Michigan's New Casino Proposal Worries Gaming Capitals According Casino Expert Jerome Almon

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White Paper To Be Released On Ballot Initiative's Effect On State Economy

A ballot initiative calling for 8 new casinos in Michigan would spell doom for Canadian, Ohio, Las Vegas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Detroit's existing casinos according to CBS news and many other media outlets in Detroit. Evidence indicates revenues would drop 90% for some gaming facilities (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/story/2012/03/12/wdr-border-casinos-olg.html). The 8 proposed mega casinos would place Michigan into the Las Vegas of Midwest in terms of number of Casinos (http://www.americangaming.org/industry-resources/research/fact-sheets/top-20-us-casino-markets-annual-revenue). The new casinos would also deny the existing North American casino regions of millions of gamblers and billions of dollars according to the Las Vegas Tourism and Convention Bureau. The Midwest represented 1/7th of all visitors of Las Vegas prior to the opening of casinos in Detroit, that number is now down to 1/10. Michigan with its high ranking in boating, fishing, tourism, and festival events could quickly become the number one destination for gaming East of the Mississippi, and eventually challenge Las Vegas itself in gross revenues according to Pure Michigan Tourism.

A white paper on the matter will be released in early September by Jerome, who alone correctly predicted unexpected ramifications of Michigan's passage of legislation establishing 3 casinos in Detroit in 1996 (http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/1997/nov/28/barden-allies-may-join-anti-casino-opponents/). These events included scandals concerning licensing, crime issues, and that states such as Ohio would counter Michigan's gaming facilities with casinos of their own. (Serious questions remain as to whether Detroit or the state of Michigan benefited from the 3 casinos which now rake in almost $1.5 billion annually (http://www.hollandsentinel.com/opinions/x1170670229/OUR-VIEW-Dont-use-economic-development-argument-to-justify-more-casinos). The new casino group promises a much better deal for tax payers.

The opponents of the new proposal led by MGM are mounting a strong challenge to the proposed 8 new casinos in order to protect its $600 million annual take from the Motor City (http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20120110/FREE/120119995/revenue-for-detroit-s-3-casinos-rises-3-4-percent-in-2011-second-straight-increase). Revenues to MGM and the other 2 existing Detroit casinos would likely mirror the 90% drop in revenues experienced by Canadian casinos when the new casinos open. "The billion dollar question is whether the new casinos will bring in new revenues or will they cannibalize the existing market?" states Almon. The white paper will resolve this issue for voters with irrefutable evidence.

Almon was reluctant to get involved in the issue, but felt he had no choice due to the lethal ramifications to Detroit and Michigan's economy if the issue is mishandled. "If the new casinos are successful it would mean billions in new revenue to Michigan and Detroit and tens of thousands of new jobs, if it is unsuccessful the city and the state will get rolled again as it did on the Michigan Film Incentive, and proposed new bridge linking Detroit to Canada. Failure would send both into bankruptcy," says Almon. Figures show the city and state lost $400 million on the film incentive program and billions on the new bridge proposal without creating 1 job accoriding to Hollywood staple variety magazine. Fox News has shown such legislative missteps have are responsible for the majority of municipal bankruptcies nationally (http://foxnewsinsider.com/2012/08/10/fox-news-reporting-cities-going-broke/).

Almon has been interviewed numerous times concerning the original legislation which established the current 3 casinos and now is being sought after by national, global, and local outlets for his view of the new casino proposal. Almon is the subject of interviews on the economy, Presidential election, Hip Hop, and pop culture in such publications as Newscorp owned and Australia's largest media conglomerate.

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Michelle Milon
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