Social Effects of Casino Gambling
According to a recent Las Vegas area research study on the social effects of gambling, 10% of gamblers account for 90% of gambling revenues at the casinos. A survey of so-called habitual or problem gamblers found their average gambling debt amounted to $43,000. Also, 78% said they had to have someone bail them out of their debt. After they were bailed out, 91% said they continued to gamble.
But, here's the kicker, 90% of problem gamblers admit to committing crimes to pay for their addiction. The FBI estimates that 40% of the nation's white collar crimes are due to gambling debt.
The average compulsive gambler costs their host community an average of $19,000 in the forms of hot checks, theft and other crimes. Nearly one-third of problem gamblers admit to stealing from work to cover their debts while two-thirds say they write bad checks to cover gambling IOUs.
This survey doesn't address the millions of seniors who cash their Social Security and pension checks in order to feed slot machines and other casino games.
Why does the gambling industry crow about turning over a percentage of casino profits to education? Not because it works to improve education, but it works to persuade the people of Kentucky to legalize gambling. Pure and simple.
Editor, Kentucky Travel Guide
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22 March 2007