Niagara Falls, like many and all cities, wants to balance its budget. Cities like to draw revenues from taxes and other sources in order to pay for budgets. Casinos are frequently looked towards as a viable resource for generating revenue. Strangely, the Niagara Falls Advisory Panel has gone to the city council and suggested that drawing funds from gambling sources be curtailed. The feeling is using casino funds to balance the budget is not the right approach to continue following.
The advisory panel chairman relayed to the city council that excess spending is the cause for the budget problem. The feeling of the advisory panel is casino funds eventually will not be enough. Sooner or later, budget problems are likely to spin out of control when the casinos cannot fund the budget to the desired degree.
Those who read headlines about the city council being warned against taking casino funds might believe this hints something is wrong with the casino industry. Peripherally, the headlines may infer that the locality is wishing to slow down the growth of casino gambling. As revealed previously, this is not the case at all. No one in government has any problem with the casino industry. There is no movement afoot to diminish the casinos in the area.
The issue is the city council is being a bit too single-focused in terms of its budgeting. The advisory panel noted the city council should work on renegotiating various contracts it has signed as one solution to budget troubles.
In addition to the finite amount of revenue a casino can deliver, there is always the possibility a casino could lose money. The casino industry, while usually healthy, does suffer down periods. Casinos could also move to new locations or, worse, close up shop due to losses. Being too locked into a reliance on the casino industry means the city council’s fortunes end up improving or declining based on the gambling entities.
No city council and the city it represents should be too reliant on any one industry. In North Dakota, local governments are learning this the hard way. The oil industry is doing poorly after an extended boom period. The oil revenues have run dry due to oversupply.
What if online gaming entities may a pitch for the same customers and draw them away? What if a new casino opens outside the jurisdiction of Niagara Fall? Things such as these could all end up causing the current casino industry and the city council in Niagara Falls a lot of problems.
Ultimately, it is the people who live in the Niagara Falls area that suffers when the city, itself, is troubled. Hopefully, the city council will diversify its revenue streams and not be too linked to the casino industry for its tax and fee sources.