Wednesday, November 15, 2006


the US Gov't vs. On-line gambling

No, it's not quite Godzilla vs. Mothra, but it's close. US law enforcement is continuing to press the on-line gaming industry. Here's today's headline on MSNBC, Criminal charges brought over online gambling,

It's been said that much of what we know about gambling is built on assumption and prejudice. I think that's especially true for on-line gaming. I think that there is a lot of potential for studies in this area to be both interesting and to make a contribution to the literature.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Studying the success of gambling-related ballot measures

In the USA, gambling may be legalized at the state or local level through two paths--legislative action or ballot initiative. There have been a few studies aimed at understanding who is likely to vote for or vote against these issues, mostly in the context of lottery legalization. Microdata studies look at reported intention to vote for or against an issue. Studies using aggregate data look at the voting behavior of geographical aggregations of votes (by district or county) as a function of the characteristics of those geographic areas.

In yesterday's election the voters of Ohio decided whether or not to legalize slot machines.

The Ohio slot machine ballot issue addressed a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would legalize the use of slot machines at nine different venues (seven at existing racetracks). Thirty percent of the revenue generated from the slot machines would be dedicated to new educational scholarship and grant programs. Another 8 percent would be dedicated to county and town level economic development. This proposal is named "Learn and Earn."

It lost 57% to 43% with 99% of precincts reporting

Off the CNN site, vote by county is available

An interesting project would be to look at the macro pattern of election results by county, using % for or against as the dependent variable and county descriptive variables (income distribution, ethnic distribution, rural vs. urban character, distance to competition, etc.) as the IV.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Changing economies of scale in hospitality and tourism

from Meetings & Convention's listserv . . .

"Closing today is the Stardust Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Boyd Gaming Corp., the property's owners, will demolish the building to make way for the $4 billion Echelon Place development that will open in 2010. When it debuted in 1958, the Stardust was the city's largest hotel but has since been dwarfed. The Stardust's 1,552 rooms will be replaced by Echelon's 5,300, while the former's 25,000 square feet of meeting space will be obliterated by Echelon's 650,000-square-foot ExpoPlace Convention Center."

Are there limits to these economies of scale? How big can hotel/resorts become? Little research has looked at these issues.


threat of coup in Fiji

Tensions are running high in Fiji between the government and the army. Tourism is a vital part of the Fijian economy and is currently on a growth spurt, after recovering from previous coups in '87 and '00.

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