Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, February 9, 2009
It wonders me that some people go to casinos fully expecting to win. I mean, honestly, you’d think the opulence, the lavishness, the over-the-top showiness would be an obvious tip off that somebody is making money, and odds are good that it’s not going to be you. But then, up until very recently those very same indicators were on display through the lifestyles of many, many Wall Street investment bankers — somebody was winning and it turns out it wasn’t you (or me). So much for obvious.
After a 10 year battle, it looks as if West Michigan is going to get its first Indian casino. Hooray, I guess. The Indian tribe and the community where it is going to be built certainly had the law on their side. The delay was largely a strategic tactic by some powers in Grand Rapids to allow the redevelopment of its downtown to establish itself without a casino’s competition. It did, and so it was really a win for them, too.
I myself won’t be going to the casino. And like everybody else, I’m rethinking the whole invest in the market thing. Happily, it looks like these types of decisions will pretty much be out of my hands for the foreseeable future. With three kids heading to college soon, we won’t have any money anyway. (And that may turn out to be the best investment.)