When it comes to economic development, there are plenty of different roads any community can go down.
Among the most lucrative ones is definitely the gambling business. You’ve probably watched at least a dozen of movies that take place in a city such as Las Vegas, where everything you see makes you come to the conclusion that the entire place lives off the profit made by the casinos.
Is it true that this business can create jobs, and is it beneficial for the community in the long run?
There are countless stories of struggling towns making a huge profit by welcoming the gambling business. Detroit is one of the latest examples of such development.
This city has had a couple of casinos for a while now, but they employed fewer people and never made any real profit. A couple of years ago, however, they started expanding and hiring more employees.
They ended up with around 7,600 workers, which is a lot, especially when you consider how much they were paying them – $401 million each year. This is a huge income for any city, let alone one that couldn’t be called the biggest place in the US. But are there downsides to this development strategy?
Welcoming a casino into the city can be a quick fix for a lot of the community’s financial issues, but it’s not a very good strategy in the long run.
Inglewood makes the perfect example for this – the opening of the Hollywood Park Casino made everyone hopeful, but the pretty picture the business painted for the town didn’t last very long. While the initial calculations predicted that the gambling business would make up to $10 million every year, what really happened was a profit of under $5 million. And that was just the beginning. After a couple of years, the number started dropping significantly, and Inglewood ended up with an $18 million deficit.
All in all, the answer to the question of whether casinos can create jobs is yes. It turns out, however, that they couldn’t be called a very good strategy for economic development.