tisdag 26 februari 2008

Giant casinos plan abandoned

Red 19, originally uploaded by greendrz.

I was pleased to hear that the plan for a chain of supercasinos has been dropped and now there will not be any.

People in Manchester are disappointed but I am mystified as to how a supercasino would have promoted economic regeneration. Gambling produces absolutely nothing and its effect is to syphon off money from the gamblers to the big companies that run these operations, mostly based in London or abroad. Far from leading to economic regeneration, it would have had the opposite effect and I am astonished that anyone in authority thought otherwise.

There are two ways to promote sustainable economic regeneration in depressed areas, which are normally that way because of poor access. The first is to construct transport infrastructure and the second is to change the tax system so that it reflects geographical advantantage and disadvantage, and captures the land value increases that occur when infrastructure improvements take place.

If the first measure alone is adopted, it ends up costing the treasury a lot of money which it does not get back, whilst the poor are driven out of the improved area and have to move to other deprived areas, so they gain nothing either.

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