What Payoff can You Expect from Gambling?

Focus on the Family

Odds are, it won't be what you were hoping for. Before you fall for the gambling industry's seductive promises, consider the facts:

Crime

Crime and gambling are inseparable partners, as communities with gambling can readily attest.
  • The crime rate in gambling communities is nearly double the national average, according to a 1996 U.S. News & World Report analysis. 1.
  • Three years after casinos arrived, Atlantic City went from 50th to first in the nation in per-capita crime. 2.
  • Half of Louisiana district attorneys surveyed in 1995 cited gambling as a factor in rising crime rates in their jurisdictions. 3.
  • Organized crime has infiltrated a number of legal gambling operations, according to a report from the Maryland Attorney General. 4.
  • At least two-thirds of compulsive gamblers turn to crime to finance their addiction, according to Valerie Lorenz, director of the Compulsive Gambling Center in Baltimore.  5.
  • Top law enforcement officials strongly oppose gambling. Thirty-year Michigan Attorney General Frank J. Kelley said, "There has never been an issue that has disturbed me any more than the proliferation of gambling in our state." 6.

1. Shapiro, Joseph P., "America's Gambling Fever," U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 15, 1996, p. 58. 2. Goodman, Robert, "Legalized Gambling as a Strategy for Economic Development," March 1994, p. 58. 3. Garland, Greg, "Crime Rising With Gambling," Sunday Advocate, July 30,1995, p. 1A. 4. Curran, op.cit., pp. 4045. 5. Lorenz, Valeric, "Dear God, Just Let Me Win!", Christian Social Action, July/Aug. 1994, p. 26. 6. Kelley, Frank J., address before the International Conference on Gambling, Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 11, 1994.