Economic Issue: Casino Gambling
Many cities and counties are faced with stunted industrial and economic growth. Communities, such as the Native Americans, rely on government funds and aid as a means of survival. Previously, they relied heavily on government grants and agriculture to develop. The introduction of casinos and gaming to these areas, especially the Native Americans has had a huge positive impact on the economy of these areas and small towns. According to Borromeo, casinos and gaming introduction has been a catalyst for not only economic growth but also community growth. It has reduced the dependency these communities had on the government.
Economic Impact of Casino Gambling To The Economy
Introduction of casinos has influenced the host communities positively due to an increase in the income and employment levels. Statistics show that 360,818 people were employed in commercial casinos in 2007 while the tribal casinos employed 248,000 people in the previous year. States such as Mississippi registered an increase in the employment of people due to the introduction of casinos in 2007 compared to the previous year. Casinos offer various job positions, such as gaming managers, gaming supervisors, slot technicians, and gaming dealers. Other areas, such as Missouri experienced an increase in casino employment by 11.6 % while Michigan also experienced and increased by 9.9%. Collectively, 27,258 people were employed by Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Delaware in 2007. This represented an increase of 22% in employment for these states from the previous year.
Moreover, the American Gaming Association estimates that the Native American casinos employed 315,000 other employees indirectly through the purchasing goods and services country wide to keep the casinos running. Besides, the construction of casino projects further created an estimated 17,000 jobs that brought the total number of people employed in that year alone by tribal casinos to an impressive 670,000.
Casinos are known to not only increase the level of employment but also increase tourism levels. They are a great source of entertainment and immensely attract tourists. Las Vegas is one of the best examples of the influences of casinos on tourism. The city has undergone various remodeling campaigns to make it a destination of choice for tourists. For example, the incorporating of children theme parks. Theme hotels drew more families to visit Las Vegas. However, by early 2000 theme hotels were replaced by more adult entertainment, which even pooled more people. Atlanta city also attracted a sizeable number of tourists in its hay days.
The influences of casinos on the government were massive and ranged from the direct revenue to the constant and increased collection of taxes. According to the American Gaming Association, the casino industry generated tax revenues amounting to $5.8 billion in 2007; this was an increase from the $5.2 billion in 2006 alone. The state of Nevada was the leading state in tax revenue with a whopping one billion followed by Indiana and Illinois with $842 million and $834 million respectively. Many leaders pay attribute to casinos in helping them complete community projects that otherwise would not have been able to be completed especially on time without them. For example, 28% accounts of the state budget in 2007 accounted for the amount of money that was paid regarding school fees and taxes from the casinos alone.Most states tax casinos and use the money on other development programs. According to Garret, the most favored destination for money that is taxed from the casinos is in the public sector education. Missouri's tax rate on casinos is at 18% with an additional 2% tax aimed at helping local governments while Indiana has a 20% tax rate.
New casinos have an impact on an individuals personal income. Casinos bring changes in personal income because they are a source of new money. They replace existing jobs with new ones; hence, an individual can have the more personal income to enable him or her to save. The increase in revenue and income in the community will increase a person's income and finally the effects will trickle down to the economy, which result in an increase in the GDP of the country.
Casinos also have an impact on the value of the property where they are housed, and the adjacent property values. It does this by adding to the value of the neighboring property when investors decide to build complementary service to the casino. Increased tourism attraction may result in higher end casinos being built to accommodate the increasing number of tourists arriving in the area. This consequently increases the number of property taxes collected in the area. More taxes result in the government being able to do more projects for its citizens. The building of casinos also comes with infrastructure upgrades, such as the building of new roads, electric system, and seaware system, which go a long way in improving the lives of the residents.
Government Strategies And Their Impacts
The government introduced some strategies to help communities like Native Americans to improve their economy. Some of these strategies include the legislations on casinos. Although casinos have some positive benefits, if not well legislated, they may cause a lot of damage to the economy and the communities that they are based. The government has come up with policies, such as public health and harm reduction policies in hospitals to combat addiction to gambling and legislations that reduce online gambling, such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act .
The government has also come up with the public health and hard reduction policies in association with strategic partners like various treatment agencies, local community support groups, academic researchers, and the gambling industry itself. These policies are to be implemented at the local level. Many gamblers are unaware of the utmost impact of their gambling habits on themselves, their families, and society at large. Many EGMs provide a lot of statistical information and mathematics on the slots and the ratios. However, they do not provide information on how many how to make money and the how to develop proper spending habits. Moreover, these EGMs provide very little or no information on the spending rates at the slots machine or the casinos. The public health and reduction polices are structured in a way that helps to reduce the adverse effects of gambling. Not only to reduce but also to prevent these adverse effects on the community.
The UIGEA act that was passed in 2006 has had the most impact in reducing the Internet and online gambling. This act works on the principle that it does not allow banks and any other systems to processes money that comes from the Internet knowingly. This logic assumes that if gamblers cannot get money from their gambling activities on the Internet, then they cannot engage in gambling online.
The effect of these two government acts is that it reduces the amount of revenue the government might potentially get, especially from the Internet. These two acts affect gambling in a positive way. The number of people with a gambling problem are first and foremost identified and can be helped. They will no longer be a source of concern to their family members and the society at large. Secondly, they will return to being constructive members of the community who do not engage in the self-destructing behavior. Those who will still continue gambling can now do it for recreation with knowledge on money spending habits.
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Personal Strategies and Their Impacts
From a personal point of view, I would establish an information center that would provide basic information on what gambling is, what it does to families and society, how to identify people with chronic gambling addiction in families and how to help them. Secondly, I would establish an online website that is strictly an action aid program to teach people on other they would do to pass the time at the same time making money instead of spending a lot of time at the Casinos gambling.
The combined effect of my strategies would be disseminating knowledge on how to solve the already chronic condition of gambling in a constructive manner. I will not just be highlighting the problem but also giving an equal solution. Providing adequate information would help in removing some the misconceptions that underlie gambling and money. These disconnects include the notion that players have after a long string of losses comes a victory or that a certain day is their lucky day or even a certain number is their lucky number. This, in the long run, helps people to make an informed decision whether or not to engage in gambling and encourage positive gambling.
I feel that with both the government strategies and my proposed strategies the massive impacts of gambling would be reduced sizeable but not entirely eradicated. More people and organizations should help by coming up with ways to reduce the negative impacts while maintaining the positive ones. It is clear that casinos significantly improve the economy of the regions that they are established based on the employment opportunities that they create. However, drug and substance centers should be involved in helping with the dissemination of information to the family member of those affected gambling and the general republic. Parents should also talk to their kids about gambling it benefits to the society but mostly its effects and impacts and on why it is a dangerous habit to start at an early age. Doing all the above will help in reducing negative effects of gambling and promote its positive effects.