Casino, a gambling activity, has caused a plethora of effects in the society both economically and socially. The legalization of the gambling game in many nations has led to the establishment of structures, which govern the activity. Some countries have commissioned organizations to assess the impact of casino gambling within the entertainment sector. Casinos are established as recreational facilities, which enable people to unwind and obtain rewards in form of monetary gains in some events (Chhabra 222). The socio-economic impacts of this gaming activity are varied based on the region’s economy, demographics, laws among other factors.
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Casino gaming increases the utilization of the money, which circulates in the economy. Economically, it creates optimal utility when spent on wages, which are in turn spent on the purchase of goods and services. The circulation of money increases since a number of individuals are involved in the activity. Consequently, the Increase in money circulation raises the value of money, which leads to growth in the value of casino businesses. The selective transfer of wealth created by the money flow within the gambling activity strengthens the businesses that operate in the industry (Room et al. 14450).
As a result, other sectors of the economy will have a monetary drain creating a high demand for money within the economy. The rising demand for money in a disproportionate manner to the wage increase leads to a rise in the costs of living.
The revenue earned from casino gambling is considerably large. The employment opportunities attract increased tax revenue from the employees to the government and community. However, the non-predictive nature of the revenue obtained from this activity provides an economical challenge. Although governments have established gaming control authorities that provide licenses and collect taxes from the casinos, factors of corruption come to play.
Officials tasked with such responsibilities may maneuver ways to fleece this revenue since large sums are involved. At times casino operators collude with revenue collecting authorities to manipulate returns, which results in tax evasion (Room et al. 1453). In this regard, the government’s revenue earned from gambling are not be used to improve public services such as healthcare and education, but instead used to enrich corrupt individuals.
Owners of high-valued property in areas proximate to the casinos may experience a downward surge in their value. Although the appreciation of property value may be experienced within the low valued and minimal income zones, laws may restrict the establishment of casinos in these areas that are less sensitive to changes in property prices. Also, the value of the property may fall due to the casino effect when businesses are shifted from casino concentrated areas to other regions (Chhabra 236). The fluctuation of property values harm or affects the operations of businesses within the economy because of the resultant regional economic imbalance.
Most proponents of the casino gambling revere the employment opportunities that are tied to this activity. Statistically, the majority of people involved in the game are considered tourists. In most cases, the casino businesses rely on the number of tourists, which may suffer from an unstable number of tourists. Personnel tending to game apparatus and machines as well as security staff guarding the facilities are usually laid off when the value of business transacted is low owing to the fluctuating number of players.
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In a number of occasions, the rise of casino gambling has negatively affected local and small businesses. Other recreational services within the industry have suffered due to their clients resorting to this gambling activity. Such scenarios are attributed to the general perception that one can get entertained while at the same time obtaining windfall gains (Stitt 192).
Selected activities which are considered vital in economic growth such as retail businesses, service stations among others, have been negatively affected by the advent of casino gaming. This issue may be blamed on the public notion that gambling sources greater gains within shortest time, unlike other businesses. The disruptions of the business, which contribute to the larger proportion of government revenue, may in the long-term lead to a high level of unemployment. Critics lament that the resultant unemployment of factors of production caused by the business disruptions overrides the employment that the establishment of the gaming activity created in the first place.
The improvement in the standards of living owing to the employees within this recreational activity is deemed short-term. The net real gain is negated in the long-term by the tax burden imposed on the taxpayer to cater for the subsidies awarded to casinos (Chhabra 239). In addition, there is a direct or indirect transfer of this tax burden to the taxpayers. However, revenue authorities have sometimes waived taxes levied on the casino businesses in order to encourage their establishment and functional operation.
Several additional costs are passed down to the taxpayers in the form of outlay used to enact industrial regulatory laws. This is attributed to the amounts of money spent to draw the legislation to legalize gambling in some countries, which are considerably large and cannot be wholly covered by the treasury. Time may be wasted when legislators are faced with stiff opposition to enact relevant laws since politicians gain mileage in their campaigns by misusing gambling. Pro-casino politicians may create policies to subsidize the cost of the slot machines in order to show the operators that if elected they will protect the interests of the casinos (Kindt 1).
Some local authorities have been known to grab land and seize private property to enable the expansion of casino operations. Research has shown that the presence of casinos may have a massive influence on socioeconomic policies on newly established constituencies. These policies may not necessarily protect the public interest, but instead, they shield the concerns of individuals with the economic muscle, and thus, it results in the oppression of the lower income earners.
The costs of regulating the gambling activities vary in regions since the rules may not be directly replicable from one place to another. Laws governing matters such as police preparedness, the security of clientele, locations of the casino, casino populations and regulations have to be drawn to suit certain public and business interests. Other costs have to be incurred in implementing these laws and prosecuting violators (Room et al. 1455). The 24-hour operation of the casino limits the provision of adequate security measures to ensure legal practices within the casino. Consequently, it creates a leeway for the practice of criminal activities.
The pressure created by the establishment of casinos in some regions has resulted in the bankruptcy of businesses. When the surrounding area is saturated with gambling activities, businesses are affected forcing them to relocate to other areas. This concern results in revenue drain from the decline of employment opportunities in the community. New business entities may be discouraged since investors prefer to shift their investments to other areas where they do not feel the adverse effects of gambling businesses (Nichols 230).
