Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of Pennsylvania's first casino, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
Back then, it was just a bunch of slot machines in a big room. Nothing special, nothing fancy. Still, people waited for hours in a cold drizzle to get inside. I can still hear the moans and groans of the crowd as Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll rambled on and on in a speech before the ribbon cutting.
I think I'm good for two casino visits a year. I'll throw a few bucks in to a slot machine, break even, get bored, and go home. I still find table games intimidating, and let's face it. The house always gets your money. If you don't lose it during gaming, you'll spend it on food and drinks. That's okay. No one forces you to go there.
Casino money has helped the local economy, and I'm sure there is a price. Gambling addiction, families torn apart. I've covered a lot of cases where people steal to take care of their gambling debts. Although, the vast majority of gamblers seem to be good and decent people.
Have the casinos and the state delivered on everything that was promised when gambling became legal? It's a safe bet to say the answer is "no."