The value of Casinos

So, I saw this tweet today:

A few thoughts on this matter:

  • This is terribly unfortunate for the people who lost their jobs. Hopefully, they will be able to find something else soon. And if the casino keeps losing revenue, no doubt we’ll see more. Again, I hope the suffering is minimal.
  • Nonetheless, there are some businesses for which I just can’t feel bad when they aren’t doing well, and casinos are one of them. If this revenue drop is indicative of an economic decline in Gatineau, then wouldn’t we want fewer people gambling?
  • Casinos tend to be a net drain on their host locales. If the casino’s business is dropping, that really hurts its business case.
  • Maybe the National Capital Region can’t really support two casinos. Is there a reason to believe an Ottawa casino won’t have disappointing revenue, or that it won’t cannibalize Lac Leamy?

We can’t necessarily read too much into this particular drop in revenue. It might just be a blip. But this should serve as a good reminder that casinos aren’t the fiscal panacea that so many of their boosters claim.

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