🖐 How Can Casinos Benefit The Economy

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realized positive social and economic effects from gambling "that far outweigh the negative" Gambling has also resulted in economic and social costs to Children of compulsive gamblers were more likely to smoke, drink, and use drugs​.


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risked for the expected return of a large sum of money is justified by the legalized gambling in Canada found that the net economic benefit was costs of gambling outweigh the benefits and of those who conclude that the cost-ben-.


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Rivals contend that the social costs, for example, wrongdoing, industry “​cannibalization,” and issue gambling, exceed the potential advantages.


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Economic & social impacts of legalized gambling; Public economics; Applied “​Economic Benefits of Casinos Likely to Outweigh Costs” (). Invited article.


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Economic & social impacts of legalized gambling; Public economics; Applied “​Economic Benefits of Casinos Likely to Outweigh Costs” (). Invited article.


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Economic & social impacts of legalized gambling; Public economics; Applied “​Economic Benefits of Casinos Likely to Outweigh Costs” (). Invited article.


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In their most rudimentary form, such studies are little more than a crude accounting, bringing together readily available numbers from a variety of disparate sources. The committee thanks Kurt Zorn for his written synthesis, analysis, and presentation of the literature in the remainder of this chapter. In an Australian study Blaszczynski and McConaghy, a , most of the gamblers reported using their wages to finance gambling, supplemented by credit cards This study did not provide a comparison, however, of differences between the financing of gambling and other household expenditures. In addition, some of the money spent on gambling may be paid to suppliers, as well as gambling establishment owners or investors from outside the community, in which case the benefits ''leak" into other communities. Published news accounts, bankruptcy court opinions, and bankruptcy attorneys serve as the primary reporters of the effects of gambling on bankruptcy. However, Frank and colleagues have suggested that dysfunctional family relationships bear on a pathological gambler's tendency toward self-harm. The committee expresses special thanks to Lia Nower for her synthesis and written presentation of literature pertaining to the social costs of pathological gambling to individuals, families, communities, and society. Complicating such analysis, however, is the fact that social and economic effects can be difficult to measure. The literature focuses primarily on crime, financial difficulties, and disruptions of interpersonal relations. In summary, although the research in this area is sparse, it suggests that the magnitude and extent of personal consequences on the pathological gambler and his or her family may be severe. Roughly one-fourth to one-third of gamblers in treatment in Gamblers Anonymous report the loss of their jobs due to gambling Ladouceur et al. When properly done, however, economic impact and benefit-cost analyses can be powerful policymaking tools. In Canada, Ladouceur et al. However, some of the money spent in the casino by local residents is not an economic benefit, but merely a transfer within the community. In a national survey of Gamblers Anonymous members, those assessed as being at highest risk for suicide were more likely to be separated or divorced 24 percent and to have relatives who gambled or were alcoholic 60 percent. As discussed in Chapter 2 , the definition of pathological gambling includes adverse consequences to the individual, such as involvement in crime, financial difficulties, and disruptions of interpersonal relations. We use the term "costs" to include the negative consequences of pathological gambling for gamblers, their immediate social environments, and the larger community. Bland and colleagues estimated that 23 percent of the spouses and 17 percent of the children of pathological gamblers were physically and verbally abused. American Indian communities in particular, both on and off reservations, reportedly have realized positive social and economic effects from gambling "that far outweigh the negative" Cornell et al. One of the biggest stumbling blocks in economic impact analysis is determining which effects are real and which are merely transfers. Financial losses pose the most immediate and compelling cost to the gambler in the throes of his or her disorder. The category of transfer is often referred to as pecuniary in the economics literature. This is especially true for intangible social costs, such as emotional pain and other losses experienced by family members of a pathological gambler, and the productivity losses of employees who are pathological or problem gamblers. Another cost to the pathological gambler is loss of employment. The financial con-. Beneficial effects can also be difficult to measure and, as with costs, can vary in type and magnitude across time and gambling venues, as well as type of gambling e. Many studies have identified the categories of benefits and costs associated with legalized gambling e. McMillen points out that economic impact studies often fail to explain the potential for one expenditure to displace another.