Effects Of Gambling Essay Research Paper Gambling Essay

Effects Of Gambling Essay, Research

Gambling is
prominent in today’s society. This can be seen especially through
politics. Everywhere voters are electing people to office who are pro
gambling. William Thompson of the University of Nevada (1994)
describes politicians by stating, “It’s part of the American
landscape, they’ll trade morality for dollars” (1). In North and
South Carolina, for example, the last governor election showed that
the people were for legal gambling by voting in governors who wanted
a lottery. Now in the U.S., 47 states including the District of
Columbia have legalized gambling. This increase in gambling is argued
to be good for the economy, but there is further proof that it not
only hurts the economy but society as well.

Gambling has
become outrageous. In England last year a bookmaking firm called
William Hill of London offered bets on the end of the world. Some of
these bets include civilization destroyed by mass suicide at 100
million to one odds, destruction by aliens at 500,000 to one odds,
and worldwide floods at 100,000 to one odds. One man put a pound on
6,666,666 to one odds that the world would end at six p.m. on the
sixth day of the sixth month of 1999. Another man bet at one million
to one odds that the world would end on August 11, 1999 at 12:50 p.m.
(ironically that happens to be Jerry Springer”s time slot on many
stations) (Playboy 20).

Super Bowl bets
in Las Vegas were also astounding this past year according to Time
magazine. People bet on things like a completed first pass-attempt by
John Elway, the jersey number of the first person to score, the team
to score the longest touchdown, and the total number of fumbles by
both teams. (18)

The NCAA men’s
basketball tournament brought in millions of dollars this past season
through gambling. Approximately 80 million was wagered with Nevada
bookmakers. This was the first time that the tournament had more bets
than the 78 million bet on the Super Bowl. Aside from the legal
betting, the FBI estimated that 2.5 million was wagered illegally on
the tournament.

Many college
students/athletes are now getting involved in this sort of gambling.
A 1996 study completed by the University of Cincinnati surveyed 2,000
male student-athletes about NCAA rule violations and found that 25%
gambled on college events other than their own. Also, 4% admitted to
wagering on their own games, and 3% changed the outcome of a game in
which they participated (Saum 2). In 1998, a study at a University in
the Southeast Conference involving 1000 students showed that athletes
were nearly twice as likely to become problem gamblers than
non-athletes. Another study was conducted by surveying 1,700 students
from six different colleges and universities. It found that 33% of
males and 15% of females in college gamble at least once a week.

College student
gamblers tend to be people who believe they have control of their own
destiny, take risks, and feel they ha the skill to be successful in
whatever they do. Many college athletes have these same
characteristics which could be one of the reasons they gamble.

Many cases of
college athletes loosing eligibility over gambling exist. One in
particular was at a Division I university where student athletes lost
20-30% of playing time in a season over betting on professional football
and basketball games. In another case at a Division III School,
baseball players placed bets using parlay cards and were withheld
from playing half of their season.

Sports wagering
has become very popular and has grown immensely. One reason is that
more games are televised. People like to bet on games they can watch.
Another reason is that many residence halls are wired to the
Internet. Through the Internet, people can place bets on any event at
any time. Most like this easy access. Also, many students have access
to credit cards. In a survey of students who applied for a loan, it
was found that 65% have credit cards and 20% have four or more credit
cards. The average balance for these cards is 2,200 dollars.

The NCAA is
coming up with solutions to the problem of student and illegal
wagering on games. One is to build relationships with law-enforcement
officers, professional sports leagues, government officials, and game
regulating bodies. The NCAA is also conducting investigations related
to violations of NCAA rules. Minnesota University even had Dion Lee
and Kevin Pendargast, former NCAA students convicted of illegal
wagering, to speak to the student-athletes to try to convince the
students of how wrong and harmful gambling can be.

Lotteries are
another problem type of gambling. Lotteries were created and are now
used to raise revenues without having to raise taxes, but instead
they displace funds that would have been raised in some other way.
For example, a state votes in a lottery to provide more money for
schools, but the money is not added to that which is already spent on
schools, the lottery money just replaces it. The former school money
is used somewhere else.

The Georgia
lottery can be considered an exception because it awards good
academic students college scholarships. This isn’t a totally good
thing though. The lottery tickets in poor areas than in upper class
neighborhoods. Georgia uses its lottery revenues to give out HOPE
scholarships (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally). But most of
the students who receive this scholarship are from families who have
an average income of $13,000 higher than the state average. So in
essence, the poor pay for the wealthier students to go to college.

What kind of
person plays the lottery? One study found that those with no high
school diploma spent twice as much on the lottery per month than
college graduates. Policy Studies Journal included that people with a
low income (less than 10,000) spend eight times more on the lottery
than those with high income (70,000 or over) (245-57). Assume for a
moment that everyone who played the lottery was a casual player and
spent the average amount of 74 dollars a year on tickets. If this
were so then the sales for 1997 would have dropped from 36 billion to
7.4 billion.

Further, states
with lotteries tend to have more crime than those states without
according to The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
Property offenses per 100,000 population increases by 112.7% when a
state operates a lottery. Since 1987, there has been an increase of
an additional 5,478 property offenses in each state in every year
that a lottery is operated (7-19).

