article in today’s Inquirer. It describes very clearly how the elderly get addicted, and the problems this causes. And we’re not talking about a few people either.

We’ve been fighting casinos in Philadelphia. Yeah, there are more jobs and more money for property tax relief. But it is not worth the social cost, in the long run.

Mtl_zack's avatar

i would vote against it, not only for that reason. my aunt is addicted to gambling, and i realize that i might be on the verge of being an addict too. i constantly have to keep myself in check because ill always say “you wanna bet?” and challenge someone else on completely pointless issues. this was caused by a casino.

AstroChuck's avatar

The problem with the Indian casinos in that they aren’t subject to state or federal labor laws. That, and the fact that I’m frugal with my money, is why I won’t gamble at one.
And no, I wouldn’t want to live to close to any big casino.

jlm11f's avatar

I am still undecided with Issue 6 myself. But I discussed it w/ JP a week or so back and he raised some good points. I am leaning towards No though.

jrpowell's avatar

I was talking to PnL about this a few weeks ago. She was mixed on how to vote on this too.

Pros:
*Construction of the casino will boost the local economy a bit during the construction.
*You will get dollars from people visiting from neighboring areas that don’t have casinos where they live.
*Cheap food and drinks if you make it look like you are gambling.
*That is all I can really think of.

Cons.
*The casino will probably be financed from someone out of state. Profits will leave your area.
*The loss of disposable income from locals will likely hurt local business. (This could be balanced by the infusion of money from out of state. But I doubt it.)
*Gambling can be a nasty addiction. Law enforcement will be tied up with more domestic violence and casino related activities.

I could make arguments for and against. But my gut tells me that it will probably end up having a negative effect on the community.

jrpowell's avatar

@PnL :: Get out of my brain.

SuperMouse's avatar

I would vote no. Indian Gaming was supposed to be a panacea for all the problems of Native Americans, but many of the tribes have been exploited. The poverty, unemployment, and disease among the Native American population is shameful and except for a select few tribes, casinos have done nothing to improve the situation.

basp's avatar

I live in an area which already has Indian casinos.I have to say, they keep them family oriented (activities available other than gambing) and they keep the riff raft out.
Having said all that, I am not a gambler and don’t really favor them.

Snoopy's avatar

@all. I don’t think the casino that is under consideration for me is an Indian Casino….

jlm11f's avatar

For those who want to learn more about the issue

generalspecific's avatar

I live in Alton, IL right on the Missippi river. We’ve had a casino since about 1990, but a few years ago they painted it. I don’t have too much of a problem with casinos in general, but I do when they look like this.
You may think it looks like a fun and exciting place.. but it is the most hiddeous eyesore and the first thing you see when coming arcoss the bridge to Alton.
So I can’t realy help but have a negative outlook on casinos.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I live in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona and we have half a dozen Indian reservations around our valley that all have Indian casinos. They do generate a load of income and a lot of that is put right back into the needs of the Native Americans which is where it is probably needed the most.

I think that the casinos here might draw a small amount of crime but nothing you might see in the likes of Las Vegas or Atlantic City. As far as draining people of their money, I would have to say that this isn’t the case here. Arizona is a huge retirement state and a lot of people who visit the casinos are retirees who have a little extra money on the side each month that they can gamble with.

I don’t gamble myself but these are just observations I’ve made while living here.

augustlan's avatar

My gut instinct is NO. Maryland has been/is trying to allow slots, and it’s been a pretty big battle for many years. Now that I live in WV, we already have it here (not too close to me though). I still don’t think I’d want one near where I live.

chyna's avatar

I live in WV also, but live near the casino. I really haven’t seen an upsweep of crime in the area if that is a determination. Though I don’t gamble, I have heard from friends who do go to the casino that there are a lot of elderly people in there. That alone makes me say NO to gambling. They are in there spending their entire social security checks because they are addicted or because they can’t make it on that check and are trying to increase what they have to live on.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

We have a racetrack in town, and casinos not far away in another state. In addition to the gambling, there are shows and a hotel. This may be helpful Casino Impact in Rural Indiana

We never go, but we know people who go all the time.

augustlan's avatar

@chyna: Then we are nearly neighbors! I’m in Martinsburg.

fireside's avatar

I have to say no, especially after reading that article.

First off, they say that the casino would gross $800 million and that 30% of that would be distributed between all 88 counties, plus the state, plus a gambler’s treatment program.

First off, they are figuring out how they are going to split gross profits, not net. But operating expenses aside, let’s use that $240 million annually, take out the $24 million for the home county, take out $2.4 million for the state, take out $2.4 million for the treatment program and then divide the remainder 87 ways.

