Monday, March 15, 2010

Casino's Biggest Cheerleader's First Rational Quote?

Well, at least one of the first rational things, in my opinion, Clyde Barrow's said when it comes to casinos:

Clyde Barrow, a gambling expert at University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, said states rationalize gambling "as a voluntary tax because nobody has to gamble." But he said studies show that many respond to the temptation.

"We do know the closer you put casinos to people the greater propensity to gamble," Barrow said.

Which has been my point, all along. People complain about Massachusetts citizens gambling in Connecticut and how 'we need that money back.' The problem with that, of course, is that casinos' business models don't depend on faraway tourists to make the bulk of their profits, they depend on a small number of local players in the region who get hooked and use slots several days a week, wasting thousands a year.

They depend on a player base that used to spend money in the local economy -- and now spend money at the casino. These companies lay out lots of dough just to get people in the door, betting knowing that if people go in enough, trying slots a few times, eventually many of them will get hooked and make casinos a ton of money. Even casinos like Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun rely almost solely on regional players.

Mitchell Etess, president and chief executive officer of Mohegan Sun, said it was no surprise that a national survey would find Las Vegas and Atlantic City rate highest in the public's awareness of gambling destinations.

"Both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are very, very huge destinations but we're primarily a regional destination," he said. "If you go to Missouri, they're not going to know Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun."
Note the fact that Clyde Barrow never made a quote about how nearby casinos produce more addicts in a Massachusetts paper or state house hearing. He's been all 'let's make a world-class resort casino for nation-wide tourists' when he's spoken to Massachusetts reporters. People have to realize that the big resort casinos don't add concerts, clubs and restaurants to capture people from over the world -- they do it for the same reason Jordan's Furniture does it to a much smaller extant, to get people in the area in the doors, on the chance they'll try the slots. The difference is while Jordan's is trying to sell furniture with its IMAX theaters and other entertainment, casinos sell a product that pushes gambling addiction to 5% of the population within 50 miles.

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