Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sixteen Casinos, and What Do You Get?

Apparently, another year older, and deeper in debt.

Today, Iowa Governor Chet Culver or­dered a 10 % across-the­ board spending cut in the wake of plunging tax revenue esti­mates.

The state’s revenue for the current fiscal year will be nearly $415 million less than pre­viously expected and 1,000 to 2,000 state workers could be laid off.

Iowa, incidentally, was one of the first states in the nation to legalize gambling and also one of the first and few to maintain records on gambling addiction. Before the casinos, 1.7% of the population were problem gamblers but three and a half years later, that figure had more than tripled to 5.4%.

But, speaking of deeper in debt, the city of Detroit, alone, has three gigantic casinos that were supposed to revitalize the city and provide much needed jobs and development. One of them was built by Herb Strather, the man who initiated the Middleboro Casino debacle.

From Herb's blog:
Strather is one of the originators of the casino industry in Detroit and is the former Chairman of Atwater Entertainment which developed and sold Motor City Casino at an 1100% return to investors.
Detroit, however, remains a moonscape.

But hey, Who-hoo! for casino investors!

(...Though Jim Cramer from Mad Money was on one of the talk shows this morning warning people not to touch casino stocks with a ten foot pole.)

Casinos are not economic development. They are a dirty band-aid that ends up giving you an infection.

But what if Iowa built even more casinos?

Well, actually, I lied in the title to this post.

Iowa actually has 19 casinos.


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