How Casinos Contribute to the Community
Casinos get a lot of bad press. When the idea of a casino coming to a community is announced, opponents of legalized gambling step up and try to block the new casino from being built. They worry, with some legitimacy, about the problems gambling will cause in their community.
However, casinos also do a lot of good for their communities.
Each new casino brings new jobs to the community. Construction workers are needed to build the casino, and after it is opened, the casino will hire hundreds of workers to work on the floor or in the restaurants, as accountants and auditors and managers, as security personnel, as housekeepers and landscapers. Some jobs will be well-paying. Others will be low-paying. But for many of those people, it means that they now have a job, whereas they may have been unemployed. For communities, it might also mean a way to get young adults to stay, particularly the college educated ones who would otherwise leave town in search of decent-paying jobs that take advantage of their education.
It doesn’t happen in every town, but most communities find that, with a new casino, tourism dollars increase. More tourism means more business opportunities outside of the casinos. Before Mississippi legalized gambling, many of its river towns were among the poorest in the nation. Over the past ten years, these same towns have seen a boost to their overall economy.
Casinos pay taxes like other businesses. These taxes help the community survive, particularly if the community has lost other large corporations or factories.
Perhaps it isn’t advertised as well as it should be, but casinos also give back to their communities through philanthropy. In Las Vegas, for example, Caesars Entertainment has paired up with a new elementary school and provided the classrooms with school supplies. The goal of the partnership is to provide at-risk kids with a high-quality education. In Michigan, the MGM facility held a benefit for local libraries before the casino had even opened to the public.