Gambling Introduction The National Gambling Impact Study Commission (NGISC) warned that gambling is growing so fast that it may be surpassing the ability of federal and state authorities to control it. (from CQ researcher) State-run lotteries, casinos and other legal gambling operations took more than $63 billion from bettors in 2001. (CQ researcher)
Lottery – Some General Information • In 1973, just seven states had lotteries, with total revenues of $2 billion; by 2001, they were operating in 38 states and the District of Columbia, generating more than $17 billion. (CQ researcher) • The national gambling panel found that annual per-capita spending on lottery tickets jumped from $35 in 1973 to $150 in 1997; it was $123 in 2002. (CQ researcher)
Lottery – Positive Effects • State sponsored lotteries are a good way for local governments to raise revenue • Lotteries are often easier to “sell” to the public than a raise in taxes • Mark Zamarippa, director of the Colorado state lottery, stated that local lotteries helped the state raise “over $1.3 billion for the causes that we have here in Colorado” (CQ researcher) • These lotteries will also provide funding for state sponsored recreation and leisure service providers – The state of Colorado and Minnesota allot some of the lottery money to the Parks and Recreation and Environment and Natural Resource divisions.
Lottery – Positive Effects • State sponsored lotteries help to provide money for education • Here in TN, we have the HOPE Lottery scholarship, which gives up to $3,800 per year for a four year institution. • In the future, state sponsored lotteries will continue to allow students of lower socio-economic statuses to attend a college university and receive an education. • Although the lottery endorses a “taboo” form of recreation, the positive aspects of increase in education outweigh the negative; it will create more educated people in our world.
Lottery – Positive Effects • Frank Fahrenkopf, President of the American Gaming Association, even stated that “The National Gambling Impact Study Commission, which was made up of a bunch of people opposed to gambling, made very clear that [the lottery] doesn't increase crime.” (CQ researcher)
Lottery – Negative Effects • The Lottery targets the middle and lower classes. • It drains most if not all of their disposable income, sometimes even more than the family can afford. • The Lottery doesn’t contribute much to education – According to David Gale, executive director of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, “What happens is, the legislature budgets this much for education. They see the lottery will contribute this much. So they take the money they would have spent on education and put it to other uses.” • The Lottery hurts the economy because when people spend more than they can afford on the lottery they go bankrupt. • A study by the National Institute of Mental Health concluded 4.2 million Americans are addicted to gambling, 60 percent of whom have yearly incomes under $25,000.
Lottery – Negative Effects • Impacts on Recreation and Leisure: • The lottery separates economic levels • This along with government budget cuts could impact recreation and leisure services. • States with lotteries for the most part have higher bankruptcy rates. • Future Impacts on Recreation and Leisure: • Money that could go to zoo’s or parks never make it. • Billions of dollars a year go to the lottery, most of which is dispensable money, money that could be used in recreation and leisure services. • Money that used to go to recreation leagues goes to the lottery.
Lottery – Negative Effects • Possible Solutions to the Problem: • Eliminate the lottery altogether • There should be a limit to how many tickets someone can purchase per week • This would help keep money in the family’s dispensable income
Casinos – Some General Information • Casino gambling expenditures increased by 4.4%, from $472 million to $493 million from 2005-2006, a number which continues to rise (Dept. of Internal Affairs)
Casinos – Positive Effects • Gaming clubs contribute funds upwards of $250 million to their local communities • Casinos allow property taxes to be cut for local residents • Casinos fund local services such as fire protection, public sewer systems, civic buildings, levees, and giving further support to local parks and recreation groups.
Casinos – Positive Effects • A single casino may employ up to 2,100 people – recreation and leisure service providers have more jobs. • In counties hosting casinos, injuries due to crime are lower than the state average. This also applies to surrounding counties.
Casinos – Negative Effects • Social Problems: • Crime • Prostitution • Family strife • alcoholism In a survey of 400 Gambler’s Anonymous members, 57% admitted stealing to finance their gambling addiction, averaging $135,000 per individual. (from the “National Gambling Impact Study Commission Report,” June 18, 1999 )
Casinos – Negative Effects • Impacts on Society: • Increase in bankruptcy • Children are not receiving a higher education • Pathological gambler problems 5.4%(over 150,000) of Iowa citizens are considered pathological or problem gamblers as of 2006.
Discussion Questions • Do you think state sponsored lotteries are a good way to raise revenue for education and other government services? • Why is the lottery necessary? Why can’t we get rid of the lottery altogether? • Do you feel Nashville is a good city as it is, or could it be made better with a casino? • What type of environment do you picture when someone mentions a casino?