Casino gambling is traditionally discussed in the society as the negative phenomenon which can affect the community significantly because of influencing the crime rates and provoking the gambling addiction instead of supporting the persons’ welfare. That is why the legalization of casino gambling in Texas is considered as the first step to creating risky environments within the community.
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However, there is the opposite opinion promoted by economists, businessmen, and sociologists, according to which the legalization of casino gambling can be discussed as a significant contribution to the state’s economy. As a result, the issue of legalizing casino gambling is discussed as very important to be effectively resolved.
Nevertheless, the question is controversial because there are two opposite visions of the problem which are based on the substantial evidence and examples referred to the progress of the casino industry in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
In spite of the fact that the idea of legalizing casino gambling is often discussed by opponents as the challenge to the community’s social health, Texas should approve the legalization of casino gambling because this situation can contribute to the improvement of the state’s economy with references to the question of taxation; it can contribute to overcoming the unemployment problem with the help of creating additional job positions; and it can contribute to increasing the public’s personal welfare in relation to the social and economic questions.
The legalization of casino gambling in Texas is the appropriate way to improve the economy of the state with the help of focusing on the issue of taxation and on the expected casino revenues. In his work Legalized Casino Gaming in the United States: The Economic and Social Impact, Hc Hsu notes that Nevada was the first state in the United States where casino gambling was legalized in 1931 as the governors’ response to the progress of the economic crisis.
Such a controversial approach to coping with the economic problems resulted in the significant stimulation of the state and country’s economy in the 1930s (Hc Hsu 4). The researcher also pays attention to the fact that the casino industry significantly affected the economy and tourism industry of the states where gambling became legalized during recent decades (Hc Hsu xiii).
Referring to the recent results related to the correlation between the progress of the casino industry and the economy’s development, it is important to note that according to Kearney, Professor of Economics, “gross revenues from legalized gambling reached a record-high $78.6 billion in 2003. More than 80 percent of this total is accounted for by revenues from commercial casinos, Native American casinos, and state lotteries” (Kearney 282).
While referring to the experience of the other states in developing the industry, it is important to note that the effective economic stimulation is necessary for Texas in the context of the state’s economic rates typical for the period of 2010-2013.
Furthermore, the legalization of casino gambling can be discussed as one of the effective alternatives to improve the economy of the region. Thus, discussing the idea of legalizing casino gambling in Texas, it is necessary to stress on the fact that one of the main sources of the economic impact which is related to the issue of the casino gambling legalization is the taxes.
The focus on the effective taxation policy in relation to the legalized gambling industry is necessary with references to the situation in Texas. According to Professor Thompson, the process of legalizing casinos can assist the governors to “eliminate the illegal gaming and channel all gambling activity into a properly regulated and taxed enterprise” (Thompson 75). As a result, state governors can focus on receiving more revenues from the industry while reforming the tax policy.
In their turn, Goss and Morse, Professors of Economics, note in their book Governing Fortune: Casino Gambling in America that the positive changes in the economies of the other states demonstrate that Texas can also benefit from legalizing casino gambling and proposing the effective tax policies to control the industry and to receive the balanced revenues (Goss and Morse 112).
It is important to note that in order to increase revenues for the government of Texas in relation to the casino industry, it is possible to avoid imposing high tax rates on the industry.
In order to preserve the general economic balance in Texas, the state’s governors should focus on the revision of the whole approach to the taxation policy because the taxes received from the casino industry can become the significant fundament for the state’s economic progress.
According to the results proposed by the economists and representatives of the Texas Association of Business in their report Economic Opportunities of Casino Gaming in Texas: An Economic and Fiscal Impact, “direct state gaming taxes paid to the state will be about $945 million per year when all facilities are at full operation” (“Economic Opportunities of Casino Gaming in Texas” 5).
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The businessmen and economists also note that in case of Texas, the total new annual revenues for the state, “when all proposed casinos are operational”, can be more than $1.2 billion, and the “new annual revenues for local taxing jurisdictions will total $416 million” (“Economic Opportunities of Casino Gaming in Texas” 6).
That is why, it is possible to pay attention to the fact that to receive significant revenues and improve the economy of Texas, the state’s governors can gain benefits without reforming the approaches to the taxation in the state significantly.
The possible changes in the taxation policies can be proposed with references to the other states’ experiences in legalizing casino gambling. From this perspective, the legalization of the casino industry has important effects on the state’s economy, and Texas can use the potential benefits to improve the economic progress of the region.
The legalization of casino gambling in Texas is also directly connected with creating a lot of new job positions in the state. As a result, the whole process can be discussed as contributing to overcoming different social and economic problems in Texas while addressing the issue of unemployment.
According to the data presented in the report titled Economic Opportunities of Casino Gaming in Texas: An Economic and Fiscal Impact, casinos legalized in Texas can potentially “generate $11.8 billion in new economic activity across the state” (“Economic Opportunities of Casino Gaming in Texas” 1). As a result, supporting the legalization of casino gambling in Texas, the authorities can achieve a significant increase in salaries.
Furthermore, the legalization of the industry can lead to creating and promoting “more than 74,000 new jobs” (“Economic Opportunities of Casino Gaming in Texas” 1). McCleary and the group of economists state that the process of creating new job positions in order to affect the situation of unemployment in the state is associated with the particular features of the casino industry because casinos are the facilities where dining and drinking services are provided along with proposing the variety of gambling activities (McCleary et al. 210).
Large casinos are often the part of hotels and other entertainment complexes, and the process of building such complexes can contribute to creating the additional job positions and receiving the additional revenues while focusing on developing the sector of tourism in the economy of Texas.
