Lawmakers in a number of states are falling in love with casinos as a way to fund government operations. But the benefits often don’t add up.
Take Ohio where casinos have opened in Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo. A fourth casino is expected to open in Cincinnati in the spring. a percentage of the revenues are earmarked for education. (Lawmakers almost always link gambling money to popular causes like education, tax reform and senior citizens.)
But so far the revenue from the Ohio casinos is hardly making a dent in education. In fact, the first round of funding averaged $21 for each student in the state, according to this report. Given the millions of dollars in wealth that was stripped from the pockets of gamblers, not to mention the increased social and economic costs, and the increase in problem gambling, it appears the taxpayers are the real losers in the state’s misguided policy of using casinos to fund government operations.