Opinion: An example of why legalizing casinos hurts the ‘free market’

The casinos bill was dealt a blow Thursday when a Senate committee hearing on it was cancelled, reportedly because it didn’t have the votes to advance. Lest casino opponents break into a happy dance, know that bills have a penchant for rising from the dead under the Gold Dome. Remember how the MARTA bill was “dead” last year before coming back to life, albeit in a more limited fashion? (That one was also sponsored by Sen. Brandon Beach, and was revived under a compromise that came from the House. The House also has a casinos bill this year. Just sayin’.)

Fox Theatre at sunset. CREDIT: GPB

Fox Theatre at sunset. CREDIT: GPB

In any case, it’s good practice when dealing with the Legislature not to consider any bill dead until a day or two after Sine Die — long enough to go through the review the legislation passed in a flurry at the end to see what got tacked onto where in the process. Even then, bills aren’t really dead; they’re just in a coma until the next year’s session.

It seems certain folks who view casinos as a threat are aware of that. Consider this email that was sent to patrons of the Fox Theatre this afternoon:

fox-theater-casinos

Before someone screams about the hypocrisy of a “free-market” guy like myself wanting to protect companies from competition, let’s take a moment to review the most crucial part of Vella’s message:

“Casinos use entertainment as a loss leader to lure ticket holders to the gaming floor. Casino venues, compared to traditional entertainment venues, have unlimited resources, hence they are known for being able to spend far above market rates to book top acts, making it nearly impossible for existing venues to compete. Casinos can demand exclusivity agreements in return for their big payouts, preventing acts from performing at competing venues sometimes up to 100 miles away and for as long as a year.”

A “free-market” approach to this question has to acknowledge what is really going on. Casinos may not have “unlimited resources,” but they do have a government-granted privilege — and a monopoly privilege in a given geographic area, under the terms of Senate Bill 79 — to earn gambling revenues. They use those revenues to offer below-market rates on items such as entertainment tickets, the better to attract more gamblers and produce more gambling revenues. And that dynamic has a real, negative effect on competitors that don’t have that government-granted, monopoly privilege.

Rinse and repeat for hotel rooms, restaurants, spas, retailers — and any other non-gambling good or service offered by the casino. What’s more, SB 79 expressly requires them to offer such amenities so that they qualify as “destination resorts.” (Which allows proponents to call SB 79 a “destination resorts” bill instead of a casinos bill.)

This isn’t “free-market” competition. If it were, we’d be talking about allowing anyone to open up as many casinos as they want, without geographic restrictions. Yet, no one is proposing that — because the proponents of this idea know that restricting their gambling competition is their only way to beat the competition on these other scores.

“The house always wins” isn’t an adage from Adam Smith, F.A. Hayek or Milton Friedman. That’s because it’s the predictable result of a business that plays on an unlevel playing field against both its competitors and its customers. That’s not the “free market,” and it’s not good or fair for other businesses in anything that approximates an actual free market.

Reader Comments 0

105 comments
AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Imagine that, a president that can write a budget. And the fascii said it couldn't be done.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

The only bargain in this scenario is the one between our legislature and the casino lobby.

The consumer's is only momentary once they enter a baited field.

From the show seats to the gambling tables. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Classof98 @RidgecrestDawg

I find it incredibly amusing how many liberals eagerly quote "Animal Farm".

Classof98, I doubt what you know of Eric Blair would fill a thimble.


Ychromosome
Ychromosome

We need to let the free market take care of Georgia's rural areas. Their votes show they are against government intervention. I am shocked Wingfield entertains the opinions of those who say otherwise for cheap political gain.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Feb 26 - A trans-Atlantic wave of puzzlement is rippling across Sweden for the second time in a week, after a prominent Fox News program featured a "Swedish defense and national security adviser" who's unknown to the country's military and foreign-affairs officials.

Hmm. Maybe it was Fox News recognized terrorism expert and former Happy Days star Scott Baio pulling a double shift.

Ah ha ha ha Fox News you're a bunch of stooges.

bu22
bu22

The idea of a casino is to never let the customer leave the building.  It kills surrounding businesses like restaurants.

