The casino boom in the 1980s and 1990s brought national attention to legalized gambling throughout the United States. Whereas advocates for the rapidly growing gaming industry contend that gambling will revitalize local economies with more jobs, tourism, and tax money for the host communities, others claim that much of that tax money rarely reaches the majority of community residents and, instead, brings a higher rate of crime, violence, and bankruptcy, not to mention encourages compulsive gambling. Because casinos are still being built and lottery jackpots are continuing to grow, the debates over legalized gambling persist in American culture. Communities as well as policymakers remain polarized as to the benefits and costs of gambling. Can an industry that thrives on the addictions of residents be ethically sound? Is compulsive gambling a serious problem? Does legalized gambling aid or harm host communities?
Legalized Gambling addresses these controversies by examining America’s historical love/hate relationship with gambling. This in-depth examination serves as an aid to students who are researching this issue, as well as other members of the public interested in the history and controversies of legalized gambling. Furthermore, the resource sections make this book a useful tool for teachers and librarians. Given the nation’s continuing fascination with gambling, Legalized Gambling will capitalize on public interest and reveal political, economic, and moral complexities of the issue that otherwise may not be apparent.