Thursday, February 28, 2008

desperately seeking displacement

News is that lottery revenues are dropping.

A new story? Not here. And if you look at that post from last year you will find an ap story that points out how state lottery revenues were obviously plateauing. There were also a few other news articles out there that could give some clues as to what is going on. In North Dakota a news story suggested High Gasoline Prices were hurting lottery sales. And that was last year; little reprieve in gasoline prices since then. I bet if we look hard enough we could find some other places gasoline expenditures are being drawn from. The current debate is over whether and how much casino expenditures are just displacing lottery revenues. If that really is a factor, realize our casino hasn't even opened yet. And if casino revenue is impacting state lottery revenue, is it going to impact other legalized gambling in the state. Can you spell B-I-N-G-O? Might not be much from any individual bingo site, but given how many local organizations run bingo's the total effect could be palpable. The bigger question is how much will the casino will spur other economic activity. On that front there is a word of caution from Buffalo.

Speaking of gasoline... as I type the price is pushing $103/bbl.


Blogger Schultz said...

My parents used to live right outside of Niagara Falls. It's odd how the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is still doing so well - and it has always been a much nicer area then the American side.

While that side of the Falls flourished the American side was neglected for too long. Like many places and soon to be Pittsburgh the local leaders thought that a casino would revitalize the area but people drive to the casino to spend their money, they eat there, and then they drive home. Unlike the Canadian side there isn't anything to keep them around.

Also, Niagara Falls and greater Western NY are still waiting on all of those new jobs promised to them by Senator Clinton. I'm hoping the area can hang in there and bounce back but I'm not sure how they would manage a recovery.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 4:31:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

whether one agrees or not, the center of debate over the future of Buffalo of late comes from Harvard's Ed Glaeser:

Thursday, February 28, 2008 6:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm . . . Professor Glaeser argues that the only way to mitigate Buffalo's decline is to--ta da--lower taxes. He wouldn't be writing this in a publication published by the Manhattan Institute, would he?

Regarding your comments, Mr. Schultz, I think that Glaeser actually provides some real insight. The Canadian side of the border long ago decided that its best bet for development was tourism. Given the way the industrial world has developed in the last 50 years, where tourism is now a key part of the economy, the Canadian side came out the long term winner. Looking at choices made 50 to 75 years ago with 20/20 hindsight just isn't fair.

All of this, by the way, reinforces my belief that Pittsburgh is a success story. Glaeser points to Minneapolis and Boston as cold weather success stories. Neither of those cities faced the loss of jobs this region has weathered.

Finally, thanks Briem, for an explanation that I've always craved. Glaeser explains that the Lackawanna Iron and Steel Works moved from Scranton to Buffalo. Never could figure out how a company with the name "Lackawanna" was located in Buffalo.

Sunday, March 02, 2008 1:35:00 PM  

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