Gambling has long been thought to be a recession-proof enterprise. Maybe not:
For the first six months of this year, money spent at Indiana casinos generated $465.6 million in tax revenue, down from $488.6 million for the same period a year ago.
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Ball State University economist Michael Hicks said an unusual combination of factors has led the typically recession-proof gambling industry to feel the pinch. High gas prices, the opening of the first casinos near Indianapolis and flooding in the southern part of Indiana probably all took their toll and kept players away.
When gas hit $4 a gallon, we finally discovered what the trigger was that would change people's driving habits. We may soon discover that it's the catalyst for a change in a whole lot of behavior. If people have to spend more and more just to get somewhere, maybe throwing money away at the gaming tables once they get there won't seem like such a hot idea.