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Should gambling be illegal - Essay Example

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Name here Professor English 12 October 2012 The Regal Fight to Make Gambling Illegal Even though gambling in the United States has been treated for years as just another benign form of entertainment - like going to the movies or amusement park - it has so many detrimental effects on society that it is time for legislation to be enforced rendering it illegal…
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Should gambling be illegal

Download file to see previous pages... It is not surprising that 51 percent of American adults consider casino gambling “acceptable for anyone,” (Popkin and Hetter 1994), as the proliferation of sports books and new casinos on virtually every Indian reservation continues unabated. Adding gambling addictions, scams, the drain on taxes, and the unchecked expansion of Internet gambling to the mix, this lucrative industry is draining much of the life out of families and the economy to the point that its illegalization is the only answer. With America’s continued economic downturn, gambling is exacerbating society’s financial woes, as it also reported to feed into costly collateral damage seen in alcoholism, prostitution, drug abuse, destroyed families and various criminal behaviors. But compared to the revenues generated by other segments of the entertainment industry, does gambling really take that big of a bite out of America’s pocketbook? To get an idea, a government report stated that in 1997, Americans spent some $50 billion on gambling, which was more than all the money spent on movie tickets, theme parks, recorded music, and video games combined, which generated a substantially lower $39.9 billion (Campbell 1999). The government has even gotten into the gambling business through seemingly harmless state lotteries, which are often touted as “supporting our schools,” yet many taxpayer dollars go into funding gambling winnings. And even though it is noted that “Legal gambling operations in the U.S. pay millions of dollars in taxes annually to the local and federal governments,” (Hammer 2001), it is also contended that gambling throws away a great deal our federal government’s money. Yet it is argued that shutting down the gambling industry could have disastrous effects, “What happened with alcohol [prohibition] was a disaster . . . Nobody wants this business, which is flourishing offshore, being pushed back onto the streets and the back alleys of the U.S. . . . there’s a huge opportunity here [for the government to collect revenue],”(Carruthers 2004). But legal experts assert that legalized gambling has never been on the scale to resolve any social issues, as “States frequently overestimate the financial impact of gambling revenues,” (Popkin and Hetter 1994). Consequently, it is hard to argue that keeping gambling legal will outweigh the harmful financial and social ramifications that this frivolous pastime carries with it. Feeding into the burgeoning gambling industry with its lotteries, casinos and sports books is the expansion of Internet gambling, which has ensnared Americans in the dangerous privacy and comfort of their own homes. To give a perspective of its growth, it is estimated that worldwide Internet gambling accounted for $300 million in 1997 (Campbell 1999), $2.2 billion in 2000 (Bedell 2011), and the projected amount for 2006 came to $100 billion (Baker 1999). In addition, “It is reported that more than 4.5 million Americans have gambled online at least once,” (Bedell 2001) and it is also reported that online sports books take in more money from the Super Bowl than all Las Vegas sports bookies combined (Any Given Sunday). And with increased Internet gambling, there has been a proliferation in criminals scamming gamblers by illegally obtaining personal information, including credit card, social security and pass code data. To curb the wide-scale online scams, much legislation has been ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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