As the Virginia General Assembly once again dips its toes into consideration of casino gambling, here’s a little tale that may be worth thinking about.
Johnny’s Hotdogs was a wholesome family joint that had been around for years. Like every other mom-and-pop restaurant, Johnny had bills to pay — to the butcher, the gas company and for the city meals tax.
But Johnny was strapped for cash. His sales were flagging. His profit margin was high, but his customer traffic was low. A lot of his regulars were going to Billy’s Franks across the street.
Billy had three slot machines, which were a big hit with people already foolish enough to eat lots of hot dogs. His place was packed all the time. There were lines at all his machines.
Johnny wasn’t going to stand for that, of course. So he bought six one-armed bandits, which are aptly named. And the customers came flocking back.
But then Johnny noticed a funny thing.
He was selling fewer hotdogs than before he put the machines in. His customers were putting most of their money in the machines, rather than buying hotdogs.
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