The industry of fools

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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The gambling industry of the United States has grown at a spectacular rate since the 1980's. Billions of dollars are spent on various forms of gambling each year from the $1 lottery ticket at the gas station, to the roulette wheel on the strip in Las Vegas. With this enormous growth has come a debate on whether gambling is a good public policy or an addictive, dangerous sport. I feel that gambling in America creates lower productivity, disrupts family lives, creates burdensome debts, and involvement in crime on many different levels.

Gambling is defined as "anything that puts at risk something of value on events whose outcome is uncertain". According to the American Gaming Industry, on average Americans wager $48 billion dollars on the gambling industry each year. Over eighty-five percent of this wagering took place in casinos that are now legal in twenty-seven states compared to twenty years ago when if a person wanted to gamble they had to go to Nevada.

Proponents of the gambling industry feel that this growth is a good thing and that it is helping the national economy. Also, defenders of the gaming industry insist that gambling is good clean fun, and that since so many people are enjoying this form of entertainment it can not be wrong. Furthermore, proponents are quick to point out that fun is not the only issue; in addition, these new casinos have created thousands of jobs. Not only have casinos created new jobs, but there has been an increase in tax revenue for the cities that have casinos. Indeed, the increase in tax revenues has helped to rebuild some rundown inner cities and river fronts areas. These people argue there is little reason to worry about gambling as most people will only lose a small amount of money...