By Sam Burnham
I've been listening to the rattling of the tinkers trying to sell Georgia on casino gambling just about as long as I can stand it. I've gotta to say a few things.
So here it is. I know that Ralph Reed amd others are going to try to oppose this measure on moral grounds but I'm not even going down in that road. I'm going for the apples to apples route.
I spoke on this matter during an appearance on America's Web Radio show Greg's List Live with Greg Williams. And many of these are ideas I shared then. But they are worth another mention.
Several years ago Atlantic City New Jersey decided that casino gambling might just be the thing that would revitalize their boardwalk. So they opened the door. And the story went well at first. Several casinos were built and there were hopes the plan was going to work. The biggest problem is that the casinos have their own parking decks, no windows, no clocks, nothing that would ever tempt anyone to leave that building for anything. People sleep inside them, eat inside them, play inside them, enjoy shows and concerts inside them, everything is inside that casino. There's no time for local shops, restaurants, or bars. There's no need for hotels or entertainment venues. So people rarely step foot outside the casino.
In that model, the only economic impact is going to be the relatively low paying jobs the casino provides. Waitstaff, maids, front desk help, etc. The majority of the high paying jobs will be executives that are charged with making a lot of money to send back to the home office to give to the bigwigs. So the casino is likely to funnel more money out of the economy than it brings in.
On top of that, while the casino is doing little to boost the local economy it is increasing traffic, and visiting population as well as adding new facilities that require additional police, fire, and medical protection. This costs money - money that we've already shown that the casino isn't bringing in, especially if they get a tax easement to encourage them to come in.
It's just a downright terrible idea. I guess if Atlanta and Savannah, who already have the infrastructure to deal with such things, are interested, it is an idea they should take up. But it's only another bill our small towns can't afford. Oppose casino gambling at all costs. We just can't afford them.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire