Thursday, January 24, 2008

Casinos and the Economy

A recent post on the Hallwatch blog examines the economic impact of the proposed Foxwoods and SugarHouse Casinos, and finds they add up to a big drain on the city's economy. Rather than attracting lots of new money and jobs to Philadelphia's economy, they will take business away from other recreational activities.

To me, the ultimate objection to the casinos is moral rather than economic. Casinos, like lotteries, are what Richard Russo calls "taxes on ignorance." They prey on the gullible and those suffering from gambling addictions. They ruin families, increase the crime rate, and devastate neighborhoods. (Anyone who disagrees with this should take a look at Atlantic City. Outside of the immediate casino area, much of it is a slum.) There has to be another way to improve conditions in this city.

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