Expanded Gambling
Opening a Can of Worms

In what has become an annual ritual on Beacon Hill, the debate over expanding legalized gambling has once again entered the hallways of State House. And with it comes high-paid lobbyists for the predatory gambling industry promising to solve the state’s fiscal problems. Here are some basic facts that must be considered in this debate:

  • For every $1.00 in revenue, the state will be burdened with between $3.00 and $5.00 in social costs. (Univ. of Illinois)
  • Problem gambling and addiction rates DOUBLE within a 50 mile radius of a casino (National Gambling Impact Study Commission)
  • 25-50% of spouses of pathological gamblers have been abused. Child abuse cases have increased as much as 42%. (Bloomberg)
  • Increases in rape, robbery, aggravated assault, larceny and auto theft are found in areas where casinos are built. (Grinols)
  • 80% of gambling revenues come from people with less than $50,000 in annual income. (NFISC)
  • 40-50% of gambling machine revenues of a typical casino come from problem or pathological gamblers. (Maley)
  • Suicide rates are 2 to 4 times greater in gambling counties than non-gambling counties. (Kindt)

The list goes on and on and on. The common theme is that expanding legalized gambling creates a web of loss, anger and despair that impacts not only the gamblers, but their families, friends and communities. Expanded gambling is not the answer to the state’s fiscal problem, but it is the door to pain and suffering.

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