Jan 14, 2012
Many States are scrambling to build new casinos. They mistakenly believe that this is a surefire prescription for more tax revenue and jobs. They've bought into the false Las Vegas Myth--that if you build it and it has a blackjack table, a roulette wheel and a craps table--they will come. However, Vegas is looking more and more like Detroit, yet another failed US city. Do politicians believe that encouraging and subsidizing these parasitic industries is going to build wealth? As libertarians we are not against citizens starting and running gambling enterprises. They've been doing it since the before the Babylonians and they're going to be doing long after we're gone.
What we object to is the unholy alliance of government and big gambling. It is corrupt and it does not serve the public. Selling mega-casinos as a panacea for economic growth is completely fraudulent. The overall wealth of a society that engages in governmental sponsored gambling enterprises actually goes down. While there is an increase in taxe revenues, there's also a resulting decrease in consumer spending and an increase in social costs, which are never factored into the rigged gambling equation.
While on occasion we have unsuccessfully tested our luck at the tables, we all know that gambling is a vice that can destroy families, increase crime and harm society. Therefore, the government should stay out of it, whether it's running lotteries, booking sports/horse bets or embracing casinos as a fiscal cure all.
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