They’re basically saying that they will pay each county an average of $2.4 million per year (adjusted for population, of course. why pay counties that don’t have enough people to help pass the legislation) to let them open the casino.

That’s their carrot that they are hoping will allow them to keep the remaining $560 million.

The construction jobs are a myth because what percentage of those DHL workers are going to be qualified to work construction? Most likely the 5,000 construction jobs that are created will be 80% out of town labor that will boost the local economy for a year or so and then take their money home with them.

It may increase the service jobs sector in a couple of years, but that won’t help the people losing their jobs at DHL either, unless they don’t find any work for the next two years.

After that, it will be nothing more than a leech. The people that come to the casino from out of town will do very little for the local economy because they are going to a $600 million dollar casino with all the amenities.

deaddolly's avatar

we have a large one, Indian, near the downtown area. it has a 5 star restaurant and brings a lot of entertainers to town. I went there once—the smoke nearly killed me. it was full of sad looking old ppl, even some on respirators…and ppl who should not be using their money on gambling.
But, if it wasn’t here – it would be somewhere else It has not caused more crime, it actually spruced up a crappy area.
As for the ppl; they’d spend money on lottery tickets etc.
I see no problem with them. We’ve got a lot in the midwest.

susanc's avatar

We have lots in SW Washington. I haven’t been to all of them, not being a gambling type.
The one close to us is ace. It’s expensively built. It employs the local tribal people (not exclusively, but as much as possible because their “look” draws tourists, good lord). It
generates a huge amount of income that goes directly to the tribe, which was poor and
falling apart because kids left home before they finished high school. The casino has three restaurants which started out kind of heavy-handed, though physically stylish, but have become increasingly sophisticated and now attract people who really like good food (and the prices are good). One is a cafeteria where you can eat well without spending much money at all.
It’s mostly non-smoking. There’s a smoke section. There are many many old geezers and geezerettes hypnotized by the slots – yes, there are. My moral position is on this is libertarian rather than custodial: it’s their business, let them enjoy themselves.
This casino recently built an enormous (maybe 300-room) hotel which is beautifully appointed, and all non-smoking. The whole complex is way out in the country. You can get a great night’s sleep in the hotel for not much money. It’s where I would put guests if I didn’t already have five beds in my house. I’m proud of it. I want prosperity for these neighbors of mine. They have a very good tribal government and they’ve controlled this enterprise beautifully.
There has been no crime surge associated with this business. If anything, the opposite.

Snoopy's avatar

Thank you all for your input. All of it is very interesting.

I have to filter some of it for my specific question however….as the casino in my particular situation has nothing to do w/ Indians/tribes.

I point this out as some comments seem to lean toward being receptive to casinos in that they will help Indians. This is not the case for what I am voting on….

shockvalue's avatar

Only if it will make James Bond show up…

deaddolly's avatar

what type of casino it is shouldn’t matter. The ppl that frequent them don’t care; they go becasue of what they are.

galileogirl's avatar

Remember the promises that the state lotteries would bring in money for education? In our state it is only pennies on the $, less than taxes on many other enterprises. We also have card rooms but other businesses in the vicinity do not thrive because gamblers don’t leave their chairs long enough to shop or eat out or buy gas for their cars. In fact the only enterprises that does well near card rooms and casinos are pawn shops.

Casinos are notorious for low pay and no employee benefits. If you walk 4 blocks away from the casinos in Atlantic City all you see is urban blight. The gamblers are driven to the casinos in busses and then picked up hours later and driven out of town. They don’t spend a nickel at local businesses. As far as jobs for locals during construction, those are temp jobs at best and most unemployed locals do not have building trades skills so most construction will be done by large contractors who import their own crews.

SoapChef's avatar

You know, as a liberal thinker in most instances, my experience with Tribal Casinos is positive. I know, I know, gambling addiction. I live in a small coastal town in Oregon with no industry and therefore, no jobs. The UGLY fight against an Indian Casino put a real strain on this little utopia. It preyed on the fears of the citizens and divided people in the worst way. In the long run the lawyers for PACT (People Against a Casino Town) were the only ones who benefited from the battle. All the predictions of prostitution, drug use and debauchery have proved foundless. As it turns out, the main consumers are little white haired people in motor homes who spend a LOT of money at the other businesses in town. The myopic City Council turned down multiple offers of city sewer expansions, the development of six wells, 100k to the school district, 150k to the Municipal Police Department and 50k to the Chamber of Commerce for marketing, no strings attached. It was built anyway and yes, with their sovereign nation status they don’t pay taxes etc., the way other business do and that just makes some folks clench up. The reality is that it is one of two major employers in town paying a living wage with benefits and has done nothing but improve the quality of life for many here. I personally don’t trade there (not my thing) and go for weeks at a time not even remembering that we have a “dreaded Indian Casino“in our midst. I am well aware of all the arguments against, but they are based in fear and not reality.

