Shocking: Casino Revenue Estimator Admits, “We Were Guessing”

Casino developers and their proponents routinely tout grandiose financial projections when urging state legislators and the voting public to approve gambling expansion. Not surprisingly, actual results aren’t living up to the promises.According to the Associated Press report below, a review of state tax data in Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania – the last of several states to open casinos – shows that overall revenue is failing to reach baseline forecasts. Officials blame miscalculations and spending habits and competition – but an official in the Ohio Department of Taxation admitted, ”in retrospect – we were guessing.”

Last year, tax revenues from the casinos approved in Ohio were roughly half the amount promised voters in 2009. In Maryland, casino revenue has been hundreds of millions of dollars short of a 2008 projection. In Pennsylvania, it reportedly took the addition of table games in 2010 to bring revenue to levels once promised by only slot machines.

“It further proves that those pushing for expanding casino gambling will do or say whatever they have to in order to paint the industry in the best possible light,” said John Sowkinski, President of No Casinos. “Their ‘get-rich-quick’ promise to legislators and the public is always as deceptive as it is enticing. Once the casino is built and the money is not what they promised, it is too late to un-ring the bell.”

Casino money misses states’ expectations; Official says ‘we were guessing’

MICHAEL MELIA, Associated Press
February 16, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — For anyone betting on the Northeast’s casino bonanza, the odds are long on projects hitting financial expectations.

In the last several states to open casinos — Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania — overall revenue is coming in below baseline forecasts, according to a review of state tax data. Officials blame miscalculations of spending habits and competition, but some also question how much the projected numbers reflected wishful thinking.

Read the full article here