Critical Essay





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



Back in the day gambling was very popular 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 throughout 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)


When gambling became illegal “Organized Crimes” started up. 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)


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)
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