Because of the
easy access to lotteries and the Internet, children in America are
now starting to gamble. The National Impact Study Commission provided
a study reporting that the percentage of sixteen to seventeen year
olds who are at risk of becoming pathological gamblers is twice that
of adults. Children as young as eleven are gambling among themselves
and picking up lottery tickets at the local convenience stores.
Twelve to seventeen million juveniles in the U.S. have gambled for
money, and as many as two million have experienced serious
gambling-related problems. In 1970, the Mayo Clinic treated
pathological gamblers between the ages of 30-35, but in 1990 it was
17-70 (Clarke 29).

gamblers are a big problem. 2% of the U.S. population are compulsive
while 3% are problem gamblers. 60% of these people planned how they
would commit suicide and 20% attempted suicide. 99% of compulsive
gamblers commit crimes, and 100% of compulsive gamblers become
physically abusive, especially towards children. In 1992, there were
706 chapters of Gamblers Anonymous, but now in 1999 there are 1,340
chapters (National Coalition against Legalized Gambling 1).

There are three
the main reasons for the increasing problem of
compulsive/problem/pathological gamblers. One is that the social
attitudes towards gambling have changed form being negative to
positive. Another reason is that gambling is accessible to everyone
not only through existing legalized forms, but also through the
Internet. The last reason for excessive gambling is that the number
of people living in emotionally and financially stressed families is

One main issue,
and probably the one most talked about, is the effects of gambling on
the economy. Right now, Americans are spending more on various types
of gambling than on theme parks, video games, spectator sports, and
movie tickets combined. As Donald Trump put it, “ People will spend
a tremendous amount of money in casinos, money that they would
normally spend on buying a new refrigerator or a new car. Local
businesses will suffer because they’ll lose customer dollars to the
casinos.” (qt. In National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling 5)
This could be applied to lotteries, bets, and other forms of

For every dollar
the state receives in gambling revenues, it pays nearly three dollars
because of economic and social costs of gambling such as an increase
in criminal justice and social welfare. Each problem gambler costs
the government and private economy at least 13,200 dollars a year.
Expanding gambling would be more costly than an additional hurricane
Andrew every year (32 billion dollars in damage). Most pro-gambling
people say that legalized gambling helps the economy, but overall
they are wrong. For example Utah, a state with no legalized gambling
has the healthiest growing economy in the nation. Also, businesses
prefer locating in gambling-free states because there are lower taxes
and there are better community and business environments.

To help the
tremendous gambling problem in the U. S, the Gambling Impact Study
Commission has already issued recommendations to congress. Some
include a ban on wagering on college and amateur events, a ban on
Internet gambling, and a ban on credit-card cash-advance machines in
gambling parlors. The commission suggest raising the legal age for
wagering to twenty-one, and taxing gambling revenues to pay for
programs to treat problem gamblers. They also want restrictions on
political contributions for people operating or planning to operate
gambling facilities.

The commission
(1999) looks down on existing research on gambling calling it “flawed
by insufficient data, poor or underdeveloped methodology, or
researchers’ biases” (27). They also scorned at the attachment of
money figures to some of the social problems caused by pathological
gamblers saying, “ How can one calculate the ‘cost’ of the two
children that died while locked in cars as their parents or
caretakers gambled in casinos nearby?” (27).

People who
support gambling do not have enough evidence to prove that it is good
compared to all the problems that come along. Many of these problems
can be solved if all gambling was banned. One day the country might
realize how bad it is hurting itself.

Clarke, Kevin.
“We’re gambling with the Future.” U. S. Catholic

July 1999: 29

“Gambling on
the Future.” The Economist 26 Jan. 1999: 27.

Herring, Mary
and Bledsoe, Timothy. “A Model of Lottery

Demographics, context, and attitudes.”

Mikesell, John
and Maween A. Pirog-Goal. “State Lotteries and

Crime.” The
American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Jan. 1990: 7-19

“Odds and
Ends”. Playboy August 1999: 20

Saum, William S.
“Sports Gambling In College: Cracking Down on

Betting.” USA Today July 1999: 62

Policy Studies
Journal 22 Summer: 245-257.

“Super Bowl
roll XXXII.” Time 26 Jan. 1998: 18.

The National
Coalition against Legalized Gambling The Case

Legalized Gambling 1999 http://www.ncalg.org/pages/case.html

“You Bet.”
Industry Week 5 Jan. 1998: 66.


Clarke, Kevin.
“We’re gambling with the Future.” U. S. Catholic

July 1999: 29

Catherine. “Legal Gambling May be a Bad Bet.” Insight

on the News 31
May 1999: 18

“Gambling on
the Future.” The Economist 26 Jan. 1999: 27 Herring, Mary and
Timothy Bledsoe. “A Model of Lottery

Demographics, context, and attitudes.”

Policy Studies
Journal 22 Summer: 245-257

“Odds and
Ends”. Playboy August 1999: 20

Mikesell, John
and Maween A. Pirog-Goal. “State Lotteries and

Crime.” The
American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Jan. 1990: 7-19

Suam, William S.
“Sports Gambling In College: Cracking Down on

Betting.” USA Today July 1999: 62

“Super Bowl
roll XXXII.” Time 26 Jan. 1998: 18

The National
Coalition against Legalized Gambling The Case

Legalized Gambling 1999 http://www.ncalg.org/pages/case.html

“You Bet”.
Industry Week 5 Jan. 1998: 66

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