casino impact on local community

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Casino impact on local community

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Because the local unemployment rate dropped after the casino was introduced, it must be that the casino helped lower the local unemployment rate. The change in the unemployment rate in the local area should be compared with the change in the statewide unemployment rate during the same period. If the changes are about the same, then it is possible that all of the employment growth in the casino area is the result of the natural movement of the business cycle economic changes in other sectors of the economy and not the introduction of the casino.

If the drop in unemployment is larger in the local area than statewide after the casino is introduced, then one could argue that the casino has indeed reduced local unemployment. The point here is that local changes in unemployment should be compared with statewide unemployment changes. Other factors, such as population changes and local business conditions, should also be considered when comparing local unemployment rates before and after a casino opens.

Just looking at differences in local unemployment rates over time without an understanding of population dynamics and the statewide business cycle can paint a false picture as to the employment benefits of casinos. Issue 2: The basic idea regarding increased employment is that a casino's operation requires labor, and this labor will come from the local area.

This, in turn, will reduce unemployment in the area. The question to ask is not just whether casinos decrease unemployment, but for whom they decrease unemployment. Most casino jobs require some kind of skill, be it accounting, dealing cards, security or other expertise. If a casino is planning to move to a rural area having a relatively less skilled work force, the casino probably will draw skilled labor from outside of the area.

If this labor remains outside of the local area and workers commute to the casinos, then unemployment in the local area will remain unchanged. If some of this skilled labor decides to move near the casino, then the unemployment rate which is the number unemployed divided by the labor force in the local area will fall because the labor force has increased. It is this decreased unemployment rate that is often used as evidence that casinos have indeed improved local employment.

However, it is important to realize that unemployment for the original, relatively less skilled population has remained essentially unchanged—only the higher skilled, new arrivals have found employment with the casino. It is the employment of these new arrivals that has decreased the unemployment rate. The main lesson regarding casinos and their impact on the local unemployment rate for the original population is that local officials and the citizenry need to know whether the work force for the new casino will come from their area.

The promise of increased employment for the original population that is often used as an argument for the construction of casinos may not be realized. In a relatively urban area, there is probably enough variety in the work force to ensure that skilled labor will be provided locally. In rural areas, however, most of the labor will be from outside of the local area, thus leaving the unemployment rate for the original population unchanged.

Issue 1: Most states tax adjusted casino revenue and use the taxes to fund state and local programs. In Missouri, the tax rate is 18 percent, and there is an additional 2 percent tax to aid local city governments. Indiana has a 20 percent tax rate. Illinois and Mississippi have a graduated tax schedule. Casino proponents and state and local governments promote casino tax revenue as a benefit. This revenue is a benefit for the recipients of taxed casino revenue. However, it is important to realize that this revenue is not "new money" to society.

Taxes result in a transfer of income from one group to another group—in this case, casino owners to state and local governments and eventually to program recipients. Zero new money was created as a result of the casino tax. Issue 2: State governments use casino tax revenue for various programs, but public education seems to be the favored destination for casino tax revenue in many states.

In fact, states often promote how much money from casino revenue is earmarked to public education. This suggests to the public that spending on education has increased since the taxing of casino revenue began. Not necessarily.

The problem is that all earmarked revenue is interchangeable. The same works for state, local and federal governments regardless of the tax and destination of revenue. No increase in education spending has occurred. The swapping of casino revenue has yet to be tested empirically, but the issue has been explored using state lotteries. Numerous studies have found that in those states that earmark lottery funds for education, spending on education has not increased beyond historical trend levels after the introduction of the lottery.

Essentially, contrary to the claim made by lottery officials, state lotteries do not appear to help public education. There is no reason to doubt the same result could occur with casino revenue. The issue of whether casinos help or hurt local retail sales, and thus retail sales tax collections, has received the most attention in the academic literature. Essentially, the degree to which casinos attract visitors from outside the local area relative to local customers determines the casino's impact on local retail sales.

If the bulk of a casino's clientele is local, then one would expect retail sales and thus retail sales tax revenue in the local area to be negatively impacted. This is the substitution effect, i. However, if casinos act as part of a "tourist vacation," where non-local visitors spend several days gambling, touring museums and dining out, then local retail sales would probably increase. Another factor to consider is that many casinos have restaurants, shops and hotel rooms for casino customers.