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

Clearly, an insane asylum somewhere in rural Georgia has a rogue inmate with a keyboard and internet connection.

Facts

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

And the hit dog hollers. You're too easily played for a fool, IReport. Which explains your support for the fascist.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

As a service to our miserable fellow left wingers, I have opened up an electroshock therapy "clinic." Yes, the equipment has not yet been fully tested and we are currently in the planning stages, but early results have shown that it will definitely make your hair stand on end. So make your appointment now and let's blast that TDS right out of you. 

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

IReport --

Please can you update us on Operation Deep Throat. Thanks much.

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

So, you basically got duped by fake news. Got it.

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

I think I just proved that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Fact

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 Mental health professionals are starting to open up in public about the mental health issues among liberals experiencing Trump Derangement Syndrome.  The Los Angeles Times, an anti-Trump paper, published an unintentionally revealing article (hat tip: Instapundit) on the extent and severity of TDS among the affluent liberals on L.A.'s Westside:

In her 35 years as a therapist, Arlene Drake has never heard so many clients talking about the same issue. Week after week, they complain of panic attacks and insomnia because of President Trump. They're too anxious to concentrate at work. One woman's fear turned into intense, physical pain. 

"It's just a nightmare," said Drake, who practices in West L.A. ...

Therapists nationwide say they've been overwhelmed by the strong feelings triggered by one of the most divisive figures in modern political history.


Do you have obamacare, eyeball?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Now see here, eyeball, I mean troggie A, the "Fact" comes before the tweet. Why do I listen to you?

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

Is Perez responsible for the Bowling Green terror attack?

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

We're almost in March and we haven't seen a single piece of legislation that would represent the fulfillment of an actual Twit campaign promise. But he has played seven rounds of golf.

Facts

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

Don Trump has created an army of people who will be maniacally focused on bringing him down.

Facts

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

Darryl Issa says:

"We need a special prosecutor to investigate [the twit's] ties to Russia and possible treason."

Fact

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

John Boehner says:

"Repeal and replace the ACA? Oh, man, is that a good joke or what?!?!?"

Fact

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

The International Scumbag Society has given Agent Orange its Lifetime Scumbag Achievement Award. Well done, sir. There is no more deserving recipient.

Facts

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

Twit approval at 40% and disapproval at 54%. The most hated man in America? You betcha. The most despised man in the world? Check.

Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts.

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

You know you can just copy a link to the tweet (looks more professional, too)?

Fact (and fact)

Separately, has your boy overthrown the shadow government Obama was leading from 'exile' or do you still bow down to a Great Black Man? You said it would happen last week. You lying or just plain wrong?

breckenridge
breckenridge

Both the United States and Russia have about 7,000 nuclear weapons, a sufficient number to blow up the world several times over.  Since Reagan was president the two countries have worked together to reduce nuclear arms. But that makes no difference to the orange-haired radical activist in the White House and his foaming at the mouth core supporters.  They want to reignite the arms race.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Perez wins but with Ellison not that far behind. Telling as to which direction the Democrat party is headed. Further left is the answer. Of course the Dem party began its implosion with Hillary's loss and the death spiral will continue. America will better off without this slime in our government. God Bless America.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit We'll have to see how the crazy President does, especially in a crisis.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Starik @SGTGrit  I don't believe Trump, is crazy nor do I think you do either. As for a crises, I'm certain we'll see one or two during his administration. We'll judge him then.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

“We’re going to aggressively push back,” he said, according to a recording of the session provided by a reporter who was allowed to attend. “We’re just not going to sit back and let, you know, false narratives, false stories, inaccurate facts get out there.”


Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, the BBC and The Huffington Post were among those shut out of the briefing.


pmsnbc must not have been trying to get in.


MAGA.

Caius
Caius

The media. When folks, like any President, blasts the media I just laugh.

Is there a lot of bald faced "untruths" out there?  Sure! Some from the media and some from the mouth of elected and appointed officials. But some folks tolerate bald faced "untruths" from their elected officials but do not tolerate "untruths" from the media. I find that strange but not surprising.  A lot of folks develop a deep "faith" in the political leaders (dare I say football coaches also?).


