If you are wondering where gaming is going and how things are changing in this world, you don't have to look any further than your local casino. If you don't have casinos in your state, you are now in a minority. And, if you don't have casinos in your country, you are still in a minority.
In the US, the economy continued to decline and gas prices rose to offset any increase in salaries for most workers during 2010. Unemployment stayed above 9-percent, and cities across the nation turned to gaming revenue to help fill the coffers. This, of course, will eventually disrupt the entire framework of our nation.
While proponents of gambling point out the good points: jobs, increased tax base, improved tourism etc., there is a long term downward spiral for every gaming location in the US. The decline always hits eventually. New casino states like Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and to a small degree, Ohio, will lead the way.CASE IN POINT
Worldwide gaming growth was phenomenal in 2010, with tiny Macau leading the way (to the bank) with an amazing 58-percent year-over-year increase to $2.5 billion dollars. This according to data about the area's six casinos from the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
By comparison, the Las Vegas Strip sports three times the casinos, but total revenue fell to $5.8 billion according to Nevada Gaming Control. However, that is nothing compared to Atlantic City, where the New Jersey State Division of Gaming Enforcement reported the city's 11 casinos brought in just $3.6 billion in revenues.
Much of the decline can be tied directly to the expansion of gaming in bordering states, especially Pennsylvania. The neighboring state has offered slot machines since 2006 and Atlantic City revenues have fallen each year since then. In 2010, Pennsylvania casinos began offering table games like 21 and roulette.
Pennsylvania's 10 casinos, none with hotels, brought in nearly $2.5 billion. Atlantic City's fate looks dire, even with a huge new casino (Revel) set to open later in the year. The huge hit by Pennsylvania is the major blow, but other states will continue to cannibalize Atlantic City's patrons and their gaming dollar.
This growth and decline is seen in nature all the time, the natural order of things. However, it isn't just the decline of old casinos that the continued spread of gambling is bringing to the US.
As casino patrons continue to gamble a larger percentage of their income and savings and their entertainment dollars are consumed by the insatiable hunger of new casinos, less emphasis and money is going into new businesses.
In the past when fathers and mothers build businesses, small and large, they planned for a day when they would turn their years of labor over to their sons and daughters. Now, many of those businesses are sold off or closed as they fall into disrepair due to economic hardship and a decline in capital expenditure spending. Does too much spending in casinos cause this? Sometimes.
With grandma pulling the slot handles each week instead of playing canasta with her friends, less inheritance money is passing on to youngsters. There is no way to see that as anything but dangerous for the future of business, especially when banks and lending institutions are reluctant to loan money for new ventures.
Casinos are fun and exciting. They used to be a diversion, now they are a mainstay of US culture - and there is always a price to pay.