Employment opportunities created by casinos have served to raise people’s standards of living in a selective measure. In some areas, employment in casinos come along with full insurance and medical benefits while others are without these allowances. The inclusion of these allowances raises the wage scale of some workers while on the other hand creating a wage disparity among individuals with poor living standards ensuing from lower wage rates in other sectors.
This problem results in wage strikes among workers in other industries. Significant labor wars have arisen between the businesses run by the casinos and their competitors. Since some casinos run complexes, which may encompass hotels, banks, and restaurants, they exert high competition on other players. Other business entities tend to offer less attractive packages unlike the casinos, and for that reason, they lose their labor force. This forces organizations to incur more costs to re-attract the workers, which in turn reduces the level of profits (Room et al. 1456).
Opponents against casino gambling have asserted that legalization of gambling activities is a form of a regressive tax aimed at making the poor worse. Consequently, social welfare costs have been heavily felt and drastically increased. Activists against gambling activities such as the casino argue that they create inequality in the socioeconomic measure. Analyses have portrayed the great involvement of destitute socioeconomic classes in gambling due to large proportions of income spent in this activity.
The higher utilization of income in gambling leads to increased disparity in the economic classes within society. On the other hand, the gambling activity channels funds from the community to individuals and corporate institutions that run them. The transfer of revenue from one society to another may result in regional economic imbalance (Nichols et al. 235).
Education and school enrollment may be affected by the advent of casino gambling. The economic shocks created by the establishment of the casinos within the community reduce the value of learning and attending classes. Casinos set up near educational facilities have lured students from schools due to potential monetary gain involved in such activities. Sometimes, students divert their savings and school fees to gambling due to the allure of the gaming activity. School dropouts are imminent because the casinos offer employment to unskilled workers at high wage rates.
Although the casino gambling may provide employment opportunities to unskilled and semiskilled populations, its long-standing effect on job creation may diminish. On a local basis, the movement of businesses adversely affected by the high casino-populated areas to other areas, which favor them, will cause a higher unemployment level. Some casinos may offer other services such as free food and accommodation, which creates stiff competition for local businesses (Stitt et al. 196). Illiquidity and bankruptcy of these businesses and business owners will worsen the situation as the casinos have high liquid assets that can be used to coffer competition and create monopolies.
The most controversial issue of casino gambling in society is its correlation with criminal activities. The initial intention for the legalization of gambling was aimed at combating crime in different ways. The previous illegal practice of gambling was a crime in itself, and thus, legalization legitimized its practice. In most instances, gamblers attach the property to their gambles to support them, which results in property crime (Johnson 1). This is because the casinos would manipulate their activities to ensure they retain the property attached.
Casinos provide opportunities for money laundering and the circulation of counterfeit money. Gambling is considered addictive, and losses obtained from gambling coupled with the desire to gain fast money promotes the use of illegally printed money. In most instances, the proportion of legal tender exchanging hands within the industry may not be proportionate to the income earned by the gamblers, which in turn impoverish the gamblers making them resort to money laundering and use of fake monies.
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Casinos are usually run in premises, which serve alcohol thereby creating avenues for drug-related offenses. High-Valued transactions attract clients with criminal intentions. Also, the major involvement of tourists in these gambling activities creates an avenue for international drug trafficking. Frustrations from losses in the gambling activity may force the losers to resort to crime (Linnet 75). The influx in the population attracted by the casinos stretches the authority’s ability to curb crime since the visitors outnumber the police and security officers.
Although many people view casino gambling as a lucrative recreational activity, it is discriminative in the entertainment value that it offers to the community. It entertains a significantly undersized fragment of the population. Reports indicate that people involved in gambling often become societal rejects when they suffer losses. Moreover, gambling secludes the gamblers from society due to its addictiveness and the time that they spend at the expense of socializing. The social cost of this activity may be felt in the resultant number of divorces, suicides committed, and the cost of treating people traumatized by their losses (Linnet 78). In these measures, it is arguable that the cost-benefit of gambling may be considerably high.
Casinos have been associated with disgusting values and attributes by society. This concern has considerably influenced the consideration of casinos as a form of recreational activity. Some government officials are known to promote the use of casino gambling towards the generation of more revenue and economical benefits. On the contrary, the mass populations may have a negative attitude towards the activity, which could trigger differences in society. Some religious and societal structures consider it immoral that the gains from it may not be used for suitable causes. Demographic variations may portray different attitudes whereby recreational activity is attributed to males (Kindt 1). Existing premonitions are that the concurrent running of the casinos with bars, hotels, and lodges promote the abuse of drugs, alcohol, and prostitution.
The dependency of a community on casino-related gambling activities might be injurious with time. Although countless benefits may come along with the establishment of these facilities, the long-term negative impacts may outweigh the benefits derived from their existence. To guard against the negative effects, society should not be wholly reliable on gaming activities. Diversification of economic and leisure activities should be encouraged while the public is sensitized on the benefits and damages the recreational activity. Politicians must not be allowed to use casinos to obtain political mileage, and authorities must be put to task in the regulation of casino activities while violators are brought to book. Limits must also be put on the number of casinos that can be legalized to operate, while their activities should be closely monitored.
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Kindt, J. “Casinos: Effect on Economy.” Citizens Oppose Gambling in Erie County. N.p., n.d. Web.
Linnet, G. The effects of Casinos in a community. McGraw Hill, New York. 2010 Print.
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