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posted: 7/14/2014 5:01 AM

No guarantee of added casino income

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Weaker demand coupled with an oversupply of casinos has led to "a fundamental downward shift" in the gambling industry. Add to that high fixed costs and Moody's finds that, with the exception of Las Vegas, casinos across the country are facing a "cannibalizing effect."

The quote was taken from a synopsis of a report issued by Moody's Investment Services in scoring a bond issue the state of New York wished to issue to build infrastructure in support of new casinos in upstate New York.

Legislators in Springfield continue to look to the building of additional casinos as a panacea for the state's revenue woes despite the fact that the new gaming machines in bars, restaurants and social clubs have cannibalized existing casino revenues, thus having no effect in generating additional tax revenue.

The most recent new addition to Illinois gaming, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines has impacted gaming receipts at the other Illinois casinos. One would imagine that a large Chicago casino would have the same impact on the Rivers operation.

More of anything does not necessarily translate into better outcomes. Too much of a "good thing" can have the inverse affect of "killing the goose that laid the golden egg."

A Chicago casino would appear to be a force of nature that eventually will be built as the city struggles to find revenues to fund its woefully underfunded public pension. Build it. Build no others. For if you build the others there's no guarantee that new gamblers will come.

Steve Sarich