Take a look at this column from the Gary Post-Tribune.
This Indiana city has had casinos since the 1990s, and yet they haven’t really brought the economic development that was promised, this writer believes.
“The Gary casinos haven’t been a complete flop. They have provided jobs and tax revenue of up to $25 million a year to the city,” he writes. “But, the economic development hasn’t followed.”
And keep in mind…Gary is just a short drive from the metropolis of Chicago. And one of those casinos had the Trump name on it, according to the story.
Yet the city continues to think a casino could be its salvation, like Captain Ahab pursuing the whale, as the author puts it.
Leaders in the Ohio cities that just landed casino agreements would do well to take note of what has – and hasn’t worked – in Gary.
I’m always skeptical when local governments – or gaming proponents – try to sell gambling as the cure for our region’s ills. Ohio voters have rejected casino proposals several times, but there are casinos in Detroit, and also in my hometown of Erie, Pa.
But this article from the Erie Times-News details how revenues from the Presque Isle Downs & Casino is helping lower property tax bills for a number of area residents.
“The stock market can’t seem to recover. Manufacturers slash jobs. Gas prices inch upward. In these trying economic times, thank goodness for the gamblers,” the paper reports.
And, in his “Inside Erie” e-mail newsletter, Times-News columnist Pat Howard writes, “Gov. Ed Rendell wants to up the ante on gambling in a major way,” by allowing video poker machines in the state’s bars and clubs.
But if the rest of the economy is in a tailspin, I’m not sure why gambling would be any different – wouldn’t its revenues be hurting along with everyone else’s?