flameboi's avatar

here you can find a reason why is not a good idea :)

nayeight's avatar

I don’t like the way people are talking about old people that gamble. Not all old people are addicted to gambling and waste their social security checks. My grandmother and her friends take a trip a few times a year to Delaware to play the slots in Harrington. She’s not addicted, she bored and it’s fun for her. Now I’m sure there are people out there that are addicted to gambling but let’s not put all of the elderly in that category.

Snoopy's avatar

@deaddolly The issue w/ a casino being run by Indians relates to taxes. It is my understanding that they pay no taxes on the earnings and therefore would not add to the local economy in that fashion.

It it pertinent in deciding what benefits there may or may not be to having a casino in your area…

galileogirl's avatar

SoapChef: It sounds like the tactics Walmart uses when trying to take over a town. $100,00 to the school district-approx 18 students, $150,000 to the police dept-2.3 police officers that will be needed for the problems at the casino, expansion of infrastructure-to the casino, $50,000 to the CofC-to advertise the casino! Follow the money. The casino may be owned by the local tribe but they will have a 20 year management contract with a casino corp like Bally’s and the corp will offer nothing but demands on the local govt after the initial payment. Half a million $$ once is chump change when they will clear multi million $$ every year. Thank the opposition that your town didn’t end up as the chumps.

SoapChef's avatar

@gg
Actually, there were no strings attached to any of the money offered. The city still has a huge sewer issue to solve, while the casino, (just outside the city limits) built their own system since they were turned down. The Tribal Casinos do their own policing by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was specifically stated that the Chamber did not have to market the casino with the funds. The opposition was fierce, but there was no stopping it on a local or state level with the sovereign nation designation. The lawyers got rich fighting a foregone conclusion. The casino knew this and did not have to offer monies to the community to bring this thing to fruition. They have proven to be a good neighbor to the community and many of our local council members etc. have totally changed their view of this thing. They know they shot themselves in the foot. The casino contributes to many community service programs by donating money, manpower and means. The local Food Share program is the recipent of many contributions, casino vehicles are used to transport food and casino staff are paid to help unload the food trucks. This is just one of many great things they do for the community. Yes, they make millions, that is the idea after all, but they donate a respectable amount to make this a better place. They were sensitive in the siting of the thing, you cannot see it at all until you drive up a road where it is tucked in the dunes. They employ a lot of people, many born here, at decent wages and benefits, enabling them to stay and work in the community. There is a very small percentage of Native Americans working there. It was sad and disgusting to see how much the existence of racism played into the opposition. They shamelessly painted a picture of gangs, prostitution and drug addicts as a by product of this casino and it could not be further from the truth. By the way nayeight, I am not accusing seniors of having gambling addiction. I just noted that the major consumer at our casino happens to be 55+. Hey if they are enjoying themselves, more power to them. Yes, gambling addiction is real, but in Oregon we have a state run lottery which licenses eating and drinking establishments to have video gaming. If a person has a problem with this, they have plenty of opportunity to engage in gambling, just as an alcoholic will find a way to drink in the absence of bars. We are ultimately responsible for ourselves with seems to be a missing component is society today. People like to jump on the enabling bandwagon without a second thought to the fact that they have freedom of choice. If you don’t approve of casinos and gambling, don’t patronize the place. It is also a complete fallacy that casino patrons do not spend money in the community. They buy gas, groceries, gifts (often supporting local artists) and even dine out in other establishments. I just sold my little bistro and we were astounded by the number of customers this summer who said “the casino sent them”. They have four restaurants but apparently people were not interested in having all their meals there. As for the issue of the mega casino corporations, I know ours hired one on two year consultation basis. It know it may not be one size fits all, but this casino has been nothing but a positive experience for this community.

jvgr's avatar

I wouldn’t vote on moral issues of a casino. I’d look at it from it’s impact as a destination (traffic patterns, etc); physical appropriateness (urban design), etc.

galileogirl's avatar

Like all moral issues, you “vote” by not participating in the activity. The logical way to make your decision is not listening to the wizard saying “Trust me”. You pull back the curtain, take off the tinted glasses and look at what has happened before when wizards visited other places.

