Think gambling will solve Kentucky’s budget problems? Think again

In his excellent and indepth reporting, the Lexington Herald-Leader’s John Cheves strengthens the case that the Bluegrass Institute has made since the day our doors opened: “Expanded gambling is a sorry excuse for the lack of a real economic development program.” From his report:

“Casinos will almost certainly increase your revenue to some extent. But there will be offsets and costs that you also need to consider,” said Alan Mallach, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank in Philadelphia.

Among their concerns, experts said, casinos cannibalize other forms of spending from which the states take a cut, from lottery tickets to gas and consumer goods. That cancels out some of the casino states’ financial gain.

“Casino gambling does not create a single new dollar. Every dollar dropped into a slot machine is a dollar not spent on something else,” Mallach said. “It’s not like you’ve got an auto plant and you’re building cars to be shipped and sold around the world.”


  1. J.B. Szeremet says:

    One of the great frauds perpetrated by the state on the poorest segment of our society is the state lottery. It is a fraud because it is sold to the public as offering a player the “real possibility” of winning when, in fact, odds are far better that the player will be struck by lightening. It’s shameful that the state victimizes its most gullible and desperate citizens with such a fraudulent scheme. Even the “numbers racket” offered far better odds and we justifiably labeled it as criminal. The expanded gambling proposed in the state is just an expanded version of the lottery scheme. The state will create crony monopolies that agree to return a specified percentage of the winnings, and the monopolies will fix the gambling devices (particularly gambling devices such as slot machines) to return enough winnings to pay the state and make a profit. The result is again fixed odds that are unfair to players. And again the players (for the most part) will be the same people who are victims of the lottery fraud. I am not opposed to legalizing gambling. It should be allowed like any other free market enterprise. What I am opposed to is the inherent unfairness of state monopolized gambling and its victimization of our most vulnerable citizens.