The other casino study

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The Journal Gazette has a revealing editorial on one of the Gaming studies released last week by Mayor Tom Henry.

Some excerpts from the editorial:

The other casino study

Mayor Tom Henry’s office championed the results of one of two studies on gambling last week. The other study – not original research but a compilation of studies on the effects of a casino – deserves as much attention. In the interest of fair play, here are some of its findings, which clearly are not what city officials wanted to highlight:

  • Those who live within 10 miles of a casino experience twice the rate of pathological gambling of those who live farther away.
  • The average Indiana state wage in 2007 was $37,528; the average wage for Indiana casino employees was $33,390.
  • One study finds that “As casinos proliferate, interest in tourism for the purpose of gambling understandably wanes. As a result, casino revenues (and associated taxes) increasingly come from local patrons.”
  • Indiana casinos have consistently lost employment every year from 2001 to 2007.

[…] It’s worth noting that one of The Third House’s partners, Samuel R. Turpin, is a former chairman of the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee who resigned in an ethics scandal. The Brownsburg Republican faced felony bribery and perjury charges related to his involvement with a contractor whose projects included riverboat casino work.

According to the grand jury indictment, the contractor paid Turpin $1,500 a month over a three-year period for consulting work, allegedly in exchange for funneling money to state projects. A trial court dismissed the bribery charges, ruling that no quid pro quo existed. Turpin pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for using political funds to pay for personal expenses.

The Henry administration paid Turpin’s lobbying firm $32,000 for its gambling study. Given the emotionally charged subject, it seems the mayor would have gone to great lengths to hire a firm with a spotless record and without any connection to gambling interests.

It has exactly that in Stafford’s study, so why is the city extolling the results of The Third House study?

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  1. Uh, to answer the editorial’s final question, because they WANT a casino.

    The administration has been working on it for the better part of a year. I know the mayor says differently in public but this isn’t a big secret…


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