In 1999, the U.S. Congress established the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which required tribes to negotiate compacts with the states governing the play of games before they could conduct gambling on their lands. The states started to control the Indian Tribes by this law change. But states could negotiate for a minimum age of players, regulations on security in tribal casinos, and other safeguards to maintain the integrity of the operations. (Minnesota Family Council)
b) State Lotteries (gambling by the government)
The lottery was allowed by some colonies before the independence. Most of these lotteries were corrupted and banned during Civil War. The first state lottery was started in New Hampshire. It was followed by New York and New Jersey. The Massachusetts State Lottery established the first scratch-off lottery ticket, The Instant Game, printed by the Dittler Brothers lottery division, in 1974. (Barker and Britz, 2000)
“The game proved extremely successful, delivering something no other lottery game had ever offered - instant money. By the 1980s, instant sales in the U.S. surpassed $1 billion and 16 states sold instant games. In the Unites States, 38 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands all offer government-operated lotteries. Voters in two other states (North Dakota and Tennessee) approved lotteries in the November, 2002 election. During 2003 U.S. lottery sales totaled $44.9 billion ($US).” (Official the USA Lotteries Website)
Legalized Gambling and Its Economical Effects
When the casino opens in the community people always think it will bring wealth to the community. They think that those casinos bring to their community generous financial contributions. Casinos give large sums of money to their community as well as building facilities for the community to use such as recreation centers.
Another thought is what the casinos do for their communities is create job openings. Casinos bring hundreds and sometimes thousands of jobs for people of the community and surrounding communities. They can drop unemployment rates in some communities. It can be an alternative to raising taxes. Casinos bring more business to hotels, restaurants, and other such businesses. (Mcgraw and Hill, 1970)
We need to look at the other side of these facts. Does the Casino bring wealth to the community? “The Local economies are increases and employment rises 10 percent, but this enlargement provides no benefits to the residents. Casinos operate like a tollhouse that uses the ton as a platform for conducting its business. Money enters and money leaves.” (Carl L. Grinds, 2004)
Casinos take money from the other local businesses and leave them no option but bankruptcy. As an example in Atlantic City, Atlantic City had 48 restaurants before the casinos opened in the city in 1997. After 1997 this dropped to 16. (Denise, 2002)
In fact, most local economies are actually hurt by the existence of a casino. Most of the people from surrounding areas go to these casinos. Instead of spending their expendable money in local stores on clothing or appliances, they gamble it away. “So what the casino is really doing is recycling the money of the city and filtering out its profits. It is like running an engine to power a generator, to in turn power the engine; eventually it will run out.”
The following economical facts are from Atlantic City Naperville Church’s website.
Atlantic City approved gambling in 1977. Since that year:
- 1986 report population from 47.000 to 37.000
- 1985 casino income was $ 2.2 billion yet has no supermarket, no department store no movie theaters
- Half of 2100 business operating has closed
- Casinos have employed about 30.000 people, mostly from other places
- Unemployment remains same.
- Violent crime increased 250 percent. (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault) (Statistic, Naperville Church, 2004)
Legalized Gambling and Its Social Effects
Gambling does not create anything new for the communities. It takes money from one and gives it to another one, makes really large profits from this circulation. There is not any economical benefit from gambling for community or the whole country.
Cities get big amounts of taxes from casinos. But cities spend more money than they get on negative effects of gambling such as crime increase. Crime increases with legalized gambling. This effects the police cost. Gambling addiction creates more poor people which increase the welfare cost.
State lotteries target the poor and receive money from the poor. They cash their welfare checks at racetracks, riverboat casinos, off track betting parlors. This also increases the welfare cost too. It also effects medical system. Treatment for gambling addiction is rarely covered by health insurance policies, though physicians often will simply list depression as the cause for needed therapy, and that may be covered.(Lesieur and Anderson, 2004)
“Gambling produces human desperation. Gambling victimizes the poor. Gambling leads to embezzlement, bribes, extortion, treason, suicide, and corruption of college and professional athletes. Crime often results from victims trying to recoup gambling losses. Those who least can afford it usually gamble the most. Gambling exploits the weaknesses of individuals. Gambling and poverty go hand in hand. Inner-city residents are hurt the most by expanded gambling” (Legalized Gambling Facts, 2004)
”There is a substantial economic case to be made against gambling. It involves simply sterile transfers of money or goods between individuals, creating no new money or goods. Although it creates no output, gambling does nevertheless absorb time and resources. When pursued beyond the limits of recreation . . . gambling subtracts from the national income.” (McGraw and Hill, 1970, p. 89)
Gambling attracts racketeers and mobsters, increases the crimes such as murders, assaults robberies, etc. Nowadays mobsters do not own the casinos. But they still are involved in gambling business with food, security, cleaning etc. services. So gambling still feeds the mobsters this way or another way.
