In the 1950s, the casino business in Nevada expanded, but legitimate businessmen were reluctant to get involved. Every other state had strict laws against casinos. Then, organized crime figures stepped in with their money and their own seamy image. Gambling remained a controversial topic, but money from the mafia continued to flow into Nevada’s casinos. In fact, some mafia members even took over some casinos. Today, Las Vegas and Reno are renowned for their casinos, and the mafia still owns some of them.
Gambling in casinos has several benefits. First, it reduces local unemployment. Casinos require skilled labor, and local officials should consider this when approving a casino. While the promise of higher employment may not be realized in rural areas, urban areas may still have enough skilled labor to make sure that the casino employs its workers. Furthermore, casino tax revenue benefits the local economy. Ultimately, this is a win-win situation for the local economy.
While casinos generate huge profits, they also have costs and benefits. The cost of operating a casino shifts spending from other forms of entertainment in the area. The cost of attracting casino workers and the treatment of problem gamblers offsets the economic benefits of a casino. It also reduces local retail sales. Further, many rural communities promote casinos as a draw to tourists. However, this may not be the most responsible strategy. Instead, local businesses should focus on improving their facilities and attracting more visitors.