All In   |  June 20, 2013

Bailout for Delaware casinos exposes national problem

A proposed bailout is seen as a rude awakening to taxpayers who are always told that state- approved gambling is a revenue generator. There are now so many casinos in the U.S. that the new ones are hurting the revenue of the older ones. Host Chris Hayes asks Delaware and New York lawmakers if casinos make sense.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> to a casino , you know the house always wins. one writer proposed a check to an ailing industry in desperate need of a bailout. the steel industry or auto industry , but the casino industry. delaware lawmakers might support the plan to use $8 million of an unexpected winds fall from tax collections to split between three struggling casinos. the joint bond bill committee voted today to approve the plan. it's a rude awakening to taxpayers who are always told that gambling is a revenue generator. not so much.

>> this ride just got wilder. join us for an evening with reba.

>> this problem is not a fluke. . the growth in total gambling tax revenues across the nation has been fairly flat since 2007 . more than 80 casinos have opened across the country from 2000 to the present. it doesn't add up. there's a pool of gambling bucks out there so delaware 's loss is the effect of brand new casinos opening next door in maryland.

>> one year after opening maryland live casino is cranking out jackpots and raking in revenue. in may they pulled in $37.5 million in slots and $17.7 million from table games for a total of $55.1 million.

>> as easy it is to buy your socks, you can go play blackjack.

>> new casinos in new york have hurt the ones in connecticut. those new in kansas have hurt missouri. even before hurricane sandy hit. revenue in atlantic city has been declining since 2006 before the great recession. billion dollar native american casino industry is leveling off as well. it's part of an end to a bubble in which gambling hack used by poll tugss to raise revenue without raising taxes. joining me it phillip goldfetter. resorts world has the highest grossing slot generator in the nation. he served as the racing and wagering committee. thank you for joining me. i understand your support for this enterprise in your district. it brings jobs in and i understand why that's important. but when you look at delaware and the promises made there that now are turning into an $8 bailout, do you worry about the future, the road that you and new york are headed down.

>> that's why you have to be careful. you have to put a lot of consideration to the plans in which are proposed and carried out. the governor has proposed legislation that's going to bring four casinos to new york . resorts world has been doing a tremendous job. 1700 jobs, 1200 from the local community . but more important, they have been a great partner to the community making sure they are support i supporting the community they are in. so we have seen old success in new york . and there's no reason why new york money should be leaving new york . we should be keeping new york money in new york .

>> that's the argument that gets made. that's the argument when i was covering this in illinois. people were going to indiana to gamble in indiana. there was a ka scasino not that far away . but the problem is this has led to everybody getting into the pool, this proliferation. so you have a bizarre beggar they neighbor gain where your gain is someone. else's loss. if someone builds a casino in long island, that's going to hurt your district.

>> there's no question about it. that's why you have to look at the state as a whole and do it based on your state. i can't worry about other states. i have to worry about the jobs in my community. we have seen a tremendous amount of success with the vlts and gaming industry thus far. there's no reason to think the amount of money that new york generates for the rest of the country that we shouldn't finally take a look at how we can try to keep that money here and keep those jobs here. especially in the aftermath of hurricane sandy, we're struggling. we need those jobs. there's no reason to think that we have to be worried about everybody else . it's time to think about ourselves to make sure we can bring our economy back and ultimately help the entire nation.

>> final question. jobs are the reason that it's been given delaware . can you find yourself in a situation where the casino in your district is hurting because of circumstances, economic recession , another casino opening up, and you have to go to the state assembly and argue for taxpayer dollars to be spent to bail it out because there are jobs at stake?

>> two things. i would say number one this bill would still have to go to a voter referendum and voters will decide. that being said, you're right. that's why you have to put a lot of thought into how you do it and where you do it. i commend the governor for keeping casino debate at top of the priority list, but we're being careful. legislation got drafted. we were careful about where they were going to go and how they would compete with each other. we're not looking to divide ourselves pup. we want to bring in the most revenues and provide as much money to our local schools and local state budgets.

>> careful means limits. phillip, thank you so much. we'll be right back with someone who will tell us about the toll of the casino partnerships across the country. it's an amazing story. when visa signature