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Mississippi Casino Gambling

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Casino gambling remains a controversial issue, mostly due to personal and religious views on the negative effects (gambling addictions) it has on society. However, there seems to be very little controversy relating to the role the casino industry has in the state’s economic and tourism development. The purpose of the paper is to provide a synopsis of the role Mississippi’s casino industry has played in the state’s economic and tourism industry. The report focuses on three jurisdictions: Tunica, Greenville, and the Gulf Coast. The report supports my theory that the Mississippi casino industry unequivocally has a positive impact on the state’s economy and tourism industry.
Casino Industry’s Impact on Economic and
Tourism Development in Mississippi
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Once labeled “America’s Ethiopia”, Tunica County was ranked in the 1980 census as the poorest county in the United States and ranked dead last by virtually every social and economic measure (Kifner, 1996). Nearly four years after gaming began in Tunica County, there were 6,000 new hotel rooms, most built by the casinos, and Mississippi was the third largest gaming jurisdiction behind Nevada and New Jersey, taking in over $213 million in taxes and employing 32,273 people (Kifner,…show more content…
One mayor even called the casinos’ effect a “mixed-bag” (Green, "Community Profile: Making Connections in Greenville, Mississippi"). Another critic stated, “Although gaming employs nearly 900 residents, most of the jobs pay low wages and offer few benefits.” (Green, "Community Profile: Making Connections in Greenville, Mississippi"). Even Mayor Heather McTeer, Greenville’s first black and female mayor elected in 2004, who refers to herself as the “ultimate optimist”, had lukewarm comments about the gaming industry. McTeer views the lakefront casinos she inherited, for better or worse, as part of their community. The casinos brought some social problems, but they have also brought money into the city budget. (Seawright, "The Mayor"). When McTeer became mayor, she stopped contributing casino-generated revenue to the general fund so that if the casinos left, the city would be able to survive (Seawright, "The
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