Legalized Gambling Would Decrease the Crime Rate

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Many factors have influenced the rising crime rate, some being, increasing use of drugs, increasing population, and decreasing morals. America must find ways to decrease the crime rate legally. One question often going hand in hand with decreasing crime rate is would legalized gambling decrease the crime rate?

During the late 1980's and early 1990's slow economic growth, cuts in federal funding, and growing public needs forced state and local governments to seek additional sources of revenue. Most states turned to lotteries, horse and dog racing, and most recently a growing number of states have resorted to casino gambling as a painless way to raise money. Case studies show that legal casino gaming can increase tourism, employment,
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As cardrooms and gambling facilities have grown nationwide, the issue has divided many communities. Concern has reached Washington, D.C., where the House Of Representatives have passed a bill to establish a two-year commission to study the economic impact of gambling (Correa 2). There are many arguments for and against this. The National Coalition against Legalized Gambling, or NCALG has published a table, The Case against Legalized Gambling. An argument made by the NCALG is that gambling depresses legitimate business, siphoning off money from the regular business community (NCALG). If this were true, then places like Las Vegas where the main revenue is gambling would not exist. The main source of revenue in Las Vegas is gambling. 87% of people who visited Las Vegas in 1996 gambled (PBS 2). The revenue brought in by legalized gambling can be put towards education, welfare, social security and public funds. Last year, for example, the Commonwealth of Virginia generated $331 million in state lottery revenues and earmarked it for education (Kaye 2).

An argument believed by many, as well as the NCALG, is that gambling increases welfare costs (Thompson 56). In actuality an effective gambling tax would generate money for public welfare. Nevada brings in $500 million alone through gambling revenue, which accounts for 42% of the states total

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