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Did you know that 40% of all problem gamblers started gambling before they were seventeen? Or that problem gambling causes the most suicides out of all the recognized addictions? Even with these facts, the most startling truth is that not one federal dollar, out of the billions collected in gambling taxes, has been spent to treat or help problem gamblers. Gambling is the activity or practice of playing at a game of chance for money or other stakes. Activities that are considered gambling are sports and race bets, lotteries, games like blackjack and poker, and casino games like slots and roulette. Bingo and raffles are technically gambling, but there are no major concerns about them, so they are not included here. Gambling has been legalized by many states, but just because it is does not make it right. Even though gambling is legal, it should not be because of its harmful economic, governmental, and social effects.
There are many detrimental economic effects of gambling, but there are two major ones: it siphons money from other industries, and states attempt to use lotteries to boost income. Gambling takes money from consumers that would otherwise be spent in an important industry or charity. Instead, it is essentially thrown away in hopes of getting rich quick. The removal of money from other industries often causes businesses to go bankrupt, therefore creating more unemployed people. You could argue that casinos create jobs, but those jobs do not make enough money to really support a family. The other economic problem that gambling creates is the use of lotteries. States typically use lotteries to make more money, but it is nowhere near as effective as other methods that are in use. The state makes 40% of the money that is put into lotteries, while they make 99% of the money that goes into taxes.