How casinos can be a boon-or bust-for local economies

June 13, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(Getty/Joe Raedle)
A bill that would expand gambling in Illinois is currently awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn's signature.

A bill to expand gambling in Illinois awaits Governor Pat Quinn’s signature. If passed, the state would see five new casinos, an expansion of riverboat gaming and more slot machines, at racetracks, the Illinois State Fair and even airports.

Legislators who support the move are after the revenue that more gambling would supposedly create. That could be a boon to economically depressed areas like Rockford, Illinois.

But does gambling always invigorate the local economy? To find out, Eight Forty-Eight turned to Father Richard McGowan. McGowan teaches economics at Boston College and is the author of Dividing the Spoils: States and the Gambling Industry.

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