Casino Supporters Go Bipolar on Gambling Addiction
Casino supporters have gone all bipolar over the costs of gambling addiction.
On one day, they claim that all the gambling addicts New Hampshire will ever see are lurking here symptom-free and that a casino here would cause no addiction increase.
Today, theymake headlinesabout how Massachusetts casinos will cause gambling addiction increases here in New Hampshire.
So which is it?Judging from casino supporters' most recent mood swing on gambling addiction, they now agree that casinos increase gambling addiction.
At the center this of all this are projections by the New Hampshire Public Policy Research Center that the casino proposed inSB152would be a net economic loser for our state, raising $45 in tax revenue but costing $47 million in crime and addiction-related social costs.
Even though casino supporters (at least today to suit their constantly shifting PR and messaging strategy) now acknowledge that casinos cause increases in gambling addiction, they continue to attack the Center, charging it with having an "unproven" social cost model.
So ... our ask to casino supporters: Show us your social cost model.
Please make it something more scientific than anecdotes from a police chief in a gambling town (who just got bought 15 new cruisers by the casino) that he sees no crime in the casino parking lot.
As to the Granite State Coalition, we do have a social cost model, the one most often used in the published, peer-reviewed literature on gambling addiction. A single Salem casino as proposed in SB152 would cause$105 million dollars per yearin increased costs of gambling addiction, more than double the Center's excessively conservative projection.
What are these costs?
Lost work days and decreased workplace productivity.
Money taken under false pretenses from friends and relatives.
Increased family bankruptcy.
Increased household debt loads and liquidated savings.
Increased family violence, child abuse, and divorce.
Increased serious crimes, including violent physical assault, breaking and entering, auto theft, and embezzlement.
Increased criminal justice, welfare, and social services costs paid by state and local taxpayers.
We urge the House to defeat any measure which would legalize casinos and to find a humane means to balance the state budget.
The New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies today released itsnew analysisas to the net economic impact of a Salem casino as proposed inSB152:
"a net loss to the state of roughly $2 million a year."
The analysis is bad news for Las Vegas-based Millennium Gaming, which, since 2005, has been peddling itsMoney From Thin Airfairy tales to a revenue hungry legislature.
Millennium Gaming (Fix It Now) website logo 2/28/13
Here are some verbatim quotes from the Center's analysis:
While expanded gambling will yield revenue to the state, our model's estimates of the social costs of problem gambling suggest no long-term net state benefit when the tax on casino operations is set at 30 percent or less.
[P]redicting revenue from license fees is difficult, and budget writers should use caution in basing a budget on such revenue.
Gambling revenues continue to decline locally and nationally
Our model still does not account for a number of factors, including the potential positive or negative effects of expanded gambling on New Hampshire's "brand" (as a tourist destination and place to do business), the potential private costs associated with pathological gambling (so-called "abused dollars").
An Annual Loss of $67 Million if Full Social Costs Are Included
The Center's social cost estimates are extremely conservative. Using the most-frequently cited social cost numbers in the gambling impacts literature, a single Salem casino as proposed in SB152 would cost New Hampshire $67 million annually.
Internet Gambling Will Drive Revenues Even Lower
Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey have now legalized Internet gambling. Facing declining revenues at its three race track casinos due to neighboring state casino proliferation, Delaware was first to legalize Internet gambling in 2012. Illustrating the gambling proliferation problem, Delaware also legalized Keno-slots and sports betting at bars and restaurants throughout the state.
We've seen in industry after industry how quickly the Internet has devastated brick and mortar business models -- in books, electronics, and office supplies. Now it's about to happen to physical casinos.
Internet gambling means that the days of big tax money from slot machines at brick & mortar casinos are numbered. It means that any budget or spending promises from a casino tax had better be revised downward yet again. It means that casino taxes must not be the basis for support of any ongoing state programs, such as highways, mental health, or education.
The Coalition urges the legislature to defeat any casino legislation and to build a state budget without relying on casino license or tax revenues.