Sunday, October 30, 2005

Casino or Bordello?

Several months ago I blogged on the large number of casinos that I drove by in a trip across the state of Louisiana. I recently received a very interesting email commenting on my blog from Rabbi Daniel Lapin who is the author of a number of books. Rabbi Lapin also does a weekly radio call in show on Seattle’s KTTH, which covers from British Columbia down to Portland, OR. Check out his website at

I loved what he had to say.

“You commented on the proliferation of casinos in Louisiana and how their numbers seemed to correlate inversely with successful towns if I understood correctly.

To the shock of our Sabbath dinner guests, a couple of years ago I asked my six daughters aged (at the time) 8-18 whether, all things being equal, they’d rather marry a guy who earned his living by owning a casino or a bordello? Assuming that in both cases the guys were nice and neither sampled the wares at his own establishment as it were.

I was impressed when after much discussion the girls agreed the bordello was a far more honest enterprise. They based it on the thought experiment of asking departing clients in the parking lot whether they’d happily return the next evening for an identical experience at the same price. Of course the casino client wanted a different experience—next night he hoped to win not lose. The bordello client on the other hand, got what he came for and what he paid for and was a satisfied client.

Not that I think bordellos are great for towns wishing to grow, but maybe marginally better than casinos!! Casinos may be the only win/lose business transaction that I can think of.”

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