The Real Impact of Casinos

1. For every $1 of gambling revenue, the state must spend $3 on increased social services.

Casinos: 3-1, costs outweigh benefits

Not only do the costs of introducing casinos outweigh any benefits by a factor of 3:1, but casinos don’t generate or create new wealth.

Economist and Professor Richard Florida put it this way: “Virtually every serious study that has ever been done of the economic impacts of casinos shows that their costs far exceed their benefits.”

2. Casinos create more gambling addicts than jobs and can actually take away local jobs.

Not only this, but they can actually take away local jobs.

Casinos take away the discretionary – and non-discretionary – spending of local residents and devastate the economies of the host communities by making that money unavailable to be spent in local businesses.

There is not a single place in the United States where casinos have revitalized a community.

3. Casinos have been directly linked to as much as a 10 percent increase in crime within three years of opening.

Larceny, substance abuse, child neglect, domestic violence and prostitution all go up.

The presence of a casino is associated with increased larceny, substance abuse, child neglect, domestic violence, and prostitution. Crime rates continue to climb with each subsequent year.

4. Casinos generate up to 50% of their revenue from problem gamblers.

Perhaps a bigger problem, the National Gambling Impact Study Commission found that the number of problem and addicted gamblers doubles when living within 50 miles of a casino.

5. Five years after casinos opened in Indiana, in a period of just over a year 72 children were found abandoned on casino premises.

Nebraska consistently ranks as one of the best states to live, work and raise a family – and we have achieved that reputation without casinos in our back yard.

Nebraska consistently ranks as one of the best states to live, work and raise a family – and we have achieved that reputation without casinos in our back yard.

Legalizing casinos has serious consequences. Before Nebraskans vote on whether or not we should change our constitution and state forever, we should take a look at the hard facts – rather than the hard spin we’ve been hearing from casino proponents.

We can always find ways to improve our state, but legalizing casinos isn’t one of them. If Nebraska wants to “keep the money in Nebraska,” the last thing we should do is legalize casinos.

  1. (2004). Grinols, PhD, Earl, University of Illinois, Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits. Cambridge University Press.
  2. Data from 2010 New Hampshire Gambling Commission and 2012 Illinois Gambling Board.
  3. (2008). Gambling: Executive Summaries and Recommendations, United States International Gambling Report Series
  4. (2013). Why Casinos Matter: Thirty-one evidence-based propositions from the Health and Social Sciences. A Report from the Council on Casinos. [PDF file]. Institute for American Values. Available from
  5. (2008). National Council on Problem Gambling. Available from


Nate Grasz

Nate Grasz

Policy Director
Nate is the Policy Director at Nebraska Family Alliance and host of the Capitol Report program.