At Least They're Trying

 

I spent part of the morning studying the materials and agenda of the newly created NH Gaming Commission. I'm continuing to be skeptical about what their agenda really is and whether this study group is going to lead New Hampshire somewhere. But that this point I think it is safe to make the assumption that at least they're trying to accomplish something with respect to the potential for expanded gaming in New Hampshire.

One of the reports that I found interesting was prepared by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government which is here:

http://www.rockinst.org/pdf/government_finance/2009-09-21-No_More_Jackpot.pdf

I think the analysis in this report presents some interesting statistics especially in the area of revenue generation for the states that have expanded casino gaming. I think it shows that there is stable revenue generation and in some cases like Pennsylvania there has been a marked increase in revenue since the state allowed casinos to commence operations. This is also interesting because Pennsylvania has a 55% tax rate against New Jersey which is at 9.25%.

This is still in a bad economy.

This report also didn't factor in ancillary revenues from expanded casino gaming. Examples might be hotel room and food, drink taxes, etc.  In Bethlehem, Pa. for example there are no rooms available at the casino itself. The closest locations are places like the Comfort Inn right down the street. When I there in August the place was booked. Whether this is the result of the casino or tourists just come to post industrial Bethlehem to see the Lehigh River and the sights is a question. I have my ideas and my experience.

Casino development leads to taxbase, jobs, economic development and tax revenue for the state.  

The only part of this report I think needs some more work is the charts and discussion about nominal growth rate and their statements to the effects that revenues, growth rate would be flat if it wasn't for the opening of new casinos. Markets are ever changing but the revenue and demand is still there! So what are they trying to show showing the steep slopes of the nominal growth rates. Are they trying to show that demand declines over time? I don't agree with this argument at all.

There are expansion plans at most if not all casino destinations in the northeast. In the long-term this will mean more revenue for the respective states. Revenue that can be generated without additional taxation.