While discussing the phenomenon of the riverboat casinos, Hunsaker, the economist, and specialist in the sphere of business, notes that many casinos are discussed as the places attractive for tourists (Hunsaker 100). As a result, the tourism industry can also contribute to expanding a range of proposed job positions. From this point, casinos should be legalized to develop the industry as an important segment within the state’s economy in order to cope with the observed economic and social problems.
Although the legalization of casino gambling is discussed as the controversial and rather provocative idea, it is possible to note that this industry is closely associated with the question of the individuals’ welfare. Legalized gambling is one of the most interesting and actively discussed ways to improve a person’s economic state and to contribute to the persons’ social status. On the one hand, this approach is rather controversial because of the possible negative impacts.
On the other hand, as it is noted by Kearney, the focus on the casino industry as the way to improve the economic state is highly beneficial for the group of responsible gamblers who can control their activities and decisions effectively (Kearney 283). There are two ways which are used to improve the persons’ welfare with the help of legalizing casino gambling. McCleary and the group of researchers state that the first way is the focus on the financial rewards received as a result of participating in the gambling activities (McCleary et al. 210-211).
The second way is the discussion of the casino industry from the point of the collective entertainment and the specific recreational subculture which can help people develop and improve their personal interactions (McCleary et al. 209-211).
Moreover, such researchers as Hc Hsu and Kearney pay attention to the fact that the legalized gambling activities can also affect the welfare of those persons who cannot be discussed as the active gamblers because of the impact of the atmosphere observed in casinos and possible successes in gambling (Hc Hsu 17; Kearney 287).
Thus, the legalization of the casino industry influences the welfare of all the citizens in such a state as Texas positively because the economic and social situation can be improved in the state in relation to many social and economic factors and criteria.
However, there is the opposite approach to the idea of legalizing the casino industry in Texas, according to which the projects and initiatives on legalization should not be followed by the state’s governors.
The opponents of legalizing casino gambling in Texas and in the other American states pay attention to the fact that this process can affect the state’s community negatively in relation to increasing the crime rates, contributing to the development of gambling addiction, and contributing to the gamblers’ psychological disability and increasing the rate of suicides. The opponents of the legalization are inclined to state that this process directly leads to increasing the crime rates within the community.
Nevertheless, the question of the link between the crime rates and casino gambling is rather controversial, and such researchers as Hc Hsu and Goss and Morse state that they cannot provide the reasonable facts and evidence to state that this link really exists (Goss and Morse 114; Hc Hsu 17-18). Moreover, Kearney states that while discussing the problem of the gambling addiction and its role in affecting the families of gamblers, it is important to note that it is rather difficult to identify “a causal link between gambling and other problems, as pathological gamblers often have other behavioral disorders” (Kearney 287). Thus, the connection between gambling and social problems is not stated clearly.
Furthermore, the statement that the legalization of casinos can lead to the increased rates of suicides is not supported by factual and credible data. Kearney pays attention to the idea that in spite of the fact that a lot of data on family problems, crime rates, and suicide rates are collected and available, “tracking systems generally do not collect data on the causes of these incidents, so they cannot be linked to gambling” (Kearney 287).
That is why, any statements about the negative role of the gambling legalization for the community in relation to legal and social aspects are not really supported with the effective and reliable evidence, numerical data, and approved statistics. As a result, the argument about the negative effects of legalization of the casino industry on the progress of the community in Texas does not sound as the convincing statement.
The legalization of casino gambling in Texas is the necessary step to overcome the critical situation in the state’s economy and to contribute to receiving the large revenues while implementing and following the effective approach to the taxation policies related to the casino industry. The next important benefit of legalizing casino gambling is the improvement of the social situation in Texas because of the focus on creating a range of new job positions related to the large and important entertainment and hospitality industry.
One more reason to approve the legalization of casinos is the focus on the public’s welfare influenced by the progress of the casino industry. Thousands of people migrate every year in the states of the country in order to visit the casinos of Atlantic City and Las Vegas because they can entertain themselves and receive significant financial rewards. Thus, the legalization of the casino industry in Texas can also result in the improvement of many Texans’ welfare.
The opponents of the idea related to legalizing casino gambling build their arguments around the opinions that the casino industry is the cause for increasing the crime rates and for destroying the families and persons’ psychological health. However, there are no persuasive research results in order to conclude that the declared statements are close to reality.
From this point, Texas should focus on legalizing casino gambling in order to create the conditions for the state’s economic progress. The possible steps toward the legalization activities can include the development of the effective regulation and taxation policies in order to predict possible negative effects of the authorities’ focus on the casino industry.
Economic Opportunities of Casino Gaming in Texas: An Economic and Fiscal Impact Assessment. USA: Texas Association of Business, 2013. Print.
Goss, Ernest, and Edward Morse. Governing Fortune: Casino Gambling in America. USA: University of Michigan Press, 2009. Print.
Hc Hsu, Cathy. Legalized Casino Gaming in the United States: The Economic and Social Impact. USA: Routledge, 2014. Print.
Hunsaker, Julie. “The Impact of Riverboat Casinos on the Demand for Gambling at Casino Resorts: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation”. Managerial and Decision Economics 22.1-3 (2001): 97-111. Print.
Kearney, Melissa Schettini. “The Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling”. National Tax Journal 58.2 (2005): 281-302. Print.
McCleary, Ricard, Kenneth Chew, Vincent Merrill, and Carol Napolitano. “Does Legalized Gambling Elevate the Risk of Suicide? An Analysis of U.S. Countries and Metropolitan Areas”. Suicide & Life – Threatening Behavior 32.2 (2002): 209-221. Print.
Thompson, William Norman. Gambling in America: An Encyclopedia of History, Issues, and Society. USA: ABC-CLIO, 2001. Print.