Betting On Casinos

John Harwood in for Tom Ashbrook

More and more states are betting on casinos for critical revenue. But if everybody’s got one – or a dozen – does anybody win?

Lights in Las Vegas. (Christina McCarty/Flickr)

Lights in Las Vegas. (Christina McCarty/Flickr)

As hard as this struggling economy has been for Washington to deal with these last few years, it’s been even harder for state governments. They’re desperate to generate revenue and create jobs – and that has more and more of them turning to the casino industry. Once it made politicians blush; no longer.

But is it really a growth strategy for the long-term? Is the jackpot shrinking even as new parts of the country raise the stakes? And for individual gamblers, is it really possible to beat the house?

Up Next On Point: Who can win the big new bets on casino gambling?

-John Harwood


Doug Walker, professor of Economics, College of Charleston, and author of The Economics of Casnio Gambling.

Vin Narayanan, managing editor at the Casino City Times.

Don Johnson, considered one of the most successful gamblers today. In one night last April he won nearly $6 million.He is no longer welcome in many casinos because of his ability to beat the house.

From The Reading List

The New York Times “These days the tribe is dealing with the latest improbability in its turbulent history: financial havoc. The casino is underwater, like a five-bedroom Spanish colonial in a Nevada subdivision.”

Chicago Sun Times “Five new casinos in Illinois and slot machines at the racetracks would yield nearly $200 million a year for state government and create more than 20,000 jobs, said a report being issued Monday.”

Detroit Free Press “Backers say it would be a win for Michigan. They say the new casinos would be a boon for the state economy, create up to 16,000 new construction and casino jobs in a state with chronic unemployment and raise $300 million a year in tax revenue.”

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