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Links of the Day:

– There’s no casino planned for downtown Rochester, but that doesn’t stop people from fantasizing about one. The dream could be a reality if Governor Andrew Cuomo gets his way and legalizes non-Indian casinos.

Toronto is in the midst of a downtown casino debate. An op-ed in the Toronto Star thoroughly pans the idea:

When all the social, moral and monetary costs are totted up, legalized gambling has proven itself to be financial and economic disaster.

Just look at Atlantic City, decades after its casino hotels were supposed to have changed its fortunes. Detroit’s three casinos have hardly moved its economic needle. For that matter, look at Niagara Falls, nearby.


But the vast majority of casino patrons turn out to be locals, coming back night after night to spend their hard-earned money on the slots.


Legalized gambling’s costs in crime, bankruptcies, lost productivity and diminished social capital exceed the supposed gains from added jobs and revenues by a ratio of three to one, according to Grinols’ research. A “tax on ignorance” is how Warren Buffett once put it.

Casinos produce little real wealth for their communities. They generate virtually no economic spinoff activity and in fact tend to poach business away from other local restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.

– Speaking of casinos, Chris Wilmot writes of his uncle’s one-time plan to put one in the Sibley Building. Wilmot also discusses Wilmorite’s impact on downtown Rochester and the shopping scene.

– While our health insurance premiums skyrocket, the CEO of Excellus pocketed a $3.3 million raise.

– The city is kicking Occupy Rochester out of Washington Square Park. 

[tweet https://twitter.com/roccitynews/status/175618610163744768]


– Cupcake ATMs, coming to a city near you.

8 Responses to Casinos a Bad Bet?

  1. I have to say that the anecdotal evidence does not look great based on the examples you gave. I blogged about this topic myself last year when the idea was floating around (again)… I think I’ve decided that unless someone can come up with credible evidence that a casino would help us – it would probably take things in a bad direction… But I’m ultimately open-minded.

  2. I would be satisfied if the “racinos” added poker rooms, as they do in the state of Florida. I am snow-birding in the sunshine state, and all of the dog and horse tracks have state contracted poker rooms, which provide a massive infusion of revenue for the government. If Farmington and Batavia added poker rooms, this may be a good direction. But that said, I would love a local casino.

  3. I’d like to comment on the Wilmot article you mention via Twitter. I hope you aren’t going for that malarkey as you seem to be much too intelligent to do so. This guy is obviously just too rich to get it. He’s got those big money blinders on. His two arguments seem to be 1) that his family is responsible for many of the buildings and real estate developments in Rochester’s history (he puts this forth as if they were doing it for free for the sake of the community, not making millions of dollars in profits) and 2) that it is actually only $3 million they owe in taxes, not $22 million (again- the old money blinders are on. $3 million may not be much to a Wilmot, but it is a lot of money to this city and a typical city taxpayer.)

  4. March 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm Carlos Mercado responds:

    If casinos were economic godsends to a community, all the suburban towns would be fighting each other and the City to see who gets the panacea.

    If you want a reality check, look at Niagara Falls. A glitzy building in an urban slum in a blighted downtown.

  5. March 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm edward richards responds:

    Depends. If someone built a casino in Greece, NY, it’d fly. If someone built a soccer stadium there, it’d fly. If someone built a grocery store there, yea, you get it, it’d fly.

    As far as a place to gamble, in a downtown,.. not only is it wrong, it’s preposterous!

  6. Gambling? A bad idea, no one wants turn Rochester into Atlantic City. With gambling comes porn, drugs, addiction, corruption and moral decay. Cup cakes? Love them, especially Wegman’s brand. Yet, I wonder how they would stay fresh and moist in an ATM. Would they be great or mediocre, such as made by hostess.

  7. March 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm Ben C. responds:

    Between the nixing of the Super Weggies on Elmwood Rd. at the Psych Center and the abject denial of a casino proposal at the Mid-Town site, the City created a development rift that may take decades to repair.

    It is to be noted that local media reported Mayor Duffy immediately upon taking office contacted both of these development business interests assumedly to mend fences.

    Meanwhile, the East Ave. Weggies dragged on, it’s Mt. Hope facility was razed for a U of R parking lot and a remarkabley large multi-use development broke ground at Jefferson Rd. and John St. in Henrietta.

    And the media applauded public takings in downtown that in effect transferred private property from one private concern to another without nary a handshake, definitive agreement, purchase option or concrete development agreement to boslter a “public good” purpose for the eminent domain action.

    These slaps in the faces of two of the most philanthropic families, responsible for thousands of jobs and viable developements in our region were a culmination of bankrupt, no incompetent, redevelopment policies and practices on the part of the City of Rochester.

    2000 jobs on the main bus line to downtown at a primarily self-financed commercial facility that would have included an up-side-down department store owing back taxes?

    What was Mayor Johnson thinking?

  8. March 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm Lynn E responds:

    Casinos steal money from people and cause social problems to worsen. Why would we want to encourage gambling? I know that like prohibition, banning it doesn’t work but advertising it as some kind of urban renewal has never made sense. Casinos are vipers who suck the lack blood of most people and toss wealth up to a few.

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