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} These percentages vary somewhat across studies. McMillen , for example, provides an excellent discussion of some of the challenges associated with the identification and valuation of benefits and costs associated with casino gambling in Australia. As access to money becomes more limited, gamblers often resort to crime in order to pay debts, appease bookies, maintain appearances, and garner more money to gamble Lesieur, ; Meyer and Fabian, Several descriptive studies have reported widely ranging estimates of the proportion of pathological gamblers who commit offenses and serve prison terms for such offenses as fraud, stealing, embezzlement, forgery, robbery, and blackmail Bergh and Kuhlhorn, ; Blaszczynsi and McConaghy, a, b; Lesieur and Anderson, ; Schwarz and Linder, ; Thompson et al. In the area of gambling, pathological gambling, and problem gambling, systematic data are rarely to be found, despite considerable pressure for information. Such costs include traffic congestion, demand for more public infrastructure or services roads, schools, police, fire protection, etc. To the extent that the money comes from recreational gamblers who live in other communities, such money represents a real benefit to the casino and the community in which the gambling occurred. Not surprisingly, most reported economic analysis in the literature is methodologically weak. Few reliable. Rather, the person is transferring consumption from the future, when the debt will be repaid, to the present, in much the same way as when he or she borrows money to purchase a new car. For example, the money spent by recreational gamblers at a casino is an indication of income generated in the community as a result of the casino. One study estimated that more than 60 percent of those surveyed lost, on average, more than seven hours of work per month Thompson et al. Not surprisingly, the findings of rudimentary economic impact analyses can be misused by those who are not aware of their limitations. The consequence has been a plethora of studies with implicit but untested assumptions underlying the analysis that often are either unacknowledged by those performing the analysis, or likely to be misunderstood by those relying on the results. In one of the few studies to address bankruptcy, Ladouceur et al. Had the casino not been in their community, some of the money. The benefits are borne out in reports, for example, of increased employment and income, increased tax revenues, enhanced tourism and recreational opportunities, and rising property values e. Many families of pathological gamblers suffer from a variety of financial, physical, and emotional problems Abbott et al. These accounts, however, are often region-specific, anecdotal, and poorly documented. Children of compulsive gamblers were more likely to smoke, drink, and use drugs. Furthermore, they were more likely to describe their childhood as unhappy periods of their lives. The important question, from a public policy perspective, is which is larger and by how much. For example, when a person borrows money to take a trip involving social or recreational gambling, the money borrowed is not a cost to society. To the extent that pathological gambling contributes to bankruptcy and bad debts, these increase the cost of credit throughout the economy. Moreover, the costs and benefits of pathological gambling need to be considered in the context of the overall effects that gambling has on society. However, it requires an investment of time and money to operationalize, identify, measure, and analyze both benefits and costs. Research suggests that as many as 20 percent of persons in treatment for or diagnosed with pathological gambling may attempt suicide Moran, ; Livingston,. Chadbourne et al. Among studies of the overall effects of gambling, such rough-and-ready analyses are common. Lorenz and Shuttlesworth estimated that 50 percent of spouses and 10 percent of children experienced physical abuse from the pathological gambler. These studies came to widely differing estimates of the magnitude of theft,. Instead, we focus on the magnitude and the extent to which pathological gamblers experience these adverse consequences. The growth of legal gambling in the United States in recent decades has been fueled largely by increasing public acceptance of gambling as a form of recreation, and by the promise of substantial economic benefits and tax revenues for the communities in which the gambling occurs. This can in theory be determined with benefit-cost analysis. About 17 percent of gamblers who considered suicide, and 13 percent of those who had attempted it, had children with some type of addiction. As we said, the fundamental policy question is whether the benefits or the costs are larger and by how much. Clearly, to address this and related policy issues, the economic and social costs of pathological gambling need to be considered in the context of the overall impact that gambling has on society. Still, when gambling establishments come to economically depressed communities with high rates of unemployment, as is the case with riverboat casinos in Indiana, there may be, in addition to the costs, social benefits to providing job training and jobs to the previously unemployed. Pathological gamblers are said to distance themselves from family and friends, who are alternately neglected and manipulated for "bailouts" Custer and Milt, The ultimate relationship costs to the gambler typically become manifest when the gambler reaches a stage of desperation or hopelessness. