The Luck Business: The Devastating Consequences and Broken Promises of America's Gambling Explosion

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9780029124833: The Luck Business: The Devastating Consequences and Broken Promises of America's Gambling Explosion

This work documents how the growth of lotteries, casino and riverboats has often led to dramatic increases in state revenues - and also unexpected economic and social problems. It shows how, as state governments have gone from regulating to promoting gambling ventures, they have increasingly neglected productive business enterprises. As more and more Americans risk their savings, they experience more bankruptcy, domestic violence and gambling addictions.

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From Library Journal:

Goodman, a Hampshire College professor and former director of the U.S. Gambling Study, strongly opposes current forms of legalized gambling in the United States. His unrelenting attack mode, vehemence, and outrage actually undermine the credibility of some solid facts drawn from his years of research. Chapter headings like "The Government as Predator" or the use of terms like siphon or cannibalize to describe the movement of discretionary spending from other businesses to gambling don't help. This is unfortunate because Goodman does present some good information. His even-handed chapter on "Tribal Gambling Enterprises," for example, admits that tribal economic conditions have improved via gambling. Still, his book leaves one asking why a local bakery, video shop, or candy store is a better place for one's entertainment money than a slot machine. Goodman shouldn't have brushed aside basic questions like "Why should government be involved in gambling?" or "Why is gambling a crime?" and he could have used fewer lurid anecdotes about gambling "addicts" turning to crime and violence. Still, for gambling opponents, his book supplies great rhetoric and good ammunition. Those like me who enjoy a night at the machines in Vegas, Atlantic City, or the local reservation will feel like part of the problem when they read it. Recommended as a useful, if overzealous, contribution to the debate.?John Berry, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Americans legally gambled almost $400 billion in 1993, according to Goodman, who headed the United States Gambling Study of 1992-94. He asserts that the gambling industry produces no product and siphons off money not only from retail businesses but also from manufacturing. He claims that gambling interests have enlisted the support of governments by holding out false hopes to legislators and other officials eager to find new sources of income without raising taxes. These hopes convince voters that gambling is a major contributor to funds for the "four E's"?education, environment, the elderly and economic development?which, Goodman asserts, it is not. As governments seek to increase revenues, they have turned to "convenience gambling," installing slot machines in retail businesses, bars and restaurants. Believing it would be impractical to outlaw gambling altogether, Goodman (After the Planners) offers suggestions for a "rational gambling policy." But in answer to the question, does gambling as a strategy for economic development really work, he warns: don't bet on it. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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