The Case Against Legalized Gambling Essay

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The gambling industry is a big money maker in America. Gambling institutions exist in many states. These institutions consist of riverboat casinos, Indian reservation casinos, and regular gaming casinos that all accumulate millions of dollars to the state through taxes. This tax money is then used throughout the state for many programs that may include education, health, and road maintenance. The American Gaming Association (AGA) even claims that gambling institutions lower the taxes in many areas because of the large tax money they give the government (CQ 784). But does the gambling industry only help and build the economy and attract money from the public? Perhaps the gambling industry increases more than just government funds. Is it …show more content…
The issues of crime and compulsive gambling go hand in hand. It is not just an issue that could exist, but indeed it does exist. In Maryland alone in 1990, there were at least 50,000 compulsive gamblers (CQ 782). Doctor Valerie C. Lorenz, Executive Director of the Compulsive Gambling Center, has done several studies on compulsive gambling, and has given several statistics which show how compulsive gambling is closely related to crime. Her studies show that 99 percent of compulsive gamblers commit crimes, 25 percent end up in the legal system for bad checks, forgery, fraud, embezzlement from job, theft, bank robbery, selling drugs, street crime, and prostitution etc..., and 100 percent of compulsive gamblers become physically abusive, especially towards children (Kindt).

These facts clearly show that compulsive gamblers suffer legal and financial problems which drive them to commit crimes. The American Gaming Industry disagrees with the idea that there are a significant number of compulsive gamblers. They believe that the vast majority of Americans are social gamblers who can participate in gambling activities without harmful effects (CQ 784). This statement may be true. Doctor Lorenz did indeed state that only 1-1/2 to 3 percent of the population in a state with two or more forms of legalized gambling will become compulsive gamblers, but as was already stated above there are 50,000 compulsive gamblers in Maryland (http). That high number of
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