The Cons of Government-Led Casinos

In an impossible to satisfy an arduous search for more and more tax revenue, the majority of state governments have become the chief partners of big gamblers. The end result from all across the country over the past three decades has been an immense development of government-sanctioned gambling, with little to virtually non-existent public input. Take a moment out of the day to become more educated regarding some of the facts about the constant growing alliance between the government and gambling as well as the effects it has on today’s society.

Across the entire country, more governments of the state have started the notion of legalizing gambling on state and national lotteries, as well as in casinos without much thought in terms of what negative impact it might have. It was only thirty years ago when only a select few states even had a lottery, and casinos were not as spread around the country as seen today. Casinos were primarily found in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Fast forward to today, and forty-three of the fifty states participate in a lottery while hundreds of casinos are spanned across twenty-eight states.

The government-led expansion of gambling has brought about tens of billions of dollars being spent each year on the very industry that has assembled very little winners in comparison to winners. On average, Americans lost over $91 billion on every form of gambling in the year 2006. An increased amount of money was spent on gambling alone when compared to the music industry, entertainment parks, video games, and several other industries combined.

States regularly proclaim the amount of revenue that originates from lottery sales but the overall sales number is relatively small. Approximately, lottery profits only supply about two percent to the entirety of a state’s budget.

States often distribute proceeds earned from the lottery to popular and underfunded programs such as education but the overall benefit is often misleading to the public. This is because lottery funds meant for education generally means less tax dollars for schools. In Texas, the lottery profits covers around three days worth of funding for educational programs.

Officials elected into office repeatedly avoid acknowledging and deemphasize the fact that gambling negatively effects poor and working-class residents, minimizing what very little savings or income they have. Gamblers with annual incomes less than $10,000 are nearly three times as likely to spend much of it on lotteries compared to those with incomes above that mark.

Governments overlook and give little weight to the social costs that are subsequent to casinos to wherever the governments go. There was an increase in the amount of robberies, assaults, thefts and other crimes by at least ten percent where casinos were erected.

An overwhelming number of 1.5 million people became criminals from the 1994 to 1997 era as a direct parallel to their states’ government-sponsored gambling. The cost of the rise in crime varied from $12 billion to $15 billion.

In whichever state that the government legalized gambling, the bankruptcies of personal accounts increased. As a matter of fact, bankruptcy rates increased on an overall average of 100 percent in counties that had recently legalized casinos. The existence of a gambling facility within 50 miles doubled the popularity of problem and pathological gamblers.

Twenty-one percent of the residents in a Minnesota-led study filed for bankruptcy, while over 90 percent said money was borrowed from banks or credit cards to manage gambling habits.

Government’s consistently publicize the tax revenue that comes from gambling, but decline to make note of the extensive loss in the states’ economic productivity. Pathological and problem gamblers in the United States cost the tax payer about $5 billion a year in losses, social services programs and creditor losses.

Gambling breeds more addicts, studies have shown. Pathological gambling is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a legitimate medical disorder and has components of addiction similar to that of someone who is addicted to alcohol and drugs. Out of the 125 million Americans who gamble once a year on average, approximately 7.5 million have some embodiment of a problem, and an additional 15 million are labeled as “at risk” of establishing a gambling problem.

Four casinos that were slated to open in Ohio were expected to establish over one hundred thousand problem and pathological gamblers, some with an extreme amount of social costs of and estimated $1 billion.

30% of residents in Maryland have a gambling problem and that number is more than likely to rise since slot machines were recently popularized there in late 2010. Those that were most at risk for increasing their chances of developing gambling addictions were single men between ages 18 and 29, African American or Latino, with very little education and income than the average population.

To conclude, the government and the actions of those in government offices have proven that intermixing with the casino industry is a less than appealing idea.

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