|Considering the daily barrage of casino noise in Massachusetts, two different pieces caught our eye this weekend…One, a piece in the New York Times, reports that casinos may have peaked: Harrah’s Tunica Casino to Close, Hinting at Gambling Glut
“TUNICA RESORTS, Miss. — At the height of a recent dinner hour at Mississippi’s largest casino, fewer than two dozen patrons were seated in the buffet’s dining room. A nearby jewelry display sat aglow but bare. The hallways were mostly empty.
“This is what happens when a casino resort approaches an inglorious end. And on Monday, Harrah’s Tunica will close, which company officials say will most likely lead to up to 950 job losses…”
The second piece in the Globe, by radio host Jim Braude, explains how low income people subsidize the operations of government by spending a disproportionate amount of their income on the lottery.
“…The state lottery sold close to $5 billion worth of products in the 2013 fiscal year, which means every man, woman, and child in the Commonwealth spent an average of nearly $700. (Yes, people from outside Massachusetts buy tickets here, but that $700 includes in-state toddlers — most of whom don’t yet bet.) And guess whom most of the money comes from? People who can’t afford to lose it.
“In Chelsea, where per capita income is just under $15,000, $41.4 million was spent on the lottery last year. That works out to more than $1,100 per resident. By contrast, in Weston, where the per capita income is roughly $260,000, it’s only $44 for every resident…”