Over its first 6 days in business, del Lago Resort & Casino took in over $36 million.
33 of that 36 came from the slots, with another 3 or so coming from table games.
At times there was a 45-minute wait just to get in and spend that money, as the only way for two people to enter was for two others to leave.
These are impressive figures, resulting from capacity-level turnout, but it’s all money that would have otherwise been spent at other businesses in our region.
Instead, it’s been funneled into the maw of the gambling beast.
I congratulate the owners on their windfall, but I long for a day when economic development in Upstate New York is something more substantive and sustainable.
I long for a day when the money that’s made here is not simply re-churned from our neighbors’ paychecks and welfare checks, but instead comes into our area from across the country and across the globe to purchase things we grow and produce.
That is true development, which will provide true regional economic growth.
What will make us grow is manufacturing.
I’m happy for those who enjoyed themselves at del Lago.
I’m happy for the owners who are making money hand over fist.
I note that the state is also a beneficiary here, as they gain another lucrative revenue stream.
But at the end of the day, this is not the kind of economic development we need.
Growth should be the end game, and while recycling money within the area is fine, it doesn’t make us grow.