What do gambling revenues say about the economy?

Posted Aug. 17, 2009, at 5:07 p.m.

The BDN reported that Hollywood Slots took in $70.5 million in gambling revenues in July, the second largest take since the new facility opened a year ago. Does that amount of discretionary spending indicate the economy is improving, or that consumer confidence in growing? Or is it better explained as evidence that Hollywood Slots has become a tourist destination for those in Maine and New Brunswick? Does the spending suggest Maine should consider allowing another gambling facility, perhaps in Oxford County? Or are the

revenues a measure of desperation?