Sunday, February 13, 2005

Gambling boat sucks downstate city dry

A little news on the parasite in the water in downstate East St. Louis. I found the last two paragraph's particularly interesting:
    Casino operators say they have been more than good stewards. Shortly before Christmas, 3,800 elementary school pupils came to the casino to greet Santa Claus and receive a bag filled with Christmas goodies. "These kids wouldn't even have Christmas if it wasn't for this casino," said kindergarten teacher Pat Meeks, who plays the slots three to four times a week and spends about $100 a night. "What can be so bad about a place that brings money to a city that doesn't have it?"
Now, by her own estimation, this kindergarten teacher spends $15,600 at the gambling boat. Now, I'm not sure about the caliber of the gifts that were handed out in those Christmas goodie bags. But if you estimate that the goodie bags cost about $40 each, it would take the yearly gambling proceeds of just ten people like Meeks to purchase the goodie bags for all 3,800 kids. Instead of pissing their money away, those 10 people could have bought a new bike for each one of the kids. And that would mean that at least some of the 10 people would be actually buying their own kids presents instead of relying on the gaming industry for charity. At the very least, Meeks could have used the money she gambles away to purchase 390 bikes -- more than enough for every kid in her kindergarten class, I'm sure. The question is, what would give her more satisfaction. UPDATE: Sorry, I had some math errors (no more late-night calculations). What this lady spends at the boats was actually much higher than I calculated, meaning it would take the annual gambling proceeds of a lot fewer people (only 10) to match the generosity of the gambling boat, meaning that the casino has even less positive impact than I had thought.

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