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Do Casinos = Rust Belt Desperation?

9 May 2011 No Comment

The answer is: ‘Yes.’ That’s according to MinnPost writer Steve Berg in a column about a proposed Minneapolis gaming venture.

He writes:

“aside from Las Vegas, a fantasy island built on gambling and tourism, I’m unaware of any U.S. city that has built a casino for any reason other than desperation. Failing Rust Belt cities build casinos. Detroit and Pittsburgh have them. Cleveland and Cincinnati are joining the list. Saginaw and Lansing, Mich., and Rockford, Ill., want to build them.”

I’d also add Milwaukee; Gary, Indiana and Erie, Pennsylvania to that list. I’m sure there’s other cities I’m leaving out.

And it seems that casinos are often sold to these cities as a way to promote jobs and economic development.

But Berg says a casino just seems to smack of desperation. He also points out Vancouver recently rejected a casino proposal, somewhat on these grounds: “[It] doesn’t fit with Vancouver’s global brand as the world’s most livable city, as the green capital of the world, as a hotbed for innovation in clean and digital technology in resource management,” according to Vancouver’s mayor.

More info on the Minneapolis casino proposal is here.

-KG