Conflicted About Casinos

Poker chips

The town next to us has been brainstorming ways to revitalize the city and draw more residents.  One of the ideas they have come up with is to put a casino in one of the empty anchor stores at a local mall.

My initial reflex is “Ach, no!” because I despise gambling.  I hate that it takes advantage of people with impulse control problems.  Also they tend to draw a certain element to town whether you mean for them to or not.  That being said, I also hate to see one of the last malls in the area dying.  I wonder, could a casino help to bring in traffic to the area again?

I can’t quite picture how even a casino could succeed there, though.  Normally casinos are located near transportation or population centers.  I think of riverboat gambling and casinos near airports and convention centers.  This mall is located in the middle of nowhere.  The county fair takes place only a few minutes away.

The local news had an artist’s rendering of what the casino might look like.  It was stunningly appointed with sparkling chandeliers and- for some reason- many Asian men in business suits.  I am not sure where these men will be coming from.

There is supposed to be live entertainment along with the gaming tables.  I can sort of see locals being interested in going to dinner and a show, but this is not an affluent enough area to have a ready-made population for extensive gambling or a heavy entertainment budget.  Would out–towners come for the sport?  Um….again, that is hard to picture.  Surrounding the town is mountains, not enclaves of richers.

Presuming the casino does well, would anyone dress up for an evening of entertainment and gaming then decide to hop on over to Sears and buy some bath towels?  Would Aunt Ann’s Pretzel shoppers want to stroll into the casino and play slots?  It is a sad thought, but I feel that even if they build it not that many will come.

I hope I am wrong and that if the town leaders decide to host a casino it does the things they believe it will.  I hope it allows B & M stores to remain in the area.  I hope it brings people to the small-but-still-wonderful cultural center of town.

Geordie and Toby say that so long as they keep the pet stores open, they are open to the possibility of change.

Two Cairn terrier brothers turn their backs to the camera as Mom tries to take a picture.

Woo Hoo!  Did you see that poodle at the craps table?