Predatory Gambling, Democracy and the American Dream

Summary : “It’s predatory, deceptive, addictive and undermines the purpose and promise of America.”

An Overview

No major public policy issue exists in America that is more talked about yet less understood than casino-style gambling. While there are many well-intentioned public officials, reporters, editorial writers and bloggers who discuss the issue in terms of state revenues and potential jobs, most know virtually nothing about the product design, the technology, the marketing and the business model used by the casino trade. Most don’t even use the products frequently, if at all. And most don’t have personal relationships with the out-of-control gamblers who make up nearly all of the profits.

The debate on slot machines and casino-style gambling is not about jobs and revenues. Nor is it about whether we “permit” gambling. It’s not about buying a square in the Super Bowl office pool or playing poker with the guys from the neighborhood on Friday night. Those are examples of social forms of gambling.

The debate is about predatory gambling – using gambling to prey on human weakness for profit-and it is government’s version of subprime lending. The key question in the debate is this: Why is government, especially during these severe economic times, trying to convince citizens to spend large sums on virtually worthless gambling products instead of urging them to save and invest in their future? [Click here here to read the entire article.]

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