The conventional wisdom has always been that property is one of the safest investments you can make. Yes, over the short term there may be falls. But regarded over a longer period it tends to increase in value.
One of the key factors driving this growth in property prices tends to be its location. This then drives up the number of people looking to move to a particular area – and the laws of supply and demand dictate that this leads to an increase in real estate prices.
While local amenities like transport links, retail opportunities and good schools are all known to enhance and area’s desirability, the effect of other factors is a little harder to judge.
A great example of this comes in the form of land-based casinos. As we shall see, the jury is very much out on this one as to whether they enhance or detract from an area’s desirability.
Admittedly, fewer are being opened these days. This is generally attributed to the burgeoning popularity of online casinos where people choose to play their favourite games instead.
Whether it’s roulette or blackjack, baccarat or online slots games that are a big part of sites like Rainbow Riches Casino, these have captured the public’s imagination. And, wherever you live, they are easily accessible and always open for play
The advantages of a casino in the neighbourhood
There has always been a school of thought that the presence of a casino will benefit an area in economic terms. One only has to look back to the Labour Government under Tony Blair to see that this has been the official line in the past.
As part of a range of overall changes to the casino regulations in Britain, back in 2007 the then Prime Minister proposed a number of Super Casinos to be built.
These were intended to boost areas in need of regeneration including in Manchester and Blackpool, places that now play an important role in the current government’s levelling up agenda.
Unfortunately, the global economic crisis hit in 2008 and his replacement as PM, Gordon Brown, was forced to scrap the plans.
As we’ve already established, it’s primarily demand that drives up property prices. This, in turn, is dependent on having enough people with enough money to buy homes in the area.
So the employment provided by casinos, both in their construction and once they’re open, also helps to provide opportunities to buy. Living close to where they work is obviously of a big appeal to those employees.
The construction of a new casino could also have a very valuable knock-on effect for an area. For example, in order to receive the right planning permissions local authorities can also make demands that other contributions are made.
These can range from demanding new access routes are built and paid for to insisting that safe road crossing places are provided. These may seem like small changes, but they can all have an effect of an area’s desirability.
Then there is the increase in visitors to an area that a casino can generate. Their presence is sure to contribute to the wider economy in a number of ways. They may use other leisure facilities like restaurants and bars and may even need accommodation. It all helps to bring extra income into the area.
It also stimulates demand for Airbnb and other options that can have an effect on the wider housing market.
And a few disadvantages
On the other hand, there is feeling that having a casino in the neighbourhood could well have a negative effect. Much of this research has been carried out in the US and the findings haven’t been that great for potential homebuyers.
For, while increased numbers of visitors might seem to be a great benefit, it also has its downsides. We all want to live in settled and peaceful communities. But having a large and temporary population passing through can only serve to undermine this.
Then there’s the question of noise and inconvenience. By their very nature, casinos tend to be at their busiest at night and even into the early hours. With these sorts of comings and goings that might be welcome for local taxi firms and Uber drivers, this can turn into something of a nightmare for residents.
It’s also all very well if the casino building and its surroundings are maintained at a high standard. But often things soon become to slip and it can start to look a bit down at heel with litter gathering around it and paints starting to peel.
As casinos tend to be very visible parts of the environment, it can make the whole area look like it’s on the slide.
So what’s the answer?
Considering all the arguments, there’s no clear answer about whether a casino will be a good or a bad thing for the real estate market in an area. But the fact that most new ones tend to be built in less urban, more out-of-town parts does indicate that planning departments look more favourably on this option.
So anyone considering buying near a casino might need to think twice. The only exception would be if the aim is to buy to let on a short term basis to potential casino visitors.
But that opens up a whole new area of controversy that we don’t have space to enter into here!