Those unintended consequences reaching into Iowa


Today, Radio Iowa had an article that makes a perfect follow-up to my blog; The Law of Unintended Consequences and VLTs in Illinois.  The article is about casinos in Iowa not Illinois.  However, it mentions the VLTs in Illinois.  According to Radio Iowa the VLTs are impacting the casinos in Iowa that are close to the border with Illinois.  It is just that simple; people have a limited portion of their income to spend on non-essentials; the disposable income as it is commonly called.  They can spend it on running shoes, movie tickets or a meal in a restaurant; if they gamble, they probably allot a portion of the money to an occasional flutter as the English say.  Those gambling citizens can spend their gambling dollars on lottery tickets, racing horses, slot machines or poker; but wherever they spend it, once it is spent – it is spent.  When the good citizens of Illinois are spending their gambling dollars in the local tavern they will not be spending anything in casinos.  Especially, as my niece pointed out in her comment, when they have to drive 30 minutes or an hour to get to a casino.  Those unintended consequences are sometimes like a gift that just keeps on giving – forever.

The state fiscal year ended June 30th and Iowa Racing and Gaming administrator Brian Ohorilko expects once the final numbers are in, gambling revenues at the state-licensed casinos will drop slightly from last year. “I suspect we’ll be down a percent-and-a-half from last year,” Ohorilko says…Some of the eastern Iowa casinos told Ohorilko they saw impact from new video lottery terminals across the river. “Illinois had passed some legislation to increase the number of V-L-T’s that are placed in that state, and those are slowly being implemented in various bars in that state,” Ohorilko says.  Dar Danielson, Radio Iowa, 7-2-13

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