Come here, suckers

June 23, 2008

If I get the gist of this guy’s argument, it’s that gambling that merely cannibalizes what local residents already spend doesn’t add much to the state’s economy. To be a successful economic development strategy, gambling has to attract a lot of out-of-state gamblers:

Indiana is fortunate in that we already enjoy an infrastructure of events that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors from outside the state — the Indy 500, the Final Four, numerous amateur sports competitions and now the Super Bowl.

In fact, the Indiana Sports Corp.’s model of developing local economies through amateur sports competitions continues to be copied across the country. Even casinos have gotten into the act. One casino in Reno, Nev., recently hosted the collegiate nationals in boxing and weightlifting.

So get all the sports fans to gamble, throw in some big-name acts, and suddenly we’re an entertainment destination like Las Vegas or Branson, Mo. OK, I understand. But is it more moral to filch out-of-state residents’ hard-earned dollars than it is to filch Hoosiers’ hard-earned dollars?

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One Response to “Come here, suckers”

  1. Harl Delos Says:

    Gambling that “merely cannibalizes what local residents already spend” adds to the state’s economy if they already spend it out of state.

    And if legal gambling cannibalizes a bookmaker sitting in National Cigar, the tax revenues it generates will allow lower taxes on industry, which would help the state economy that way.

    To attract many out-of-state gamblers, though, a state would need to do more than open casinos. They’d need to copy the entire Nevada experience, including nearly-nude showgirls in glamorous productions and legal prostitution.

    I don’t think Hoosiers would go for that. For decades, people have been able to make book at National Cigar, and there’s been no uproar about that, but a Fort Wayne used car dealer was in trouble over his chain of whoreho, er, uh, massage parlors, yeah, that’s the ticket, massage parlors, even before he decided to use arson for business advantage.


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