Second, promises of new revenues generated by gambling have turned out to be false campaign promises in other states. Casino supporters in Massachusetts used the same ploy to convince their state to legalize casinos in 2011. Yet in November 2019, the Boston Globe reported that casino revenues in Massachusetts have repeatedly fallen far short of projections: “During the years of debate over whether to allow casinos in Massachusetts, proponents invariably returned to this point: The state was losing out on a revenue jackpot enjoyed by Connecticut and other states where gambling was legal. But with the Massachusetts gaming industry up and running at three sites, the bonanza casino operators promised when they applied for licenses here has yet to materialize.”
The article went on to add that “the early shortfalls contrast sharply with the upbeat sales pitches casino companies made when they were seeking public support and regulatory approval.” The Globe’s story highlighted the national director of Stop Predatory Gambling, Les Bernal, who cautioned against the exaggerated revenue estimates of casino backers. “They deliberately oversell howmuch revenue they’re going to bring into the state, because there’s no merit to the business.”
Finally, the promise of economic opportunity is an illusion, and will be offset by additional poverty and homelessness. In fact, the Open Door Mission in Omaha has seen firsthand the poverty caused by compulsive gambling. Before casinos came to Council Bluffs, only about 9% of the homeless people Open Door serves came to them due to gambling. After the casinos, about 36% those served say their homelessness is due to gambling addiction.