Unfortunately, in its exploration of the economic impact of gambling, Leroy Laney’s Feb. 15 article paints a very inaccurate picture of casinos.
First, peer-reviewed research refutes Mr. Laney’s claim that casinos are linked to a variety of social problems, including crime and divorce.
In addition, a mountain of evidence proves that casinos stimulate local economies, resulting in increased jobs, incomes and opportunities for local businesses who would supply these new facilities.
Indeed, as Mr. Laney suggests, gambling success stories are pervasive – and for good reason. Many communities have flourished after the introduction of casinos, including several already-established tourist destinations.
For example, Stephen Perry, who oversees the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, says of a nearby casino, “It has become one of our most powerful selling tools… There was some fear in the hospitality industry early on that it would capture and retain customers… That fear has been laid to rest.”
Mr. Laney’s fears that casinos would conflict with Hawaii’s image also are unfounded. Not only do casinos generate billions in tax revenues for critical social services, but they are national leaders in corporate charitable giving.
Certainly, Mr. Laney is entitled to his opinion. However, I believe our industry’s track record of success speaks for itself.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.
President and CEO
American Gaming Association