Gambling2 Essay

This essay has a total of 1608 words and 9 pages.

gambling2



Gambling, while it lowers taxes and creates jobs, it also causes addicts to lose money and
therefore creates a higher crime rate.


A Quick History of Gambling.
Gambling was a popular pastime in North America long before there was ever a United
States. Playing cards and dice were brought over by both the British and the Dutch. By the
end of the 17th century, just about every countryseat in colonial America had a lottery
wheel. Cockfighting flourished thoughout the countries, especially in the South. Bear
Baiting was also a popular sport, but the Puritans banned it.(Ortiz 4)

Almost 100 years later gambling in the West gave gambling a second life. Early church
leader struck down all forms of gambling and so in the East gambling for the most part
died completely. Far from both government controls and moral interference of reform
groups in the East, gambling became so popular in the West that Monte tables were often
setup in the middle of the town.(Donovon 13)

Organized Crime
During the Prohibition Era (1920-1933), illegal gambling was organized into an
authoritarian regional and national system. Responsibility for the syndication of gambling
is usually attributed to Arnold Rothstein, who invented the inner-city layoff. He is also
known for master minding the "Black Sox" scandal in which the White Sox threw the
1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds to assure gambling profits.
Gambling legally, once again, becomes acceptable.

Since the 1970s, the United States has turned full circle in its attitude toward gambling.
Three hundred years ago, the "sport", mostly in the form of lottery, was seen as a perfectly
acceptable way to raise money for public purposes.(Savage 12) Over the past several
years, slow economic growth, cuts in federal funding to states, and growing public needs
have forced many desperate state and even local government to seek additional sources of
revenue. Most states have turned to lotteries, horse and dog racing, and, most recently, a
growing number of states have resorted to casino gambling as a way to raise money and
keep taxes low.(James B5)

Sports gambling
During the late 1980s, and early 1990s, several states have tried to introduce sports
betting, either as part of lottery, like sports pool, or as sports bookmaking. Never the less,
the leader of the nation's sports integrity, including the National
Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), and Major League
Baseball (MLB), were concerned that the states, in their desperation to raise money, might
begin to tie in sports betting with the lottery. Then the three sports teamed up to try to put
a stop to this. First, they began to put strong pressure on state legislature not to induce
sports betting. Second the sports industry also started lobbying Congress, and as a result,
several bills have been introduced in the U.S. Congress to limit the growth of sports
wagering, either as part of the lottery or as sports bookmaking.(Savage 18)

Making Gambling Interests Heard
The state legislatures decide if gambling will become legal in the individual states.
Currently, some form of gambling is legal in all states except Hawaii and Utah. While
success is never assured, revenue-hungry state governments are virtually always willing to
give gambling interests a hearing.

In April 1994, casino interest spent $4.2 million to convince Missouri voters they should
permit slot machines in their state. The vote failed by 1/10 of 1%, so gambling interest
spent another $11.5 million for a similar referendum in November, which passed. In
Connecticut, gambling corporations spent $4.9 billion in a four-year-long failed effort to
get the state to permit the building of a casino in economically distressed
Bridgeport.(Goddu E1)

Gambling is generally a well-regulated business. Virtually every state that permits casino
gambling or pari-mutuel betting has a state racing or gambling commission to monitor
gambling activities. While today's gambling industry is big business run by huge
corporations, virtually every state regulated commission feels it must show it is making
gave that no underworld or syndicate figures play a role in its state gambling
activities.(Ortiz 50) The commissions also controlled other activities such as how late
casinos may stay open and whether there will be limits on betting. Since these regulations
are usually determined by state legislatures, it is only natural that gambling companies try
to influence their decisions through lobbyists and political donations.(Siebel 19)

Opposition to Gambling
The rapid expansion of gambling across the United States has not been well received by all
Americans. The failure of many gambling initiatives over the past few years indicates an
opposition powerful enough to either influence state legislation allowing various forms of
gambling in their state or to govern enough votes to defeat initiatives which would do the
same thing.(Siebel 27)

A Moral Issue
Many who oppose gambling consider it morally or theologically wrong. The domestic
violence and crime that might result from compulsive gambling could
lead to the breakdown of the family and divorce. Gambling, especially the lotteries,
contribute to the attitude that a person can get something for nothing, a belief many
people consider particularly harmful to the nation's morality. The states, by administering
the lotteries, have become party to this. By sanctioning gambling, government authorities
have contributed to making gambling publicly acceptable.

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