Mizuki's avatar

Casinos everywhere are perfect for a nation of entertainment seekers, those who beleive in something for nothing, and those who believe in absense of evidence that odds favor them. Americans, opposed to redistribution of wealth downward sure seem to like redistributing wealth upward. It is almost like Americans get pleasure from distroying the very fabric of society the profess to love.

TaoSan's avatar

Hum, I read the article and this is not Indian gaming. I live in Vegas, so naturally, I’m biased. This obviously concerns a “Mega Resort”. Most of these resorts nowadays generate most of their revenue in rooms, services, restaurants and any other activities than gaming itself.

The myth of the degenerate semi-criminal gambler is way outdated, Las Vegas is living proof, the strip is one of the safest places in America. At the suggested size, this is a huge addition to the local economy, most people don’t realize how much revenue casinos mean to the supporting industries.

The taxation issue mentioned, whether it be 30% or 25% if another casino is opened, it is still a several 100 Mill. income boost to the communities. I’d definitely go for it.

Snoopy's avatar

@TaoSan The issue w/ the taxes was that this casino had a deal that they would pay 30% in taxes. If a second casino moved in, first casino would pay 25% (as compared to the new casino at their rate, presumably 30%) OR (and this is the kicker) as low as what second casino would pay.

SO if the second casino were an Indian casino, w/ a tax rate of 0%, then first casino tax rate would also drop to 0 %.

For this reason alone, I voted against this issue.

As did the majority of people in my state. The issue was defeated.

No casinos.

TaoSan's avatar

@Snoopy

Yeah, it is interesting and very vague. Now that you mentioned it I became aware of the “slippery” formulation. It would have been interesting to watch how this would have developed, as I think this would have been one hell of a trial, the language used certainly provided for that.

But then, the people have spoken!

thekoukoureport's avatar

In PA they have awarded two of their liscenses to people who have or suspected to have ties to organized crime. How does that happen? There is no economic boon for anywhere except Las Vegas. By continuing to put casinos in every state we as a nation are draining our wealth on nothing more than the slim hope of striking it rich. It’s like the Lottery. A tax on the stupid! States are putting in casinos because they have no choice! They have to find someway to meet the budget shortfalls and not cut services. So rather than doing the right thing and reducing the bloated STATE government. They make a deal with the devil so to speak and sell their souls on a promise that is never fulfilled. It just moves more people to the welfare rolls making the states more vulnerable to not meeting thier budgets so then they will find some other free market solution to rape their states of their resouces until finally they’ll Just have the federal government come and bail them out.

Kraigmo's avatar

I would vote yes on a Casino if the profits went to my City’s general fund, mostly. But if the profits all go to the investors or the Indians who live on that land…. then no… I’d be against the casino. (But I wouldn’t vote no, I’d just skip the vote….. I’m not into inflicting my “no” opinions on others, through legislation or otherwise). Indian casinos generally are a good source of jobs and some enhanced tax revenue. I do not think they cause any major problems. I’ve lived near Viejas, Sycuan, and San Manuel Casinos. I’ve never noticed any horrible problems. The worst issues may be traffic bottlenecks if the road to the casino is not wide enough or accessible enough. Worrying to the tribes and investors to be cautious of traffic and pollution ahead of time usually causes them to be considerate when implementing their plans.

Casinos are so profitable, that the City or County, and the surrounding People, can usually extract some major concessions from the tribes and investors. Indian Casinos, when pressed ahead of time, are usually happy to share their revenue with local authorities and charities.

thekoukoureport's avatar

A perfect example of how casinos are sooo profitable is Atlantic City. I mean look how it has helped that city become a shining beacon for all cities to model after. That city has prospered thanks to casino’s The people of that city have become better for it with lower unemployment enhanced education and city services theirs almost no poverty to speak of there..

Wait I was just told that the above statements are not true. In fact just the opposite has occurred. Sorry :p

josie's avatar

Somebody wants to open a casino let them.
Somebody wants to waste their money there, let them.
Just don’t don’t ask me to buy their lunch when they gambled their lunch money away.
Pretty simple arrangement as far as I can see.

wundayatta's avatar

@josie And yet, buy their lunch you will. And their children’s lunch. Happy eating!

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Kraigmo's avatar

I used to favor Indian Casinos because I have no problem with casinos, per se.
However the Indian Casinos in my area result in the gangster sons of the Indian Tribe earning dividends of $10,000 a month, each. With all that money, you’d think they’d live the good life. Instead, they’re a bunch of Dodger jacket wearing thugs who steal and commit violence and other crimes. (San Manuel and others)

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