I have seen no one the WH or congress offer a constitutional amendment to drop the words "or of the press," from the First Amendment.  I would think that would be the place to start. But I am not going to hold my breath.

And no free press would give us wonderful news releases from the government, such as: "News Release. Department of State. It is with great sadness that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces the death of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three of his colleagues.  They were killed in Benghazi, Libya when their automobile was hit head on by a large truck carrying UN food for a local feed the hungry campaign.  President Obama has ordered the flag flown at half mast for 4 days in their honor." 



If it is not news released by the government, it's a lie!

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 The media...

...didn't give a darn when IRS targeted Obama's political opponents, clearly violating their free speech and political speech rights.

...have never cared when Congress, especially Democrats, have sought to limit political speech in violation of the 1st amendment.

...didn't care as the Justice Dept. and Democrat state A.G.s clearly threatened legal action against people who dared say the climate changes naturally, which obviously violated their free speech rights.

...had no concern at all when the Obama admin sued the Little Sisters of the Poor for daring to exercise their religious freedom.

But now they are concerned about the 1st Amendment when they are asked to tell the truth.


Boo hoo hoo, did he wock you out of the woom?


MAGA

breckenridge
breckenridge

@AndyManUSA#45 


Trump is a punk and a gutless coward.  CNN and the NYT did their job, dug in and uncovered facts that cast the worthless sack of crap Trump's administration in a poor light.  So the spoiled brat worthless trust fund welfare boy banned them from his little party.

It was not something George Washington would have done.  But it was exactly like something Kim Jong-un would do.

bu22
bu22

@breckenridge @AndyManUSA#45 CNN and the NYT embarrassed themselves and have severely damaged their brands, probably permanently, with lies in CNN's case and over the top partisanship in the NYT's case.  Their stockholders should sue the management.

BreakingFakeNews
BreakingFakeNews

Sen. Beach should stick by what he promised, Georgia Horse Racing and not Casinos.  It's a green industry full of profits and promise and entertainment that wont close the Fox Theatre. 

Sen. Beach should be listening to his Georgia constituents rather than out of state Big Casino Promoters who have his ear and pocketbook. Remember Mucho Macho Man.

bu22
bu22

@makemydray I would be happy to have horse racing.  It creates other businesses instead of destroying them.  It can be addictive, but with the races spread out, its a lot harder to lose quickly without being aware.  It also doesn't have the immediate constant rush, so its probably not quite as addictive.  It is also a sport instead of just pure gambling.  Of course casinos are severely hurting horse racing around the country.  Many tracks are trying to be able to add casinos, even in Kentucky.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

liberals whining about President Trump's war on the lame stream media is akin to a convicted felon whining about being in jail. You forfeited the title of "The Press" ages ago and you have deteriorated into nothing more than a department of the democrat party, one staffed with toadies that have a serious problem being honest. You deserve every tweet, every unanswered question, every ditching he places upon you. What you call "dangerous" is exactly what the Man campaigned on and what we elected him for. 


Enjoy your time in the wilderness. 

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

@AndyManUSA#45 How's that hunt for Obama's birth certificate cominng? Or Pizzagate? How's that. 


Oh... dang... Benghazi. Sheesh. I need to check Brietbart on the latest there. 


I think there's something about Hillary being in touch with some aliens too... it's all just happening so fast!

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@McGarnagle @AndyManUSA#45 Who's blubbering? I've been waiting for this to happen for most of my adult life. If I do have any gripes, it's because he is being too nice to y'all.

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

@AndyManUSA#45 Oh yeah. There's this amazing selenium extract that i've been reading about on infowars. Need to look into that more. 

bu22
bu22

@AndyManUSA#45 And Obama said the same things about Fox News and ignored far right publications while giving credence to Salon, Politico, etc. that coordinated with the Democrats.

bu22
bu22

@RidgecrestDawg @AndyManUSA#45 The people who were looking for Obama's birth certificate turned into liberals and are now searching for Trump's Russian contracts.