Is a gambling room in a downtown casino and Park District good for the economy? That depends on whether the gambling is for real money or for play money. Gambling may have created jobs and contributed to the economic recovery after the recession, but is it really the best idea to have a casino right next to the Park district? Perhaps in hindsight, state and city leaders would probably be better off having the Convention Center on the outskirts of town and erecting events there instead of placing all of their money into a gambling casino that pays absolutely no taxes and has no ongoing expenses for the use of their property.
In my main article on why I am against a casino being built, I distinguished between gambling, gaming, and sports betting. Gambling can bring about some long term financial success for those lucky enough to place the correct number of “picks” and come out on top. The payout from gaming can help offset many of these short-term costs. However, the long term success and necessity for a gambling facility are the main issues.
I do not believe a casino should be located anywhere near an entertainment district. Why is this so? Let me explain. If you take a look at the major tourist attractions of Las Vegas, you will notice that a lot of the money spent at the gaming facilities goes to video poker and bingo, the two newest spectator sports in town.
Video poker and bingo allow people to place bets and take payoffs simultaneously by placing bets and taking payoffs on machines where luck of the draw could possibly determine the outcome of specific hands. With luck alone, the house edge on any given machine is very small. This means that when millions of people place bets on these machines and take payouts, there is still only a minuscule percentage of any increases or decreases in value. There is a time to gamble and there is a time to play video poker and bingo.
The house edge on gambling is the difference between the actual value of whatever is inside of a machine and the amount a player would have to win in order to get their hands on it. If a gambler has a 100% chance of winning, then their bet is their winnings minus the house edge. The more money the player places on one machine, the larger the house edge. It may seem to you that since everyone is playing to win, the house is taking advantage of everyone and there is no way someone could possibly win. This is not true because people will often place bets into multiple machines with varying outcomes. It is all up to chance and the luck of the draw.
One way a gambler can minimize his potential losses and increase his potential winnings is by choosing machines with differing odds. You may choose a machine with a lower house edge, but it also has a much greater percentage of paying off if the outcome comes in your favor. The odds may be in your favor for a long shot, but if you bet small enough, then you will break even. This way a gambler doesn’t have to break the bank to have fun, and at the same time they don’t have to put their life savings on the line for a small win. It is much better to go with a smaller bet and have good luck.