Casinos aren’t economic development

The Muscogee (Creek Nation) along with local elected officials recently celebrated the topping off ceremony for a huge expansion of their casino at 81st Street and Riverside Drive.

This is no reason to celebrate.

Oklahoma has more than 117 casino operations and this proliferation of legalized gambling (not gaming) is ruining the lives of many Oklahomans. This is not economic development. Gambling just takes money from one group and gives to another with no economic benefit for the losers. Ultimately, the casinos are the only winners – not the players.

People argue that a little gambling doesn’t hurt anyone but that is not true. Having a casino at every turn is too much for some Tulsans who can’t control their urges. They used to have to fly to Las Vegas or drive to Hot Springs, Arkansas, to lose their grocery money.

Now they just head to Riverside Drive.

And this new expanded casino is pushing “Margaritaville”  – so add drunkenness to excessive gambling. And what kind of jobs do the casinos create? They are on the lower end of the pay scales. Do casinos promote crime? If they do, you can’t tell from media reports because the casinos spend so much money in advertising, they are not subject to the scrutiny normally coming from the liberal, mainstream media.

The people of Broken Arrow had it right when they successfully fought to keep a casino out of their city.

It’s too bad the leaders of Tulsa don’t share that commitment to common sense and decency.