Why would an economically depressed community adopt a casino?

Casinos have spread across North America as a tool to transition deindustrializing communities towards a more service-based economy. A major driver of gaining community acceptance is the promise of creating ‘good jobs.’ Yet, as Alissa Mazar shows in her upcoming article in the spring issue of Labour/le Travail, “Casinos and Captive Labour Markets: The Case of Casino Windsor,” research assessing who casinos employ and how workers experience the quality of employment is actually sparse.

Using the case study of Casino Windsor—in Canada’s economically struggling automotive capital, Windsor, Ontario—Mazar asks the crucial question: do casinos offer ‘good jobs’? The author argues that the casino has created and exploits a captive labour market. With states/provinces increasingly using casinos as an economic revitalization and job creating strategy in economically devitalized regions, researchers and policymakers must consider whether such developments will create and potentially exploit a captive labour supply, leading to the casino firm dominating the locality.