– 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.