Gimme That Old Casino Fever

I have an idea!

Building a casino in NH for some projected revenue stream is all the rage. We even have some NH politicians “estimating” how much revenue we will enjoy – like they have even the slightest inkling of what casino revenue would be. Experts in Nevada can’t figure it out but a couple number crunchers in NH can?

Arm any politician with a pocket calculator, someone to listen to him, a couple numbers from lobbyists, and suddenly you have an expert.

So let us try putting a little of THEIR skin in the game.

Here is my plan.

Why not take the NH gambling expert’s projections for revenue windfalls and a never ending stream of revenue and put it to the test.

NH has billions in unfunded retirement costs due to state employees. How about a deal where the retirees get all the projected gambling revenue instead of empty promises and short budgets NH politicians have been offering? A nice even trade.

Boy, would that be a big payoff, more money for state employees from a cheap and steady revenue stream - and tourist gamblers would foot the bill.

Wanna gamble with your political career Representative Pocket Calculator?

One can look at countless stories about gambling revenue in other states – minus the back story.

I picked out a few of the more sobering, not easy to find ones:


“Even though Pennsylvania is projected to surpass Atlantic City in the next year to become the number two gaming market in the United States behind Nevada, property tax relief funds have remained stagnant since their inception.  The funds have never reached the $1 billion level touted by former Governor Ed Rendell while supporting Act 71 of 2004, which legalized slots gambling in Pennsylvania.

Local property taxes, on the other hand, have skyrocketed since 2004, far outweighing any benefits of the property tax relief provided by casino gaming. In addition, the loss of federal stimulus money and the proposed cuts to the state education budget mean that many school districts will be seeking to raise property taxes even higher next year.”


“CLEVELAND, Ohio - A survey of the 31 casinos in Ohio and bordering states shows the biggest dropoff in gambling revenue (after paying out winnings) has been for the casinos Detroit, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia - areas closest to the new casinos that opened in May in Cleveland and Toledo.”


“Some of the gambling tax will also be used to pay off Pittsburgh's new hockey arena, which is under construction. Casino operators and the city's sports authority recently signed a deal that will set aside $7.5 million a year for 30 years to help pay off the arena debt, according to a story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.”


“First, I would suggest that those investors looking at their own state’s depressed municipal bonds and thinking the ratings, prospects or prices will rise based upon casino gambling are wrong.  If I’m avoiding a certain state’s bonds now like the plague, I’m going to continue to.

Entrepreneurs make money; early investors make money; and later investors make money if the business model is a good one and is able to adapt to changing conditions.  But bureaucrats and politicians?  They take money, they don’t make it!  By the time a light bulb goes off over their heads to ride a successful wave, the wave has passed, friends.  And they are left out at sea, after dark, with some mighty hungry sharks.”