Editorial: Casino revenue won't rescue Connecticut budget
Thursday, June 3, 2010
"In the annals of legalized gambling in Connecticut another milestone has been reached. In their 18 years of operation, the slot machines at the Foxwoods Resort Casino have produced $3 billion in revenue for the state of Connecticut.
As part of the deal worked out under then Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. that allowed legalized gambling at two Indian tribes’ casinos in the state, one-quarter of slot machine revenues goes to Connecticut’s budget.
When the state negotiated the deal, its terms were more favorable than they are today. Foxwoods and a second Indian tribe’s casino, Mohegan Sun, which opened five years later, were the only game in New England and New York. Mohegan Sun has sent $2.3 billion in slot revenues to the state’s coffers.
Foxwoods’ $3 billion milestone may seem large. But, it piled up over 18 years. In comparison, the state government’s operating budget for the coming year is $19 billion. Gambling is not going to rescue Connecticut from its budget problems. And that $3 billion is only a quarter of the casino’s slot machines revenue.
One can only wonder if the $12 billion lost at the casino’s slot machines could have been put to better uses, such as paying the mortgage or the weekly grocery bill."