All items purchased in these outlets are taxable under state and local sales tax laws. A possible loss in retail sales in the local community may be partly offset by an increase in retail sales activity in the casinos. Rural areas that have one or two casinos are more likely to experience a decrease in local retail sales than urban areas that attract a greater number of tourists.

Areas such as St. Louis and Kansas City would probably experience less, if any, of a decrease in retail sales compared to rural casino areas such as Booneville or Caruthersville, Mo. Of course, only empirical testing can provide a definite answer regarding retail sales losses and gains due to casinos. An interesting point is that many rural communities do promote their casinos along with other area attractions to draw out-of-area visitors.

Regardless of the specific issues, casino gambling in the United States is likely here to stay. The only question is to what degree its popularity will increase in the future. They mention crime and compulsive gambling. Proponents tout the number of jobs created and the fiscal benefits to state and local governments.

Both views are reality based, but a closer look suggests that both proponents and opponents tend to exaggerate the impacts they cite. Crime typically rises in high tourism areas, and there is little evidence to suggest that casinos are much different from other large visitor attractions. Conversely, proponents of casinos rarely acknowledge how much the money that people spend in casinos displaces spending elsewhere in town.

Nonetheless, after more than 30 years since casinos spread outside Nevada, we can identify features that could maximize the benefits of a new casino to a host community. From a purely fiscal standpoint, state governments almost always come out ahead with casinos. That has nothing to do with casinos as such, but rather with the fact that when states create monopolies or oligopolies, they can impose significantly higher taxes on them than on other sectors. Although no state has a general sales tax rate higher than 7 percent, state taxes outside Nevada on casino revenues consistently exceed 15 percent.

In Pennsylvania, they are as high as 55 percent. How much the host city benefits depends on how the state divides the revenue. In Pennsylvania, host cities get only a small share of the total. Although host cities get property tax revenues, it is often a close call whether the fiscal benefits to the city outweigh the costs. The economic and fiscal benefits of casinos, both to the state and the host cities, depend on where the casino visitors come from and where the casino workforce comes from.

The ideal, from an economic standpoint, is a community with a large local workforce and also a large regional and multistate visitor pool. The more local the workforce, the greater the share of casino revenues that stay in the community, and the greater the multiplier effect of those revenues on the local economy. The more that casino visitors come from outside the area, the less that the local community will suffer the displacement of revenues that occurs when casino-goers bypass local entertainment and other local spending.

Displacement still happens, but it happens somewhere else. From a national perspective it may be a wash, but from the local perspective, it is significant. For the state, too, out-of-state casino visitors represent a much greater net fiscal benefit than in-state gamblers. With casinos in operation in most states, how much a new casino can draw out-of-state visitors without cannibalizing the revenues of other casinos in those states is limited.

In the competition between states and cities for scarce revenues, however, that rarely bothers officials. Pennsylvania's highly successful casino strategy aimed to draw gamblers from outside the state and take business from the Atlantic City market.

The majority of the sites dictated by the state for casinos form a ribbon along the state's eastern boundary with New Jersey. Most of the others are close to Ohio and upstate New York. That was hardly a coincidence. See "Location of Pennsylvania Casinos.

Assuming a local pool of potential casino employees is available, and the casino can draw a regional? If that opportunity is to be turned into reality, however, more has to happen than simply opening a casino on a vacant site somewhere in the area. If local residents are to become the majority of the casino's workforce, a systematic effort has to be made to reach potential workers and provide them with training opportunities well before the casino opens its doors. In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the casino formed a partnership with the local community college to train its workforce.

The college even opened a satellite facility adjacent to the casino. More than 85 percent of the Sands Casino workforce lives within a mile radius. Many live in the adjacent South Side neighborhood. The SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia signed a community benefits agreement with the New Kensington Community Development Corporation, which led to a significant number of local residents being hired in the casino, as well as other neighborhood improvements.

The location of the facility is equally important.

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availability is associated with increased problem and pathological. › news › columns › spotlight-on-economics-do-casinos-. These impacts are somehow tangible and intangible in the host community, in which casino gamblers interact with the local environment, economy, and society.