The Local Casino: Boon or Bust?
Having a casino set up shop in one’s hometown isn’t something many of us have to confront these days, and the majority of people, if asked, would likely have a kneejerk reaction against the notion. It is a time when many are playing online casino games and to start you can get some guidance (ClassiCasinos.com) on how to enjoy it to the maximum. One might think that gambling had become an accepted fact in modern society; however this is not the case. Images of seedy alleyways, loan sharks, gamblers addicted to the slots and the issues associated with irresponsible alcohol intakes can set even the most liberal mind afire, but in the era when cash for gold stores, betting shops and the like are cropping up across many high streets, could a casino opening have an ameliorative effect on a town’s fortunes?
Let’s first look at the positives. Casinos themselves are a hub of nightlife; ongoing entertainment in the form of comedy, dance and music performances are usually a huge part of the modern casino experience, as premises try and shed the negative connotations casinos have accrued over the years. With this, a downtown casino can be an enormous boost for the local nightlife. Punters go and see a show at the casino, play some tables, then continue their evening at local bars and restaurants. With this, the entire evening economy of a town can have its fortunes reversed from the dismalness brought forth by the recent recession. Take Casino de Lac, in Ontario. Alongside hundreds of slots and tables, the casino puts on an annual fireworks tournament, regular entertainment acts and events, plus a Five Diamond distinction-awarded restaurant on the premises. Jobs for the local population plus tourism opportunities may also be experienced.
Through taxation and local ordinances, a casino can also be beneficial to public services and local government. Turning around the fortunes of a town requires money, and a casino will provide at least a portion of that, though expecting it to be a cash cow for the entire community is definitely overly wishful thinking. Many Mayors, when interviewed, view their casinos in a positive light, having given them an additional fiscal boost as the backdrop of federal spending cuts rolls on.
There are negatives, however. The link between problem drinking and casinos is a well established one, and especially in the 19-25 demographic, where excessive binge drinking is most prevalent, a casino can have a negative effect on both the youth’s health and bank balance. This can be negated though, with safeguards such as limited opening hours, a system of identifying problem drinkers and gamblers, and a stout safety net that provides health assistance for gamblers when things get too much.
Still Looking for Paradise, a play written by Ottawa's own Ian Stauffer and directed by Kathi Langst...