Prior to the 1980s, casino gambling was legal only in Nevada and New Jersey. Since then, nearly 30 states have legalized casino gambling. Should Texas, specifically Bell County, entertain the idea of permitting a casino to be built in our area? I say yes; why not?

According to stlouisfed.org, many states have approved commercial casino gambling primarily because they see it as a tool for economic growth.

Benefit One

The benefit of increased employment. As of January 2016, Bell County’s unemployment rate is 4.3 percent. It is getting harder and harder for individuals who have lost their jobs to find new employment, much less obtain job security. Casinos will create many jobs for the local communities. Card dealers, wait staff, accounting, and security officers are among the jobs needing filled by our local residents.

Benefit Two

The benefit of tax revenue. Most states use the taxes to fund state and local programs. Public education is the most common program funded through casino tax revenue.

Benefit Three

The benefit of boosting local retail sales. With many visitors assessing the casino; local restaurants, hotels, and retailers will see an increase in profits.

Martin Crowdy, Thinkstock

Yes, there is evidence that gambling contributes to issues including depression, debt, and addiction but the risk of these problems occurring are low.  If we are to use this argument to say why a casino is not a good idea for Bell County, then our restaurants and stores should not be permitted to sell alcohol. As that too can lead to the same social issues.

There are 12 bingo establishments in Bell County, why not a casino?