The last time there was such local blood-rushing to the head over legalized gambling was in 1976, when New Jersey approved casinos for Atlantic City.
Remember that con?
Those glitter-encased hotel/casinos were supposed to revitalize a depressed, decayed, destitute former seaside resort town. That’s what the politicians, the “gaming” lobby and the editorials promised.
But that never happened as it was never designed to happen. These casino high-rises were to be what they became: one-way, all-day, self-contained Emerald Cities. The only time you were supposed to leave was when you went home, went broke or woke up.
One Main Street AC industry did grow and prosper: pawn shops. The blight remained. And AC continued to walk the financial default line.
The same goes for those fabulous hotel/casinos, as AC became bloated, not enough big-time losers to go around. They, too — imagine! — called for state bailouts.
What was never spoken was the truth: There would be no casinos if they were dependent on such gamblers.
And the daily, nightly scenes within AC casinos have shown the conspicuously poor to have become the prevailing lowest risk bettors, as little is all they have — or have left — to bet.
The same cons are now in play with the Supreme Court’s decision that ignores or is ignorant to why the gambling industry prefers to call itself the “gaming” industry. It’s because gambling — the frequent and/or big-bangers’ kind designed to enrich the house — is a vice: