Gambling’s Quick Fix
The question of whether or not gambling does support the interest of the state as a whole is far from resolved. The jury is still weighing all the social costs and effects it brings to community and economic development.
Supporters of gambling hold that gambling has created jobs and has attracted visitors; it has also built economy within a state that financially benefited communities. State legislators have also leaned on gambling for funding, especially during stiff fiscal times and public aversion to tax increases is high. Others support gambling as a means to defend their state’s economy against surrounding states with gambling establishments too.
Opponents, however, averts from gambling because it drives away small businesses. Casino development proves a heavy financial burden to government in building infrastructure and other community services. Gambling causes a truckload of social ills such as addictions, bankruptcies and increased crime. Still others warn that gambling makes state officials become lethargic by depending on gambling revenues to solve their financial problems. State government, many argue, is gambling’s greatest addict. More and more state officials are turning to gambling for a quick fix.
Opposition to gambling isn’t something new, and so is the idea that it can be used as a tool for community development. Back in 1931, Nevada legalized gambling to strengthen the state’s economy because its mining industry was depleting. The result was Les Vegas, which has become the undisputed gambling capital of the world. New Jersey followed suit in 1978 by transforming Atlantic City as its center for casinos. Legislators believed the presence of casinos in New Jersey provided jobs and added security.
New York City has its share of history in gambling. Determined to attract tourists again after September 11, 2001, state officials decided the authorized the expansion of legalized gambling. Lawmakers, once opposed to gambling, signed the bill to find quick revenue.
To some states, gambling is a defensive move. They put up gambling establishments in their own states so as to prevent their citizens spend money on other states. Besides, its hard to see neighboring states develop their roads, their jobs, their schools, etc because they got their money from your citizens.
To effectively make gambling as an indispensable part of tourist activity, you have to include it in the state tourism package. Casinos should be made as everyone’s piece of the pie, this way you get continuous revenue from it coming from residents and tourists.