‘Mature’ Casino States Showing Losses

The following guest post was prepared by Dr. Ivan Zabilka, who has spent many years studying the impact of gambling on communities. His bio is at the bottom of the post:

The “2011 State of the States” by the American Gaming Association has a chart on page 5 showing the consumer losses at casinos for 2009 and 2010. While casino spending was up slightly in 2010 and some fourteen states showed an increase in customer spending, seven showed losses and which states did this is interesting.

Not surprisingly, New Jersey experienced the biggest decline (9.4%) in customer spending (losses) due to the stronger competition from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New York. But the other decliners were Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia. Notice that three of these are contiguous to Kentucky.

The really significant fact is that these are all “mature” casino states. Mature means they were among the first after Nevada to enter the gaming market. The other commonality is that they have not expanded gambling in the last year or two. If a state does not continuously expand gambling it cannot maintain the losses that provide the tax revenue and the wealth to the casino owners. Once you go down the gambling path expansion is necessary to keep more dollars coming. Otherwise, the tapped out addicts drop out and casino revenues decline.

Ivan L. Zabilka, Ph.D.

Ivan Zabilka is a retired educator and historian. He was a teacher and administrator at both the secondary and collegiate levels for 44 years. He has two theological degrees (M.Div. and Th.M.) from Asbury Theological Seminary and two degrees in U. S. History (M.A. and Ph.D.) from the University of Kentucky, with a specialty in the history of science. He has been an active opponent of gambling expansion since 1992 when he personally saw in his classroom the damage caused by gambling. He has three published books and numerous published articles in both history and about gambling. He is currently president of Citizens Against Gambling Expansion (KY), a board member of The Kentucky League on Alcohol and Gambling Problems, a member of the Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling, and a research consultant with The Family Foundation of Kentucky.

You can read more from Zabilka at his blog, The Gambling Notepad, at http://www.gamblingnotepad.com.


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