Gambling in America

Does it raise revenue at the expense of the poor?


More Americans than ever are gambling — and losing billions in the process. State-run lotteries, casinos and other legal gambling operations took more than $63 billion from bettors in 2001. Billions more are lost at more than 1,800 gambling sites on the Internet, which the Justice Department considers illegal. Supporters say legal gambling creates thousands of jobs and helps states raise money for education and other social needs. But critics say government should not be encouraging citizens to gamble. What's more, they claim state-run lotteries intentionally target poorer citizens in an attempt to increase revenues. Critics also worry that the accessibility of lotteries and other forms of so-called convenience gambling will increase the number of pathological and problem gamblers.

Video slot machines like these at the ...

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