Casino Saturation, Something to Think About

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The new casino in Toledo will throw open its gilded doors May 29, the second of Ohio's four gambling palaces to open. Toledo is a short 90-120 minute drive from Cleveland, just 30 minutes from Detroit, and 45-60 or so from Windsor.

That's a lot of casinos in a relatively small area. Detroit is already prepping for Toledo and Cleveland to steal some of its business, natural since, as many have pointed out, there is a saturation level for gambling. Only so many people are going to gamble, and of that subset, only so many people are going to come to your casino. Casino saturation: it's not that swamp butt you get from sitting at the blackjack table for too long.

One casino developer, David Cordish, picks up on the natural analogy at play here. Via Forbes:

“I don’t know how we can control the politicians; they certainly don’t understand the word ‘oversaturation,’” Cordish said Thursday. “They think you can have casinos like Starbucks.”

If that attitude continues, Cordish said, “it’s going to implode on them.”

“What happens when you put mega-casinos close together is they generally not only oversaturate the market, they don’t work,” Cordish said. In the Washington, D.C., region soon, he added, “you’ll have four of the largest casinos in the country operating within a short drive of one another.”

Now we're thirsty. They should put a Starbucks in the casino.

For a further look at the dynamics of Cleveland/Toledo/Detroit and the losses Detroit is eying once Toledo opens later this month, Forbes also has a good look at that here.

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