90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Is The Gamble On Casinos Paying Off?

Do we now have a national casino glut? All the problems, less upside?

An artist's rendering of MGM's proposed resort-style casino in Downtown Springfield (Courtesy)

An artist’s rendering of MGM’s proposed resort-style casino in Downtown Springfield, Mass. (Courtesy)

Decades ago, Las Vegas and Atlantic City hit it big with casinos. The jackpot story lingered as gambling and casinos spread across much of the rest of the country, on riverboats and reservations and promises of endless new revenue for struggling states. Best of all, it was casino visitors from out-of-state who would feed your state’s slot machines and coffers. Now, casinos are all over. Two dozen within a hundred miles of Philadelphia. Shakeouts in Indiana and Mississippi. Near “saturation” in the Northeast. Locals now the players. And revenues, down. This hour On Point: the casino pinch.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Vin Narayanan, Managing editor at the Casino City Times.

Doug Walker, Professor of economics at the College of Charleston, expert on the economic and social effects of casinos and author of Casinonomics: The Socioeconomic Impacts of the Casino Industry, and The Economics of Casino Gambling.

Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Director of the Center for Thrift and Generosity at the Institute for American Values, a New-York-based think tank focusing on family and social issues, and editor of Franklin’s Thrift: The History of a Lost American Virtue.

From Tom’s reading list:

The Wall Street Journal (Subscription): Casino Boom Pinches Northeastern States – Racetrack casinos used to contribute as much as $240 million a year to Delaware’s tax coffers. But as the Northeast becomes saturated with gambling venues, the state’s casino revenue has tumbled, prompting a new industry request—for a tax break.

The New York Times: Gaming the Poor – In recent years, 23 other states have legalized and licensed commercial (as opposed to Native American) gambling facilities. In the casino-dense Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, where 26 casinos have opened since 2004 and at least a dozen more are under development, most adults now live within a short drive of one.

ABC News: Tunica Reels as Competition, Recession Hit Casinos – The Tunica Miracle — as boosters called the coming of gambling to what had been an isolated, economically moribund slice of the Mississippi Delta — is over. A boom that peaked with 13,000 jobs has slid into a struggle for survival.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jan 29, 2015
Mike Johnson, a sales manager at a local Honda car dealership, walks past a row of Honda CRV SUVs Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz.  (AP)

Is it the next subprime scandal? Banking giants piling into high-interest auto loans for the poor. We’ll investigate.

Jan 29, 2015
This Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 a street side memorial with a painted portrait of Ezell Ford near where he was shot when police confronted him on Aug. 11, 2014, on a street near his home in South Los Angeles. (AP)

The author of “Ghettoside” takes us deep into murder and law enforcement in minority neighborhoods. We want your story.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 28, 2015
tasty

Did our sense of taste make us human? From evolution to culture, a new book explores the science and perception of flavor.

 
Jan 28, 2015
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Pellissippi State Community College Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP)

The promise of free community college. What it might mean for our economy and our fraying social contract.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
1 Comment