Economic Effect of Gambling in the US

Gambling is one of the American people’s favorite hobbies, and the topic has amazed me since I read the book Bringing Down the House in 5th grade. On a recent college visit to California, I was surprised to learn that one course available for completing the math requirement was called “The Probability of Gambling”, and was a study of the probability behind various card games, including Texas Hold ’em and blackjack. Gambling is also a popular venue in the media, as can be seen in popular movies such as 21 and Casino Royal. When I was younger, the concept of earning money while playing a game that I enjoyed fascinated me, but as I grew older, I realized the naivety of those beliefs. Casinos wouldn’t offer gambling if patrons were consistently putting the casinos in debt. Now, I am more interested in the effect gambling has had on society, specifically on its economic impacts. I believe that gambling has been beneficial for the US economy in the past and will continue to benefit the economy for years to come, but the stress gambling puts on society has greatly increased problems in communities with high profile gambling industries.

Gambling in the Americas began when the first colonists came from England, and the Virginia Company needed a way to get some profit. They turned to a lottery, which was quite successful, except it was associated with settler’s laziness as well as the economic troubles faced by the colony. The Crown eventually shut down the lottery due to its impact on a royal lottery operated throughout the British Empire. Lotteries were used again by American colonists in an attempt to raise funds for the Revolutionary War without raising taxes. This was extremely successful, and the practice was continued into the 19th century in order to transportation improvements, especially as the Western frontier continued to gain attention and popularity. When gold was discovered in California, gambling became one of the most popular forms of entertainment for miners in the West. However, the economy slid into a recession after the gold rush, leading many people to associate gambling with economic depression. Lotteries were also becoming increasingly corrupt, with organizers fixing the results for a portion of the pot. These circumstances led to nationwide ban on gambling, with the exception being Nevada, where professional gamblers would flock to from across the country to create the foundation for modern day Las Vegas.

The ban on gambling didn’t last long, as the Great Depression forced government leaders to revoke the ban in an attempt to stimulate the faltering economy. Gambling once again grew in popularity, although it only increased the divide between the rich and the poor due to the uneven payoff associated with casino gambling. State lotteries became popular during the Cold War, especially when Reagan became president, because he cut national funding for key aspects of the country such as education and Medicare in order to fund the war against the USSR. Tribal gambling also began to grow in popularity during this time, due to state’s inability to regulate prize money on reservations. Instead of going to state run lotteries or gambling locations, locals and tourists alike would flock to the reservations in the hopes of winning it all, although this rarely ever occurred. These various aspects of gambling have steadily become more popular, with casinos and lotteries providing support for various state economies.

Gambling provides two main benefits to states: casinos bring in tourists while also paying tax to the state for gambling revenues. An influx of tourists means money flows into the state economy without any significant loss of money due to the low odds of winning at casinos. The state gets even more money from gambling because casinos are forced to pay a tax on all revenue earned, with tax revenue almost reaching $1 billion dollars in Nevada. The gambling industry has also created more than 500,000 jobs, lowering unemployment throughout the nation. However, gambling isn’t perfect, and there are other statistics that paint a much more worrisome picture about the industry.

Crime seems to be strongly correlated to gambling, with cities introducing casinos seeing an increase of over 50% in crime rates. This forces states to spend more on the police force, diverting funding away from other projects in an attempt to combat a problem caused by gambling. Organized crime is also a very common issue due to the large amount of cash flowing in and out of casinos each day. Problem gambling also becomes a much larger issue when casinos are present, which in turn leads to a higher crime rate when people need to pay off gambling debt. There are some detrimental aspects of gambling in society, but for the most part, the gambling industry has helped keep the American economy from slumping.

After reviewing the various statistics from my research, I believe that gambling has been beneficial for America. Whenever the country has faced economic hardship, gambling has been promoted or legalized to bolster a weak economy. Not only does it have a positive influence on the economy, but I believe that gambling also benefits the American people. Card games such as poker and blackjack are universal and can help bring people together in social environments. In a few short months, I will be able to legally experience the large attraction gambling has to a large number of Americans. Although there are some harmful side effects of gambling, these are outweighed by the benefit that the industry has displayed throughout history.

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Gambling Problems – 6 Tips To Overcome Them

Gambling problems arises when one tends to crave for more money by excessive gambling. Gambling when overdone leads to bankruptcy and dysfunction of relationships with your loved ones.

Gambling is very addictive and hence unless you are determined to risk it, you might end up in misery. Winning and losing is a part of gambling and it all depends on how much the individual is mentally stable to take the defeats in gambling.

Acknowledging the game of gambling is the first step to solve gambling problems. Gamblers Anonymous has posted the following questions to test you.

1. Did you ever avoid school or work for gambling?

2. Has gambling made your life at home unhappy?

3. Has your reputation been affected by gambling?

4. Has your life been remorse after a game of gambling?

5. Did you choose to gamble and pay your debts?

6. Has gambling brought your ambition and aspirations down?

7. Did you ever wanted to win back all the money you had lost in gambling?

8. Did you have the urge to win more after you tasted some success?

9. Have you ever gambled and emptied your pocket?

10. Did you borrow money and gambled any day?

11. Did you go to the extent of selling things just to gamble?

12. Were you hesitating to use ?gambling money? for your daily expenses?

13. Has gambling made you careless person?

14. Did you want to gamble for more hours than you wanted?

15. Have you ever resorted to gambling to forget your worries?

16. Did you want to commit an illegal act to finance gambling?

17. Have you lost on sleep because of gambling?

18. Does disappointment or argument spur you on to gamble more?

19. Did you want to celebrate success for a few hours after gambling?

20. Have you ever attempted suicide after failure?

A person having gambling problems would say a ‘yes’ to at least seven questions posted above.

These tips given below should help you out off gambling problems, if any:

1. It is advisable to take just the money needed to gamble than taking credit cards and ATM cards along.
2. Do not gamble for a long time.
3. There are always more chances of losing than winning in a game of gambling.
4. Make sure you don’t use the money you won again.
5. When you do not have any more money to gamble, drop the idea without borrowing.
6. Take help of people who are not addicted to the game and seek proper advice.

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