Gambling Addiction

Read Complete Research Material


Gambling Addiction

Gambling Addiction


Gambling has become a major recreational activity in the United States. In the past, legalized gambling was confined to a few states, such as Nevada and New Jersey, but in the past two decades gambling opportunities have expanded. Some form of legalized gambling exists now in all but two states; 37 have lotteries, and 27 have casino gambling. (Tavares, 2008) showed that nearly 90% of the adult population participates in some form of legalized gambling, especially instant lottery games, slot machines, office pools, and card games. In the 33 years from 1974 to 2007, gambling expenditures more than doubled as a percentage of personal income (Potenza, 2007).

Types of Gambling

Lotteries, the most widespread form of gambling in the United States, have been established in thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia, and more states are poised to follow (Pallanti, 2006). All of the state lotteries fall into one of three basic categories:

Instant games. A paper ticket displays geometric shapes coated with a material that can be scratched off. The buyer scratches off a certain number of spaces to reveal whether it is a winning or losing ticket.

Daily numbers games. For both of the following types of daily numbers games, winning numbers are drawn frequently, up to several times each hour. (1) Lotto: On the game card, the player specifies the three- or four-digit number s/he has chosen; (2) Video keno: Each player chooses a few numbers out of a larger group of available numbers.

Electronic gambling devices (EGDs). This classification covers complex gaming apparatus, such as slot and video poker machines. The existence of individuals who become obsessed with playing with these machines justifies the labeling of EGDs as the “crack cocaine of gambling” (Grant, 2006).

With this recent history, the rapid evolution of legalized gambling in the 1980s and 1990s into a nationwide, mainstream business, with $50 billion in annual gross revenues is somewhat surprising. Part of the explanation stems from the introduction of computerized technology into the gambling business (Cunningham, 2007). The advent of innovative software and computers facilitated government regulation and greatly reduced the possibility of fraud, suspicious bookkeeping methods, and other dishonest activities (Pallanti, 2006). In addition, entrepreneurs and state government officials who had foresight understood that legalized gambling could be extremely profitable to the private sector, which would in turn provide a steady source of tax revenues. Among the entrepreneurs was a group of Native Americans who brought gambling to their reservations in the 1980s. They intended to use this enterprise to offset federal funding reductions, but more important, they wanted to help their community raise itself out of its abject poverty (Blasczcynski, 2008).

Their plan was to hire Native Americans to construct gambling venues and then hire Native American staff to run the completed gambling sites. Completed casinos would draw non-Native Americans and their discretionary capital onto the reservation.

The self-improvement efforts of the Native American community, however, are not the only results of legalized gambling. Where legal gambling is widely accessible and available, some ...
Related Ads