Casino gambling is not healthy entertainment. Casinos are predatory. There are four ways casinos could be made healthier and less predatory: no credit/cash machines in the casino, have loss limits, no smoking, and require casino investors to negotiate a living wage agreement in each community they are located.
The power and responsibility for a living wage agreement could be tied to either the state’s power in granting the license for a locational monopoly for a casino or tied to the local non-profit’s power in receiving that license.
The problem is that the healthier a casino is made for its customers and employees, the less healthy a casino is for its investors. The other way to say this is that it appears that casinos need to be predatory in order to have healthy profits.
A government that uses the predatory model for casino management as a source of revenue and calls it tourism is a sick government. For a city to resist joining this cycle of governing sickness is hard and this resistance requires moral courage and real entrepreneurship.
Cedar Rapids is blessed to have strong economic fundamentals. I would hope that these fundamentals are strong enough so that our community should be able to avoid this predatory method of government financing.
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