Essay on Legalized Gambling Would Decrease The Crime Rate

Essay on Legalized Gambling Would Decrease The Crime Rate

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     Many factors have influenced the rising crime rate, some being, increasing use of drugs, increasing population, and decreasing morals. America must find ways to decrease the crime rate legally. One question often going hand in hand with decreasing crime rate is would legalized gambling decrease the crime rate?

     During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s slow economic growth, cuts in federal funding, and growing public needs forced state and local governments to seek additional sources of revenue. Most states turned to lotteries, horse and dog racing, and most recently a growing number of states have resorted to casino gambling as a painless way to raise money. Case studies show that legal casino gaming can increase tourism, employment, sales of noncasino goods, and tax revenues (Cabot 1). For example, The New Jersey Casino Control Act of 1977 states legalized casino gambling has been approved by the citizens of New Jersey as a unique tool of urban redevelopment for Atlantic City (Thompson 144). Legalized gambling provides a major new source of revenue for the state (Kurk 1).

     Even though 48 states have some form of legalized gambling such as lotteries, horse racing, casinos, riverboat and Indian casinos, casino gambling still remains illegal in most states (NCALG 2). Casino gambling, which was once limited to two states, is now legal in twenty-one states. Some states are Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, and South Dakota. Over time we have seen a change in the gambling market. At one time, only Bingo parlors could be found on Native American reservations. Today almost one hundred casinos are operating in twenty-one states (Begun, Siegal, and Jacobs 29).

     There are five types of legal gambling in the United States: bingo, lotteries, pari-mutual betting, off track betting and casinos. Bingo is the most common form of legalized gambling; forty-six states participate in legal Bingo. Forty-three states permit thoroughbred horse racing, Lotteries are allowed in thirty-seven states, and only twenty-one states permit casino gambling (Begun et al. 27).

     Illegal gambling like legal gambling is deeply rooted into American Society. Despite innumerable federal and state laws, illegal gambling still remains a part of American lif...

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...hange their gambling policies (Begun et. al 7). While some state and local government officials oppose legalized gambling, some benefit from the revenues. For example, more than $200,000 in gambling revenue, was contributed to Bob Dole’s presidential campaign, President Clinton also received $60,000 in gambling revenue (22). If we remember correctly, an argument made by the NCALG was that gambling corrupts government. However, by the looks of the figures, in my opinion gambling helps the government operate.

          The controversy over American casinos comes down to a narrow argument concerning cost benefit criteria between the proponents, who cite increased tax revenues and jobs, and opponents, who claim devastating social problems if casinos are legalized (Cabot 6). Those who would outlaw gambling because some people become chronic gamblers are like those who would prohibit alcohol because some people become problem drinkers. The analogy between alcohol and gambling is relevant: Prohibition simply did not work. People will gamble even if it is illegal, just as they will violate other unreasonable curbs on harmless pleasures.

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