In a recent article of the Toronto Sun that discusses a proposed waterfront casino for the city of Toronto, the author Christopher Hume makes the following statement:
Experience around the world shows that casinos are the kiss of death for the neighbourhoods and cities in which they are located. Given the terrible social costs of gambling and the damage casinos can do to the urban fabric, Toronto is lucky to be able to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Is is typically true that casinos contribute significantly to the destruction of urban and social fabric?
EDIT I believe there are a few sensible proxies for the above question, which when answered would be illuminating, including:
What are the long-term economic effects of permitting a casino in a city? Namely, after a decade or so of permitting a casino does a city typically realize a significant economic benefit or contraction?
Alternatively, does the GINI coefficient (income disparity) change significantly when one permits casinos in a city?
Although one of many related metrics, the "social fabric" can (and often is in this comparison) extended beyond economics to include addressing the following:
Is a significant increase in crime caused by permitting casinos in cities? Does crime increase significantly particularly where the casino is located? If so, can the crime increase be offset by increased revenue for policing and social services?
Are there significant knock-on effects, e.g. health/sick care costs, mental illness, single or adoptive parents?
It is reasonable I believe to expect that the above are the factors the author making the claim had been taken into account. Although I have focused on an economic proxy, there may be valid arguments that another proxy is preferable.
For further clarity, I would exclude from the analysis those cities whose predominant export is gambling-related tourism (e.g. Las Vegas). The crux of the question is the effect of a casino on cities whose economic foundations are not casino-related e.g. Toronto.