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Abstract

This paper evaluates county-level economic growth impacts of casinos along waterways in six US states over the years 1995-2002. In a manner consistent with in-dividual state legislation regarding legalized riverboat gambling, the dataset in-cludes those counties in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, and Mississippi adjacent to navigable waterways. Using insights gained from reduced form equations derived via a structural growth model, a system of growth relation-ships is estimated for each of population, employment, and aggregate county in-come. Controlling for various local characteristics, there is evidence counties with a casino opening after 1995 experienced slower aggregate county income growth while the effect on employment growth was positive. Casinos did not appear to signifi-cantly affect population growth.

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