Gambling's New Respectability

Archive Report

Changing Public Attitudes

Legal Betting: A New Growth Industry

It's usually agreed, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote some 40 years ago, that “casinos should, in the public interest, be inaccessible and expensive.” If Keynes' dictum once represented the conventional view of gambling, it can hardly be said to do so today — especially in the United States where legal betting has become a multi-billion-dollar growth industry. More than a year after Atlantic City opened its first casino, economists are now studying gambling as they would any other booming enterprise. And government officials, who at one time might have seen the gaming business as a corrupting moral vice, are hailing it as a fiscal panacea.

Eighty-eight million Americans, over 60 percent of the adult population, gambled in ...

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