Addicted gamblers are much more likely to be violent with their spouses and abuse their children. Children of these gamblers generally do worse in school and have a suicide rate twice that of their classmates.(Orbitz, 2002)
There is a survey about gambling. Gamblers were found to have 22 percent divorce rate because of gambling; 40 percent had lost or quit a job due to gambling, 49 percent stole from work to pay gambling debts, 23 percent alcoholic, 26 percent compulsive overeaters, 63 percent had contemplated suicide and 79 percent said they wanted to die. (Lesieur and Anderson, 2004)
This is a very clear example for how gambling addiction does effect family life;
“On May 14, 1992 three days before Casino Windsor opened its temporary home on the banks of the Detroit River. A middle-aged city resident shocked the city by shooting himself in the front of the police station downtown, during the busy lunch hour. On the construction laborer’s lap police found photos of his wife and children. And not to them saying that as a life long gambling addict he could not prospect of casino opening a few kilometers from his home” (Mandal and Doelon, 1999, p. 78)
Some studies resulted as below;
- 67 percent of the Gamblers Anonymous members’ household debt was due to gambling.
- 67 percent of gamblers’ spouses were harassed by creditors.
- 61 percent of gamblers’ spouses become violent toward the gambler.
- 78 percent of gamblers suffer from insomnia.
- 26 percent had been divorced or separated because of gambling.
- 34 percent lost or quit their job.
- 44 percent had stolen from work to pay gambling debts.
- 18 percent had gambling-related arrests.
- 66 percent had contemplated suicide.
- 11 percent had attempted suicide. (Shapiro, U.S. News and World Report, 15 January 1996)
One Example for Legalized Gambling: Minnesota
1857: Organized gambling prohibited by state constitution.
1945: First bingo law permits charitable organizations to conduct bingo.
1978: Additional games (tipboards, paddlewheels, and raffles) legalized for purposes of
1981: Pull-tabs legalized for charitable gambling.
1987: California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
1988: State lottery approved.
1988: Indian Gaming Regulatory Act becomes law.
1989: State and tribal governments begin negotiation of compacts pursuant to IGRA.
1990: State lottery begins.
1991: Video gambling, blackjack compacts completed with tribal governments.
1992: 17 tribal casinos operating in Minnesota.
1992-97: Expansions of gambling rejected. (Minnesota Family Council, 2004)
“In Minnesota, the Constitution originally outlawed all organized gambling inside its borders. The state, however, has steadily liberalized its stance on gambling, first by legalizing bingo for charities in 1945, and then by allowing gambling in bars in 1978.” (Minnesota Family Council, 2004)
Minnesota runs its own lottery. The state approved a state lottery in 1988 and began operations in 1990. By 1992, the lottery generated over $110 million in revenue for the state. (Minnesota State Lottery Bulletin, 1993)
Indian casino gambling is the largest type of gambling in Minnesota. State government has no effect on the Indian casinos. Tribes earned their rights with federal law changes.
“In a recent survey administered by the Minnesota Office of Senate Counsel and Research, municipalities surrounding Indian casinos responded to questions regarding their perception of changes since the introduction of casino gambling. (McCormack and Reed, MN: Senate Council and Research, January 9, 1997)
In the same survey, the responding cities were divided in their perceived impact of casinos:
- 26.5 percent of the precincts reported higher crime rates (versus 1.5 percent reporting lower crime rates)
- 36.8 percent reported increased traffic congestion (versus 1.5 percent reporting less traffic)
- 37.5 percent reported more problem gambling (versus 1.5 percent reporting less problem gambling) (Minnesota Family Council: Legalized Gambling, 2004)
Addicted gamblers will bet until nothing is left: savings, family assets, and personal belongings-anything of value that may be pawned, sold, or borrowed against. They will borrow from co-workers, credit unions, family, and friends, but they will not admit this money is for gambling.
