How Gambling Impacts Communities

A casino is not like any other business. There would be little concern over how much gambling we have in our state or community if it were not for the social problems and costs that gambling creates. Addiction, bankruptcy, crime, corruption, child abuse and neglect, divorce, domestic violence, and suicide are some of the costs associated with problem and pathological gambling.

Bankruptcy increases in communities with casinos. According to a SMR Research Corporation study, gambling behavior may cause up to 14.2% of annual bankruptcy in the United States. Seven counties in Illinois had a 10% higher filing rate than the 95 non-casino counties in Illinois.

The rate of pathological gambling is significantly higher among minorities and lower-income individuals. A study funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported the rate of gambling addiction among Caucasian Americans was 0.5 percent, African-Americans 3.7 percent and Hispanic Americans 4.2 percent.(Journal of Studies of Alcohol, Nov. 2001)

Slot machines account for 87 percent of the revenue at Illinois casinos, with 75 percent of the money lost at slot machines played for a quarter or less — on penny, 2 cent, nick, dime or quarter machines.

The presence of a gambling facility within 50 miles roughly doubles the prevalence of problem and pathological gamblers, according to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. (Final Report, June 1999)

Professor Earl Grinols estimates that three-eighths to one half of casino revenue will come from problem and pathological gambling. The average cost per pathological gambler is $13,586 per year. (Business Profitability versus Social Profitability: Evaluating Industries with Externalities: The Case of Casinos. (Jan-May 2001)

For every $1 of revenue that gambling interests indicate is being contributed in taxes, it costs taxpayers $3 in social welfare, criminal justice, and regulatory costs, according to Professor John Kindt (U.S. International Gambling Report Series, 2009)

Crime increases an average of 8 to 10 percent the third year after casino facilities open in a county — and that crime continues to increase thereafter.Professors Earl Grinols and David Muster estimated that crime-related social costs in casino counties to be approximately $75 per adult per year. They found that casinos do not just shift crime from neighboring regions, but create crime. (Casinos, Crime and Community Costs, 2006)

Families have been devastated and careers have been ruined by people who started gambling at casinos near their homes.

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