Gambling in America: Is Legalized Gambling in America the Right Choice?

Topics: Casino, Gambling, Lottery Pages: 8 (2856 words) Published: May 1, 2008
Recently, a new, debatable topic has hit Americans in a swift manner. Should gambling be legalized in their respective states? As you may already know, gambling is the act of risking something of value for a potential chance of profit. “Not that long ago, Americans held gambling in the same esteem as heroin dealing” (Popkin & Hetter 17). Today, however, people see gambling not as bad as it used to be. In fact, according to a Harrah’s survey, thirty two percent of all households in the United States gambled at a casino in 1996 (Calvert 2). However large this number may seem, there are still a tremendous amount that do not gamble and feel that it should not be legalized in any way, shape or form. Proponents believe that gambling benefits the economy because the tax reduction it brings along with an increase of jobs available to the people. They also believe that it benefits society as a result of the facilities it builds and finances through tax money. Opponents believe that it is a deterrent to society because of the increase in crime and the type of people that gambling brings into communities. They also believe it harms society because of the growing addiction towards gambling and that it ruins lives. After thorough research, the economical, societal, and personal benefits derived from gambling, such as tax reductions, more and better schools for children, and more wealth distributed across the population, are solid grounds for legalizing gambling across America.

Gambling has a strong impact on economy. It is the fastest growing entrepreneurial way that governments can reduce taxes in their town, city, or state. In fact, two hundred billion dollars are made each year from the gambling industry nationwide (Sylvester 110). Americans view gambling as an accepted pastime in society and because of it, government is able to create a substantial increase in profits. In 1993, during casino’s first fiscal period, four hundred twenty eight million dollars in revenue statewide was made and was expected to jump to one billion the following fiscal year (Solomon 130-1). With the addition of casinos to states nationwide, tourism would also increase significantly. Since society views gambling as an accepted form of entertainment, people would go to casinos with a passion to have a good time while also adding excitement to their lives. With this added tourism comes the emergence of hotels in the regions where casinos were built. People staying overnight at hotels also increases the amount of tax dollars made by the state. Secondly, the numerous jobs available to the people that casinos bring help the economy. It can be seen with your very own eyes how many jobs it can bring into a community. When you enter a casino, there are numerous tables with dealers and leaders along with security and management positions. Aside from the management positions, each table you see is not occupied by the same person each day and night. One person may only work three or four days a week. With a simple math equation you can see how many jobs are made available by the creation of a casino. Say there are fifty tables. Each table has one dealer that works half a day and another fills in for that person for the second half of the day. Also, assume that these people do only work half of the week and another two people work the other half. Three hundred fifty jobs were just created by this situation. Casinos, unlike the fictional one described here, have many more tables and shifts in a day. In Mississippi, the gaming industry represented twenty five to thirty three percent of new jobs created for its population (Solomon 131). Finally, gambling helps economies because of the decrease in welfare seen by each state. This can be seen right away as it provides many jobs as earlier stated. “Communities closest to casinos experienced a 12% to 17% drop in welfare payments, unemployment rates, and unemployment insurance” (Fahrenkopf 3).

Societal benefits can be seen...
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