City spends money to study gaming issue

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Press release from the City of Fort Wayne:

City Taps Specialized Resources to Investigate Impacts of Gaming
Mayor Henry Committed to Careful Examination, Seeks Objective Analysis

Underscoring his community pledge to thoroughly study the issue of gaming in light of recent private-sector interest in the matter, Mayor Tom Henry today released the names of two groups selected to assist in that effort.

The Third House Advocacy Group, LLC, an Indianapolis-based firm, has been engaged to perform an independent analysis of the market potential for gaming in the Fort Wayne area and an evaluation of its economic and fiscal impacts here. Additionally, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne’s (IPFW) Community Research Institute (CRI) has been asked to coordinate an assessment of the issue’s social and community effects.

“As the gaming discussion unfolds, I am always mindful that my first responsibility is to the people of this community and to Fort Wayne’s long-term vitality,” said Mayor Henry. “Gaming has broad implications, and to best represent the interests of our community, we need to understand it fully – both the positives and the negatives. We must be informed and prepared. That is why gathering this objective information is absolutely essential.”

The City of Fort Wayne’s investigation has been prompted by the actions of various private-sector entities as they explore the business potential for gaming in northeast Indiana. To that end, Mayor Henry directed a two-step response, specifically: 1) listening and talking to those with the ideas; and 2) orchestrating an in-depth study of the gaming issue. The formal engagement of these two research groups signifies the next step in the City’s due diligence process.

“Given our current difficult economic times and the hardships so many people face, I want Fort Wayne and our entire region to have every opportunity,” noted Henry. “Prudent fiscal management and innovation – more for less – must be our watchwords. You can be sure I will continue to look for new ideas and new ways of doing things to help us provide the high-quality services that are expected by our residents and are necessary to keep Fort Wayne competitive and attractive. Our choices must both benefit our community and be right for it.”

The Third House Advocacy Group is a governmental affairs firm offering a full array of services including legislative and regulatory monitoring, issue management, research, state and local government procurement, and legislative and administrative lobbying. With a depth of experience in Indiana, the company extends its capabilities across the United States via its partnership in The Third House National Network.

The Community Research Institute is a primary portal linking the expertise of IPFW with the needs of the private, public and nonprofit sectors in northeast Indiana. It embodies the university’s commitment to foster growth and development throughout the region. Under the directorship of John Stafford, the CRI provides research and analytical support in the areas of socio-economic data, urban planning, municipal finances, public policy and economic development.

County Economic Development Income Tax dollars will be used to fund the studies. The Third House contract is for $32,000. The CRI work is part of an existing contract with the City capped at $25,000. The outcomes of both analyses are anticipated by mid-February.

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  1. Please see note sent to John Stafford at CRI today, 1/8/2009:

    To: John Stafford, Community Research Institute

    Dear John:

    Please include my thoughts on this subject in your analysis, to wit:

    The effect of gaming activities has been shown to be detrimental to persons in lower economic situations.

    The net effect of gaming acttivities on a political entity has been demonstrated to be negative.. Check on Atlantic City, Michigan City and others to see that this has been true. The higher costs of welfare, increased family problems, increased crime to enable continued gaming activities, and increased criminal activity – all caused or made worse due to gaming far exceeds ANY economic benefits. This is especially true due to the minimum wage jobs created by casinos.

    Thye use of statistical chance to attempt to provide finacial income instead of pursuing a normal wage-earning job is very destructive to future generations! We are dropping a lot on our young people, let’s not, unneccessarily, add more to their load!

    Thank you for listening! John B. Kalb

    • I don’t mean to be overly critical, but too many times, all a consultant reports is what the entity paying for the report wants to hear. I sincerely hope the City left this completely wide open without prejudicing the results by looking for outcomes.

      It will be interesting to see if your thoughts are included, John.


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