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Study questions benefits of slot machines

5 August 2009

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland -- As reported by The (Baltimore) Sun: "As a slots license selection commission evaluates bids for slots licenses in Maryland, a new study has found that facilities that provide both racing and casino activities create low-paying jobs that depress salaries in surrounding areas.

"The study by Ball State University examined West Virginia's so-called racinos - horse or dog racing facilities with casino games - during a 26-year period and found that counties with such gambling operations saw a one-time employment gain of 1.1 percent, while the average salary in the area fell by as much as 2.9 percent because of the prevalence of low-paying jobs.

"Although only one of four bids under consideration in Maryland is a racetrack operator, the study's author suggests casino-only operations also could lead to similar outcomes.

"Two bidders, however, disputed the study's findings, noting that their projects would create good-paying jobs with benefits that would not otherwise exist.

"The study, appearing in the latest issue of The Journal of Economics, found that the average salary of racino employees is less than $14,000 a year..."

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