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Because of the emotional, financial, and societal damage casinos cause, the costs of legalized casino gambling in the United States clearly outweigh the benefits. 1.Emotional costs on gamblers are greater than the benefits of casinos. Gambling can be tied to a number of illnesses. According to Earl L. Grinols, author of Gambling in America, these illnesses include depression, chronic headaches, moodiness, anxiety, intestinal disorders, and cardiovascular disorders.
Problem Gamblers, or pathological gamblers, are literally addicted to gambling and it becomes a sick obsession, which is inherently uncontrollable. This fixation is a cause of some suicides throughout America. According to a 1997 study done by Philips, Welty, and Smith, suicide rates had not become elevated in cities, such as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and Reno, until after casino gambling was introduced.
The sudden jump in suicide rates was clearly linked to casinos and it is apparent that the cost of gambling overshadows the profits. Often, those who are closest to compulsive gamblers suffer the most of all. Unable to cure compulsive gambling without help, family members become ensnared in the consequences of the problem and may become emotionally ill. While the public eye has focused mainly on problem gambling, less attention has been paid to the family, and more specifically, to the children living with problem gamblers.
The social learning theory, provided by the Journal of Gambling Studies, states that individuals model the behaviors that are observed. Parents and family members can often serve as these models. If the family member has a gambling problem, the child could therefore mirror off of them and produce a problem themselves. In a study, also done by the Journal of Gambling Studies, 477 children completed a questionnaire about their gambling activities.
83% of the children reported gambling with family members and 75% gambled in their own homes. Out of these children, 81% gambled at one point in their lives and 52% gambled more than once a week or more. Also, out of the total sample 27% of these children say they gamble more than they want to and 11% say that it makes them feel more important. But, as the children's age went up the more they went to other's homes and at school to gamble.
It is out of this grade 8 sample, 10% say that they are afraid of being caught, suggesting that gambling is ok and a totally acceptable behavior. It is imperative that we reexamine legalized casino gambling and it costs. 2.Financial inability is one of the major tolls put upon gamblers and the communities they live in. Financial burdens put upon pathological gamblers create many problems for themselves, their families, employers, and society.
The present study, done by the Journal of Gambling Studies, shows that important debts, loss of productivity at work and legal problems are associated with pathological gambling. According to Earl L. Grinols, from 1980-1998, personal bankruptcies rose more than four times. road trip casino game-industry sources report that 40 to 60% of the cash wagered in gambling facilities are not carried onto the property. What this means is that credit cards and cash machines are supplying the difference.
This causes a change in environment, in which the marketing of credit card companies has less regard for credit-worthiness. Earl L. Grinols also claims that in a recent study co-authored by himself, he defines problem gambling as those who loose an average of $4,013 a year. This is causing economic affliction upon the problem gamblers, and exploiting them. Monetary cost on society has increased, putting strain on the communities in which casinos exist.
Jim Sabin has stated in The Lima News, that taxpayers are paying about $141 per person. The National Coalition Against Gambling reports that each compulsive gambler costs the economy between $14,006 and $22,077 per year. This is an enormous amount of money for people who do not even gamble. Richard L. Worsnop, a staff writer for CQ Researcher, has said that gambling is a zero-sum game. "The casinos produce no wealth (except for the owners of course)' Mare Cooper, editor of The Nation, says "every dollar lost in the casino is sucked our of our community and spent elsewhere or stocked away in a savings account." 3.
The societies on which the casinos are built, suffer. Casinos increase crime in the community and are bad for the overall economy.