casino, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Casinos strangled by butt-sucking weazels…

or,
Taxing the credulous and weak has apparently not been as profitable as hoped

The Great Canadian (snicker) Gaming Corporation has announced it is cutting 120 jobs at the Sydney Casino and cutting some of the hours of operation at its Halifax location.

I remember some years’ back when the casinos were first proposed, Nova Scotians were told that we were going to become new Atlantic City’s – oh those were heady speeches, weren’t they – buxom serving wenches and all! There were nay-sayers, of course, those that said that Atlantic City and Las Vegas were big because what they offered wasn’t even legal in many places when they were developed, giving them an inherent advantage not afforded Halifax and Sydney. (Not to mention Nevada’s legalized prostitution!) Those same folks also said that what you were more likely to find is that the cheap beer and machines in the casinos were going to kill smaller bars and restaurants by “WallMart”ing downtown entertainment. One look at Barrington Street today and you can see that this has pretty much happened in Halifax.

And to boot, the expectations of wild casino profit into provincial coffers appear to be just as wildly overblown.

This is obviously a hit to those that need a place to grab a beer and lose some cash at 4 AM and a loss of jobs to both towns, but certainly nobody could really say it was unforeseen. With slot machines in every pub, some jackass in line ahead of me buying 13 scratch-and-lose cards at every visit to the pharmacy, and casinos as common as tourist information booths, they never really had a chance. And what’s more, the chance they had was at the expense of local small business.

The casino management may well simper about native-run casinos having an unfair advantage by allowing smoking (perhaps those weak enough to be trapped into peer-induced addictions are more liable to a gambling one, too?), but the fact of the matter is that they are simply leeches on the entertainment business that draw much less to the city than they draw away from other businesses.

Frack ’em and the coins they rolled in on. I look forward to their full closures.

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4 thoughts on “Casinos strangled by butt-sucking weazels…

  1. As a smoker, I can understand addiction to a degree, but the casinos never interested me. I find myself there a few times a year (at best), and then only to partake of their delicious buffet. However, the necessity of walking through the casino to get to the bottomless pit’o’food is enough to make me think thrice about it.

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  2. For the first time since I’ve returned to Halifax I stopped off at the casino for a beer after work. I had fond memories of the cheapest full pint of Guinness in town. It’s no longer cheap beer. In fact, for less money far better beer can be purchased (with better food I might add) down the road at any number of locally owned pubs, all of which have a much nicer atmosphere in which to down a pint. So I guess the point here is that the casino no longer has that going for it either. Has anyone started a death pool onthe place yet?

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  3. As for the smoking thing, I have to wonder if the casino operators how think that they lose business because of it. The majority of the population doesn’t smoke, so it would make sense to me that if gambling drew consistently across the population, a non-smoking place should do better than a smoking one, because non-smokers generally don’t like to sit in the stench of smokers. If that is not the case, if casino operators really feel they are losing business because of smoking laws, then they might be betting on the addictive personality. (Not that I’m saying all smokers have addictive personalities – I bet more of them do, but they certainly all don’t.)

    Be that as it may, I can’t see the operators moving toward changing smoking laws – it was a long fight to clean the pubs, restaurants and bars of cigarettes in the first place and I don’t think anyone wants to roll those victories back now.

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