“They may take personal loans and possibly drive themselves into bankruptcy. A good example of this is that in the past two years since gambling began in South Dakota, the state has experienced significant increases in chapter seven bankruptcies, and small claims filings.”(Harvey, Chim. 2004)
“Personal debt is by far not the only problem for addicted gamblers. In the same two years that bankruptcy increased in South Dakota, the number of divorces increased nearly six percent, a jump of nearly 500 percent over the 1 percent yearly increase in the three years preceding the introduction of about 80 casinos in the small town of Deadwood, and of thousands of electronic gambling machines throughout the state.” (McCormack and Reed, MN: Senate Council and Research, January 9, 1997)
“Gambling often leads to other destructive behavior. Addicted gamblers have a much higher rate of auto accidents. On average, compulsive gamblers have suicide rates that are five to ten times higher than the rest of the population. Many problem gamblers have driven themselves so far into debt that they do not have any auto insurance to pay for the damage that they have done. Child abuse and neglect are high among the crimes that compulsive gamblers commit. While parents are in the casinos, their children are in the car parked outside. Most of the gamblers become alcoholic by trying to ease the pain.” (Collected Suicide News, 2004)
There are many economic costs of compulsive gamblers as well. By combining costs produced by problem gamblers such as fraud, embezzlement, unpaid debts,
bankruptcies, and increases in criminal justice expenses, large sums of money are found to be the cost of legalized gambling. In fact, some figures estimated to be between twenty and thirty thousand dollars for each gambler, with some estimates that go as high as 52 thousand. “These figures when multiplied by the number of problem gamblers in a large state such as California, the total jumps to nearly 900 million dollars.” (Findlay, 1982, p.202)
It is a fact that the economic status of a gambler, usually determines the psychological meaning of gaming for him or her. "The higher one's income, the more one will tend to see gambling as entertainment or as a way to socialize with other people. Conversely, the lower one's income, the more gambling tends to be seen as an investment"(Findlay, 1982, p.202)
With the poor who cannot afford such investments as the stock market or real estate, gambling is meant to be less as play and more as a sincere chance to transform their lives for the better. While the poor do not spend much more gambling than middle income families, they do spend a much higher percentage of their income.
Casinos increase the gambling addiction in women and young people in the town. At this time gambling is called "the fastest-growing teenage addiction, with the rate of pathological gambling among high-school and college-age youth about twice that of adults." (Lesieur and Anderson, 2004)
“In Atlantic City, the lure of gambling is so strong that over thirty thousand underage people are either thrown out, or stopped from entering the casino.”(Vogel, 1997)
Years ago counseling cost for gambling addiction was low compared to today. This was because relatively few states allotted much money for the treatment of them. With gambling addiction, cost of treatment increased too. Most health insurance companies sees gambling as a moral problem and do not pay for treatment.
“After thorough examination of the gambling industry, we find that it is not in the best interest of anyone for numerous reasons. For starters, it is not good for the individual because the legalization of gambling is closely related with the increase of many compulsive gamblers. It is also unfavorable for the individual, because it will lead a person who would never commit a crime on their own, to steal to finance their habit.”(Orbitz, 1984)
Gambling also ruins the family life. Many gamblers are alcoholics and beat their spouse and neglect or abuse their children. The community where the casino located is hurt. The community expects money which comes from the casino and tourism. But the casino creates gamblers from the town population. The majority of gamblers come from the town. Money which is suppose to be spent in local stores goes to the Casino.
The state and local governments are losing and will be losing on this. Compulsive gamblers cost big amounts of money for governments.
It is probably put best in the quote "once gambling starts, it does not slow down and there can be no standing in its place for those who would stop it's spread"(McGraw and Hill, 1970, p. 117)
Anderson, Kerby. "Gambling" htttp://
Barker, Thomas and Britz, Marjie. "Joker Wild: Legalized Gambling in the Twenty First
Century" Wesport, CT. Praeger 2000
Collected Suicide News: htttp://www.casinowatch.org
Donovan, Hedley. The Gamblers, Alexandria: Lifetime Books 1978
Facts About Gambling Expansion, htttp://www.ncalg.org
. “People of chance: gambling in American society from Jamestown to Las Vegas”, New York, Oxford University Press 1986
Harvey, Chim. The Case Against Legalized Gambling, htttp://www.ncalg.org
John M. Findlay. ”People of Chance” New York: Oxford U. Press, 1986, p. 202
Joseph P. Shapiro, "America’s Gambling Fever," U.S. News and World Report (15
Kindt, John Warren. "Gambling Facts and Stats" PBS Channel htttp://www.pbs.org
McCormack, Patrick J. and Giovanna Reed. Opinions of Cities and Counties on the Impact of Gambling Casinos on their Communities. St. Paul, MN: Senate Council and
State Legislative Magazine, April 1986, p. 29.
McGraw-Hill, Economics. New York; Maidenhead: 1970
Minnesota Family Council: Legalized Gambling http://www.mfc.org
Minnesota State Lottery Bulletin, 1993
National Coalition Against the Legalized Gambling: , Carl L. grinds
National Coalition Against the Legalized Gambling: http://www.ncalg.org
National Coalition Against the Legalized Gambling: , Henry
Lesieur and Christopher Anderson.
Official the USA Lottery Website: http://www.usalotteries.com
Orbitz, Darwin. Gambling Scams, New York: Dodd Mead Company 1984
. “”I Want to Quit Winners”, Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Prentice-Hall 1961
Vogel, Jennifer. "Crapped Out: How Gambling Ruins the Economy and Destroys Lives”
Monroe, Maine, Common Courage Press 1997
Von Hermann, Denise. "The Big Gamble: the Politics of Lottery and Casino Expansion"
Westport, CT. Praeger 2002