Monday, October 26, 2009

Displacement and Dice

Something that is only really sinking in for me.   How bad are the casino revenues here?  Or how bad will they be once Ohio really ramps up gaming activity? 

Ohio has defeated referenda on gaming more than once I believe.  Yet if the polls are to be believed they are on the verge of soon following Pennsylvania into the gaming void. Given how dismal casino revenues are here as it stands, is there further downside if our neighbor to the east plunges into the market.  Not just the casino here, but the Meadows and even up north in Erie where I have to imagine a lot of their market is from Ohio could be impacted.

I was curious so I made a time series chart of the revenues per machine at all of the PA casinos since opening.  It is now in a google doc

As much as I have ranted on the PA process that is escalating gaming here (did someone say 'slippy slope').  Ohio's process has been even more convoluted in the past.   Their previous referendum, the PRO-gaming factions were centered on web with a branding of  That's not a joke. Take a look at the content on that old site and see if you can tell if is about a gambling referendum in the least. The header graphic merely says "A lot of good will come of this".  You will be hard pressed to find more packed political obfuscation anywhere. 

One funny thing is that the opponents to gaming back then got smart and realized had not been registered and used that to distribute the counterargument. Strangely enough... the pro-gaming folks in Ohio seem to be having a lot more success this time around with a more direct appeal. Is it another ubiquitous consequence of the recession?


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