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Issue Papers

How does casino gaming impact the communities where it’s available?  Our issue papers cite recent independent and peer-reviewed research.  Go beyond the hype and check out what the experts are saying about the economic and social impacts of casino gaming, as well as the latest research on pathological gambling.

Economic Impacts

Economic Impacts of Casino Gaming
Scores of communities across the United States know firsthand how casinos can revitalize regional economies.  Casinos deliver new capital investment, large and predictable government revenue streams, increased tourism, increased consumer freedom and well being, and new employment opportunities.
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Effects of Casinos on Existing Businesses
In locations that have removed prohibitions on casino gambling, reliable sales data show that existing local businesses either hold their own or perform better after the advent of this new form of gambling.  Casino gambling satisfies some of the recreational desires of a broad segment of the U.S. public, and therefore it’s an economic growth engine for local and state economies.
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Social Impacts

Casinos and Crime
Gambling opponents commonly raise the specter of increased crime in claims about the impacts of casino gaming.  But research organizations, government bodies, and scholars have examined casino gaming’s track record, and they agree that communities with casinos are just as safe as other communities.
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Casinos and “Social Costs”
Virtually all of the “social costs” attributed to gambling are a result of the behavior of the small minority of individuals that gamble in ways that are harmful to themselves and to others.  The magnitude of these costs pale to the wild, unsubstantiated allegations about social costs promulgated by the anti-gambling lobby.
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Effects on Families and other Quality of Life Issues
Gaming customers view casinos as an entertainment option, not as either a career, an alternative to work, an investment strategy, or a get-rich-quick scheme.  The industry creates significant numbers of private-sector, career-path jobs that promote strong, stable families.  In jurisdiction after jurisdiction, social service costs remain stable or decrease after new casinos open.
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Lifetime versus Past-Year Prevalence
Pathological gamblers may be categorized in several different ways.  Top scientists agree that the information of greatest policy relevance is generally the prevalence of current pathological gambling, that is, estimates over a relatively recent but behaviorally representative time frame.
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Pathological Gambling
Most U.S. studies place the prevalence of pathological gambling at about 1 percent, indicating that it is a far less common disorder than many people believe.  Pathological gambling is serious, but its prevalence may be unaffected by the presence or absence of particular forms of legal gambling.
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Underage Gambling
Casino gambling is among the least popular forms of gambling among American young people.  Providing access for adults to casino gambling must not mean providing access for minors.  Legislators, regulators, and concerned members of the public have every reason to demand that casino companies be consistent, proactive, and comprehensive in developing strategies to combat underage gambling.
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What About the Negative Consequences of Casinos?
Don’t be bamboozled by the Pleasure Police.  Millions of responsible adults across the United States are going out and having fun by playing casino games on occasion, without any dire “social costs” accruing to themselves or to the communities they call home.
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More Information
Issue Papers
Profile of an American Gambler
Policy Briefs
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