Casino regulation in context

I’ve got a new column in the Las Vegas Business Press about that Arkansas casino nirvana, with some more exploration of a state without gaming regulation:

Recent events in a state that's considering getting into the casino game have raised the question of casino regulation. Looking at intent and practice of regulation anew provides a fresh perspective that can benefit everyone, even in a state where gaming regulation is as much a part of life as slot machines in gas stations and the lack of a state income tax.A proposed Arkansas constitutional amendment would give a single company a statutory monopoly on casinos in the state, cap gaming taxes at 5 percent of gross revenues Nevada's, the lowest in the nation, is 6.75 percent, plus fees, and forbid the state from having any kind of regulatory oversight over the casinos.

via Las Vegas Business Press :: David G. Schwartz : Gaming without regulation a recipe for disaster.

Wondering what casinos would be like without regulation is a good thought experiment that hopefully demonstrates the optimal boundaries of regulation. I’ve got to laugh at the big overhaul of Atlantic City casino regulation that’s being proposed: let new casinos build 200-room hotels instead of 500-room ones. If they don’t address the more substantive issues of regulatory overhaul, it doesn’t make much difference. And it would take some serious overhaul to actually make the market more attractive to investors. But the more attractive it is to investors, the more control the state is giving up, which can have some unforeseen consequences.

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