Casinos such as the one at Rocky Gap State Park have their supporters and detractors.
One thing in their favor is that young people who otherwise might be unable to attend college are able to do so through scholarships.
Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University have been able to award several hundred scholarships because of casino revenue.
Of the first $800,000 in slot machine revenue paid to Allegany County by the Rocky Gap Casino Resort, 45 percent goes to the ACM Foundation and 25 percent goes to the FSU foundation to provide scholarships made available to Allegany County residents.
During the 2014-15 school year, ACM awarded 422 scholarships, along with 150 workforce development scholarships.
FSU awarded 104 scholarships in the 2014-15 school year and has given out another 163 scholarships for the coming school year.
The impact of casino revenue s is felt elsewhere in Maryland.
Anne Arundel College has received $1.7 million from Maryland Live Casino, which is described as the No. 1 taxpayer in the state.
Some of the money is used for a casino-college partnership in which underemployed or unemployed people receive dealer training that puts them in jobs that pay them more than $50,000 a year.
One of the ACM scholarship recipients, whose name was not released, said “I was a homemaker until I got the opportunity to attend Allegany College of Maryland... . Now, I will be the first person in my family to attend college and I hope that my success will inspire my children and extended family to develop and achieve educational goals of their own.”
Casinos don’t spontaneously generate money. They take it in (some might say they “rake it in”) from their customers — which makes it other people’s money.
Helping to give someone an opportunity to become a productive member of society, is as good a use for other people’s money as any.