GAMBLING ADDICTION

Gambling is now America's new pastime.

* Roughly 3/4 of all Americans gamble.

*Presently 48 of 50 states allow legalized gambling.

*Americans place bets of ~$400 billion and lose ~$35 billion / year

*Casinos including those on Indian reservations are legal in 21 states.

Public acceptance of legalized gambling now has risen to about 3-to-1

*1992 poll showed that 56% opposed it in their communities.

*Governments are now infatuated with gambling as a money source and as a stimulus for tourism and new jobs.

Criminal Activity has markedly increased following the introduction of gambling.

*In Colorado legalized casino gambling in 1990 was followed by a 400% increase in assaults and thefts in Central City in 2 years & Cripple Creek had to increase its police force from 3 to 24.

*Gambling tends to attract the criminal element

*Problem gamblers often turn to crime to pay off gambling debts.

Economic Costs -

*Gambling is often trumpeted as an economic windfall and source of much needed jobs. This may be partially true but in the long run it will costs the community much more.

*Legalized gambling is inherently parasitic an any community. It always hurts the economy, it always creates large socioeconomic problems. There often is a 100% to 550% increase in the number of addicted gamblers.

Pathological Gambling

*Most gambling experts suggest that 2-6% of Americans now have a significant gambling problem.

*Gamblers Anonymous estimate 6 -10 million compulsive gamblers in US.

Social Costs

*Compulsive gamblers affect 10 - 20 relatives, friends, & business partners. * Families are most seriously affected - often resulting in divorce, child abuse and neglect, substance abuse, and suicide attempts. *The poor are often the hardest hit.

Gambling and Youth

*Youth are especially susceptible to the enticements to gambling. It may become a more serious problem in youth than drug abuse in the near future.

The Work Ethic is undermined by the hoped for easy way to wealth through gambling.

*"The more people believe in the importance of luck, chance, fate, the less they believe in the importance of stern virtues such as work, thrift, and deferral of gratification."

Source: YOU BET YOUR LIFE - The Dangerous Repercussions of America's Gambling Addiction by Ronald A.Reno / A Focus on the Family, A Matter of Facts Report, Colorado Springs, CO, 1995