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How Casino’s and State Lotteries Can Help Develop Local Economies

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Thomas Marek

How Casino’s and State Lotteries Can Help Develop Local Economies

If someone has ever been mad or frustrated with losing money at a casino or on a lottery ticket then without that person ever knowing, they may have helped develop the local economy or helped a school system provide books to a classroom. Growing up in an area or community that has a casino or racetrack may give some people some negative opinions on those establishments. They would have those negative opinions because how that establishment may have negatively affected their life in some way, but some of those people look over the fact of the matter that local governments can retain millions upon millions of revenue dollars that is put back into the system for education, infrastructure, and job creation efforts. As someone who has lived within an hour drive to a casino all my life, and even worked at one for three years, I have seen the bad and the good that casinos can come up with. With all the jobs that the casino in Mount Pleasant has created, and all the tourist that it has attracted to the city of Mount Pleasant. With all of that revenue flow it has had to have a positive affect on the local economy. Casinos and racetracks are not the only contributors in this revenue-generating plan. State lotteries have also had a massive impact on local state governments.

Lotteries are extremely difficult to win. Allysia Finley of the Wall Street Journal says as citizen of the United States everyone has a 1 in 292.2 million chance of winning the Powerball. Without any context of the payout, the odds of winning that seem outrageously unfair to its players. Think of that though, if someone were to have a 1 in a 292 million chance of doing anything else, you would not feel very confident winning. Most of the time, with those chances you normally would not cared about it, but with the extreme monetary values that the Powerball and Mega Million tickets are causing. People are always jumping on the chance of winning one of these massive state lotteries.

Casinos and racetracks have been regarded as immoral since their rise in the early 1900s to now, but as of recently they have became a more viable and reputable tourist attractions for local governments and state governments. There always seems to be a negative stigma when new casinos come into a community because the surrounding areas believe that the casino and their partners will suffocate all of the local businesses. People think this happens when a new casino comes in, and they have all their amenities like a hotel, restaurants, coffee shops, and even gas stations and all of those aspects of the casino create competition, which leads to their competitors losing money. This is a valid argument, and will be had at every township or city meeting until the end of time, most likely. What some of those who are opposed to these casinos don’t realize is that in a vacuum this would lead to the casino having the most business. But, our world isn’t in a theoretical vacuum so with the addition of the casino and of the amenities already named; this will cause more people to be attracted to the surrounding areas and businesses. With more foot traffic for your community means that finite customer base becomes larger. Since they are more popular than ever, and the fact that they are legal in forty-three of the fifty states means that their reach is becoming more evident (Coughlin, Garrett, and Hernández-Murillo).

A lot of hardworking United State workers love the thought of winning the lotto, and being able to take care of their friends and families. According to Finley, About 40% of the money from Powerball sales in California and 30% in New York goes to education. Thirty to forty percent is a massive amount of money when the government is retaining billions of dollars from ticket sales. According to the Newstex Finance & Accounting Blog post, Americans purchased 64.6 billion dollars worth of lottery tickets in the year 2014 and 40.3 billion was returned in payouts to the tax paying customers. That is an extra 20 billion dollars that is going back to state education, environmental initiatives, and other social programs. I can understand when some people say that this is immoral because a lot of low income, retirees and disable people play the these big lotteries to hopefully help their financial futures. According to Humphries, “In terms of monetary value, 34 cents out of every $1 spent on lottery tickets is invested into education, with 58 cents being awarded to winners in the form of prizes and 6 cents paid to participating retailers for sales commissions”. Per the New York Gaming Commission, the state made 2 billion dollars in revenue from the state lottery in 2016, and of those 2 billion dollars one-third of it went to New York State Education. Legal state lotteries have been up for debate for almost a century now, and Michigan didn’t even adopt the legality of lotteries until 1972 (Coughlin, Garrett, and Hernández-Murillo).

Technology innovations over the last twenty have made a tremendous impact on the standard of living across the whole United States. With a lot of people using the Internet on a daily basis, the Internet and its services has expanded ten times over. There are so many things that you can do on the internet these days, from order pretty much any kind of food you want, shop and get any kind of clothes you want, and as of recently in the last couple years



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