June 9, 2007
I Just Wanna Say
By Jim Anderson Stivers
Since Casino gambling is such an important part of the next General Election, I am going to post, from time to time, statistical information pertaining to the impact to a particular geography, when Casino Gambling comes to town.
The rapid growth in casino gambling outlets during the 1990s simultaneous with the rise impersonal bankruptcies prompted a credit industry consulting firm, SMR Research (1997), to declare gambling as the “single fastest-growing driver of bankruptcy.” SMR compared the aggregated personal bankruptcy filing rate of the 298 counties identified as having at least one major legal gambling facility (i.e., a casino: Indian, land-based, or boat; or pari-mutuel outlet) with the aggregated bankruptcy rate of counties without gambling.
They found that counties with gambling had a bankruptcy filing rate 18% higher than those without. Counties with more casinos had higher filing rates: counties with one to four gambling facilities (275) had a bankruptcy filing rate 14% higher than in counties without casinos. The rate for counties with five or more gambling outlets (23) was 35% higher than counties without gambling. Next, SMR noted that the counties with the highest bankruptcy rates in Nevada, New Jersey, California, and Connecticut were those in closest proximity to major casino gambling activity.
This result was generalized by correlating counties (with a population of at least 25,000) possessing the highest filing rate per 1,000 with the presence of a casino “nearby.” Of the 24 counties with the highest bankruptcy filing rates per 1,000 in 1996, 9 were located “very close” to three casinos.4 The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago was commissioned by the NGISC to examine the impact of new casinos on communities by comparing counties in which casinos had and had not opened over the past decade.