Economy and Gambling in Massachusetts
Gambling coming to a state is always a contentious issue. There are many states that have a total ban on casinos and most of them that have casinos state that they must be run by Native Americans. In fact, they claim that they are doing the Natives a favor and that is one of the major reasons that they have set up those casinos. They also mention the amount of revenue and taxes that come through from a casino and the benefit that a state can get from those revenues. For example, Connecticut generates between $300 million and $400 million in taxpayer dollars through their three casinos that are run by Natives. That is a huge amount and goes a long way to helping their annual budget.
With this in mind, the state of Massachusetts has decided to lift its ban on casinos and will be introducing two casinos next year. They have not decided exactly where or who will run these casinos, but it does bring a huge shift from lawmakers stance just a few months ago. They were adamant that no matter what Massachusetts would not go down the road of other states and cave into the financial pressures of allowing gambling in its state. However, times have continued to change and the economy has continued to worsen. This means that the revenues they can get from casinos and gambling sites are too enticing to be ignored any longer.
This is a huge step that effects not only this state but the others around it. For example, Connecticut is worried that their revenues are going to be cut, because so many people from Massachusetts and nearby states visit Connecticut and their casinos. If each state starts having their own then they will all lose out on revenue. Another important fact to do with casino revenues is the state of the economy. While there is still a lot of money to be made from them, that amount has been steadily decreasing over the past few years. With people having less savings and less disposable income, they tend to gamble less. This means they visit the casino less and much less money is generated as compared to five years ago.
That is not to say that Massachusetts will not benefit hugely from having a couple of casinos in its state, but the short term benefit will not be as great as they might have hoped. But, the fact of the matter is that gambling is becoming more and more mainstream in various states as time goes on. There was a time when Las Vegas was one of the few places you could go to a casino and gamble, but now that is no longer the case. The financial benefits are too great for states to continue their blanket bans any longer.