Gambling in America

March 7, 2003 • Volume 13, Issue 9
Does it raise revenue at the expense of the poor?
By Patrick Marshall

Introduction

Video slot machines like these at the Pala Casino on the Pala Indian Reservation in San Diego County offer hope to cash-poor states. California is proposing to allow Indian tribes to expand casino operations in exchange for a new tax on revenues. And several states are considering either legalizing or expanding slot machines at racetracks.  (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Video slot machines like these at the Pala Casino on the Pala Indian Reservation in San Diego County offer hope to cash-poor states. California is proposing to allow Indian tribes to expand casino operations in exchange for a new tax on revenues. And several states are considering either legalizing or expanding slot machines at racetracks. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

More Americans than ever are gambling — and losing billions in the process. State-run lotteries, casinos and other legal gambling operations took more than $63 billion from bettors in 2001. Billions more are lost at more than 1,800 gambling sites on the Internet, which the Justice Department considers illegal. Supporters say legal gambling creates thousands of jobs and helps states raise money for education and other social needs. But critics say government should not be encouraging citizens to gamble. What's more, they claim state-run lotteries intentionally target poorer citizens in an attempt to increase revenues. Critics also worry that the accessibility of lotteries and other forms of so-called convenience gambling will increase the number of pathological and problem gamblers.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Gambling and Lotteries
Oct. 28, 2016  Betting on Sports
Jun. 15, 2012  Gambling in America
Mar. 07, 2003  Gambling in America
Sep. 06, 1996  Gambling Under Attack
Mar. 18, 1994  Gambling Boom
Nov. 09, 1990  Lucrative Lure of Lotteries and Gambling
Feb. 27, 1987  State Lotteries
Sep. 28, 1979  Gambling's New Respectability
Mar. 08, 1972  Gambling in America
May 25, 1960  Betting: Legal and Illegal
Dec. 14, 1951  Gambling Controls
May 21, 1942  Government Lotteries
May 04, 1934  Lotteries for Public Revenue
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Economic Development
Mental Health
Welfare and Welfare Reform