Alongside all the moral arguments against gambling, it turns out casinos simply are a bad investment.
Casinos are often touted for their ability to stimulate tourism and therefore a city’s economy. But more practically today, they are explicitly targeted at raising tax revenues, as cities and states are under extreme fiscal duress and raising taxes is politically difficult.
Traditionally the arguments against gambling were that it is morally wrong and that it preys on the poor, the unsophisticated, and the gambling addict. But when it comes to downtown casinos, there’s another way to look at it: Urban casinos are also counterproductive to economic health.
Urban environments thrive on attractions that feed off one another in an integrated urban fabric. The casino is the antithesis of this. Casinos are focused inward.
That local influential billionaries control most casinos, which operate in a highly restricted environment and thus are not exposed to the forces of the free market, is certainly troubling on its face. And when you look at the political machinations behind some of these, it becomes even more dubious.
While people of faith in most cases have not been able to successfully shut down casinos on purely moral grounds, the Bible’s warnings about choosing economic expediency (as in “the fleeting pleasures of sin”) over long-term wisdom are very applicable and may perhaps be more effective. After all, it’s very clear that cities, just like people, end up reaping exactly what they sow.