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Do Casinos benefit other businesses?

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Steve Wynn, a casino owner once said, “Get it straight…there is no reason on earth for any of you to expect for more than one second that just because there are people here at casinos and to last year’s total horse racing handle ($540 million), and it’s clear that Kentucky’s economy will suffer from the huge increase in dollars wagered and the exponential expansion of gambling proposed by Governor Beshear. Our businesses, large and small, simply can’t afford a $1.4 billion annual hit. Ford Motor Company surely can’t afford it, and neither can Toyota. Local small business would be even harder hit, especially businesses located in so many of our historic downtown areas that have recently undergone extensive renovation and rehabilitation.

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Lost revenue is not the only damage done to local business. Dr. Grinols calls casino impact on local jobs markets “Jobless Growthlessness.” He documents, after studying the economic impacts of gambling for 15 years, that casino employment displaces local economy jobs without improving community resident standard of living. He also clearly shows that businesses lose in general merchandise and miscellaneous retail and wholesale trade when casinos come to a community. For every $1000 in casino revenue, businesses within a five mile radius of casinos lose $142; businesses within a 5 - 10 mile radius lose $217. When considering losses of businesses up to 30 miles away, the total is $381 for every $1000 in casino revenue.

Governor Beshear and the other Slots Pushers project $1.4 billion in revenue. Using Dr. Grinols’s data, businesses within a 30 mile radius of casino locations will suffer total revenue losses of approximately $476,250,000. Kentucky businesses simply can’t afford this kind of annual hit on their bottom lines. Casinos are bad for business, and more of a bad thing will never make it good.

This documented trend should be the top concern of several major business sectors in Kentucky. If the slots pushers get their wish of 12 casinos in Kentucky, then other Kentucky businesses will suffer:

Casinos are bad for business, plain and simple. If you are a business owner or an employee in a business that relies on discretionary income, or if you’re a banker, insurance or other business service provider, then you should join our efforts. The business community will suffer is casinos are allowed to buy their way into our state. If the business community suffers, then our entire Commonwealth suffers. Join us today! Say No to Casinos!

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