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}Not a MyNAP member yet? Analytic factors contributing to this difficulty are described below in general and later described in specific examples taken from the literature. Ideally, the fundamental benefit-versus-cost question should be asked for each form of gambling and should take into consideration such economic factors as real costs versus economic transfers, tangible and intangible effects, direct and indirect effects, present and future values i. In fairness, this is probably attributable to the difficulty of measuring benefits and costs in complex areas like pathological and problem gambling. Consequently, the committee is not able to shed as much light on the costs of pathological gambling as we would have preferred. Bankruptcy presents yet another adverse consequence of excessive gambling. These destructive behaviors contribute to the concern about pathological gambling, and the need for more research to understand its social cost to individuals, families, and communities. In a similar study, Lorenz and Yaffee found that the spouses of pathological gamblers suffered from chronic or severe headaches, stomach problems, dizziness, and breathing difficulties, in addition to emotional problems of anger, depression, and isolation. Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. Lesieur and Rothschild found that children of pathological gamblers frequently reported feelings of anger, sadness, and depression. We hope, however, that the chapter lays out the issues for readers and provides some guidance to researchers venturing into this area. Lorenz and Shuttlesworth surveyed the spouses of compulsive gamblers at Gam-Anon, the family component of Gamblers Anonymous, and found that most of them had serious emotional problems and had resorted to drinking, smoking, overeating, and impulse spending. There is no question that legalized gambling has brought economic benefits to some communities; just as there is no question that problem gambling has imposed economic and social costs. A wide variety of economic techniques is available to assess the effects of new or expanded gambling activities. Two studies attempted to assess theft by problem gamblers, one in Wisconsin Thompson et al. Conversely, there may be situations in which what appears to be a benefit is also a transfer. In the United Kingdom, Fisher reported that 46 percent of adolescents surveyed stole from their family, 12 percent stole from others, 31 percent sold their possessions, and 39 percent gambled with their school lunch or travel money. What seems to be a straightforward task of identifying benefits and costs associated with legalized gambling and with pathological and problem gambling is really more difficult than it first appears. Transfer effects are notoriously difficult to identify. But most studies have focused on the benefits and costs to the community rather than those that accrue to individual gamblers and their families, or to other individual members or groups in the community. The committee recognizes that the possibility of benefits deriving from pathological gambling are only theoretical and are neither described in the literature nor supported empirically. According to the criteria presented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM , a pathological gambler may be and often is defined by the presence of at least a few of these consequences American Psychiatric Association, Discussions of the costs to the individual of pathological gambling would be circular if we claimed to "discover" these consequences. As discussed earlier, as gambling progresses toward a pathological state, there is frequently a corresponding increase in depression, shame, and guilt. The literature on individual costs of pathological gambling considers consequences for the gambler and those with whom the gambler has most frequent interactions, including family, friends, and close associates. Research has not examined the nature and extent of the gambler's retrospective perception of losses with regard to children, friends, and family members. Like the research on risk factors discussed in Chapter 4 , because most of these studies are based on treatment populations with small samples and no controls, we urge caution when interpreting the results. Jacobs and colleagues compared children who characterized their parents as compulsive gamblers with those who reported their parents as having no gambling problems. Blaszczynski and Silove noted that criminal behaviors among adolescent gamblers may be more prevalent than among adult gamblers, in part because youths have few options for obtaining funds and greater susceptibility to social pressure among gambling peers. Thus, money is transferred from the future to the present through a lender, who is willing to forgo present consumption when the loan is made, in exchange for future consumption when the loan is repaid with interest.