Gambling is one of the American popular pastimes and the topic has amazed me since I read the book Bringing Down the House in the 5th grade. When I was on a recent trip to college in California I was astonished to find out that one course that could be completed to satisfy the math requirement was titled “The Probability and Risk of Gambling” which was an investigation into the probability associated with various gambling games such as Texas Hold’em and blackjack. Gambling can also be a popular place in the media, and it is featured in films like 21 and Casino Royale. As a child, the notion of earning money by playing a game that I enjoyed was fascinating, however, as I got older, I realized the naivety of those notions. Casinos wouldn’t allow gambling if customers were constantly taking the casinos into debt. Today, I am more concerned about the impact gambling has caused on society, especially its economic effects. I believe that gambling was beneficial to the US economy in the past and will continue to benefit the economy for years to come, however the pressure that gambling places on society have dramatically increased problems in communities with high-profile gambling industries.
Gambling in the Americas started when the first colonists came from England in addition, The Virginia Company needed a way to make some profit. They began with an option of a lottery. It was highly successful, however, it was blamed on the slacking of settler’s families as well as the economic troubles facing the colony. The Crown eventually ended the lottery due to its impact on a royally-run lottery across all of the British Empire. Lotteries were once again used by American colonists to try to raise funds for the Revolutionary War without raising taxes. This proved extremely successful and the game was continued into the 19th century to make improvements to transportation, particularly when the Western frontier was gaining attention and fame. When gold was discovered in California and gambling was among the top sought-after types of entertainment available to miners from the West. However, the country’s economy went into a recession after the gold rush, which led some to think that gambling was synonymous with depression in the economy. Lotteries were also becoming more corrupt, as organizers were manipulating the results to win a portion of the pot. This led to a widespread prohibition on gambling and the only exception being Nevada, where professional gamblers would come from all over the nation to build the basis for modern-day Las Vegas.
The prohibition on gambling didn’t last long, as it was the Great Depression forced government leaders to lift the ban as a way to stimulate the faltering economy. Gambling again increased in popularity, but it only increased the divide between the rich and less fortunate due to the uneven payoff associated with casino gambling. State lotteries became popular at the time of the Cold War, especially when Reagan became president because the president cut funding to important aspects of the nation such as education and Medicare to finance the war against USSR. Tribal gambling also began to grow in popularity at this time because of the inability of states to regulate the prize money on reservations. Instead of participating in lotteries run by the state or gambling sites, both locals, as well as tourists alike, would flock to the reservations in hopes of winning it all, although this rarely ever happened. These various aspects of gambling have steadily become more popular, with casinos and lotteries supporting different state economies.
Gambling brings two major benefits to states: casinos bring in tourists while also paying taxes to the state to fund gambling revenue. An influx of tourists means money flows into the economy without any significant loss due to the low odds of winning at casinos. The state earns even more money from gambling because casinos are forced to be taxed on every income earned, with tax revenue close to $1 billion in Nevada. The gambling industry has created more than 500,000 jobs and has reduced unemployment across the country. However, gambling isn’t perfect as numerous figures paint a worrying picture of the gambling industry.
Crime is believed to be heavily linked to gambling, and cities that have incorporated casinos see an increase of over 50% in crime. This makes states spend more on police, diverting funding away from other projects in an attempt to combat a problem caused by gambling. Organized crime is also often a problem because of the amount of money flowing from casinos every day. Problem gambling is also more of a problem when casinos are open and this increases the criminality rate if people have to settle gambling loans. There are negative aspects of gambling in society However, for the greater part, gambling has prevented the American economy from going into a slump.
After reviewing the various statistics from my research, I believe that gambling has been beneficial for America. Every time the nation has faced difficult times it has been a popular choice or legalized to aid an economy that was struggling. Gambling has not only had a positive influence on the economic system, but I also believe that gambling is also beneficial to American citizens. Card games such as poker and blackjack are universal and can help bring people together in social environments. Within a couple of months, I’ll be able to legally experience the large attraction gambling has too many Americans. Although there are some adverse results of gambling they are outweighed by the benefits that gambling has demonstrated throughout time.