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Addiction By Design

By Natasha Schull

Synopsis: A MUST-READ.  Dr. Schull of MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society writes the most important and revealing investigation into the design and technology behind electronic gambling machines to date. Every public official, member of the media and concerned citizen needs to read the book, especially in light of the reality that state governments across the U.S. are actively pushing these machines to their own citizens.

Why Casinos Matter: Thirty-One Evidence-Based Propositions from the Health and Social Sciences

By Barbara Whitehead, a scholar with the Institute for American Values, a non-partisan think-tank in New York

Synopsis: By promoting casino gambling to its own citizens, government has unleashed a host of troubling problems: it is harming health, draining wealth from people in the lower ranks of the income distribution, and contributing to economic inequality. These are among the findings of this report released by from the Council on Casinos, an independent group of scholars and public policy leaders convened by the Institute for American Values, a New York City-based think tank.

Why Casinos Matter

New York’s Promise: Why Sponsoring Casinos Is a Regressive Policy Unworthy of a Great State

By David Blankenhorn

Synopsis: Fiercely reasoned and richly documented, New York’s Promise lays bare the evasions, deceptions, and secrecy behind the rise of government-sponsored casinos that are fleecing citizens by enticing them to lose money in rigged games.  While New York state government serves as the backdrop, its powerful message and analysis resonates in every state across America. There hasn’t been anything written about government-sponsored gambling quite like this before, at least in modern times.


The Curse: Big-Time Gambling’s Seduction of a Small New England Town

By Robert Steele

Synopsis: During the 1990s, two Connecticut Indian tribes built the world’s two biggest casinos in the southeastern corner of the state, resulting in what has been called a “gambling Chernobyl.” The Curse is a novel set against those events. The lure of easy money drives everyone from the tribe’s chief to a shadowy Miami billionaire, venal politicians, and Providence mobsters, while a small, quintessential New England town must choose between preserving its character or accepting an extraordinary proposal that will change it forever. Robert Steele is vice chairman of an international retail marketing agency and has been a director of numerous companies. A graduate of Amherst College and Columbia University, he served in the CIA and Congress, and was a candidate for governor of Connecticut. He lives with his wife in Essex, Connecticut.

High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America’s Gambling Addiction

By Sam Skolnik

Synopsis: A MUST-READ.  Skolnik, a former investigative reporter for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The Las Vegas Sun, pulls back the curtain on government’s failed policy of predatory gambling and never lets go. Using first-rate investigative journalism combined with poignant narratives of gambling addiction,  Skolnik’s book provides an in-depth expose of the gambling business and our government’s complicity with it.  He reveals how America’s gambling addiction rates have steadily risen, helped along by the marketing practices used by predatory gambling operators to target specific demographics, particularly Asian-Americans.

Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits

By Earl Grinols, PhD, Baylor University

Synopsis: The most thorough analysis of the cost-benefit issues of legalized gambling attempted to date. Concludes that the costs outweigh the benefits by more than three to one.

Strategy & Soul: A Campaigner’s Narrative of Fighting Billionaires, Corrupt Officials, and Philadelphia Casinos

By Daniel Hunter

Synopsis: Hunter, one of the talented leaders who spearheaded a grassroots movement against casinos coming into Philadelphia, has written a book about his experience. He is hoping it will be seen as a handbook for the movement against government’s promotion of casinos with ideas and inspiration on how to fight back a casino, including things to do, and things not to do. It includes lessons he learned on media, accountability and strategy along with broad stroke lessons about social movement organizing.

An Unsafe Bet: The Dangerous Rise of Gambling and the Debate We Should Be Having

By Jim Orford, Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham (UK) School of Psychology

Synopsis: Orford spotlights how government’s policy of predatory gambling represents a serious danger to public health due to its inherent addiction potential, which is being intentionally minimized by gambling operators and governments.

On Liberty

By John Stuart Mill

Synopsis: John Stuart Mill, the father of the libertarian vision, wrote in this famous work of political philosophy that each individual has the right to act as he wants so long as these actions do not harm others. Today, no business in America is doing more to harm others than the predatory gambling trade.

United States International Gambling Report series

Edited By Prof. John Warren Kindt

Synopsis: The series provides readers with an in-depth overview of gambling policy, including the motivations of federal and state decision makers and the goals and developing trends within the gambling industry. You can buy the reports here, including the new 2010 volume of the series, which is titled The Gambling Threat to Economies and Financial Systems: Internet Gambling

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

By Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway

Synopsis: Spotlights the strategies used by tobacco interests to willfully misuse science to deceive the public and political leaders. Many of these same strategies are used by predatory gambling interests in America today.

Temples of Chance: How America Inc. Bought Out Murder Inc. to Win Control of the Casino Business

By David Johnston

Synopsis: Johnston documents in a must-read account how the gambling business became enmeshed with corporate America. Written in 1992, Johnston displays an uncanny vision of what was in store for America when it began to legalize commercial gambling. He vividly demonstrates how legal gambling creates no new wealth and does not deliver on the rosy promises made by proponents. The truth remains unchanged today.

Winner Takes All: Steve Wynn, Kirk Kerkorian, Gary Loveman, and the Race to Own Las Vegas

By Christina Binkley

Synopsis: The former Wall Street Journal reporter provides a must-read account of three prominent casino operators and reveals some of their highly predatory business practices.

How the South Joined the Gambling Nation: The Politics of State Policy Innovation

By Michael Nelson and John Lyman Mason

Synopsis: Nelson and Mason examine how southern states, the last region in the nation to embrace legalized gambling, have faced the decision to allow casinos and lotteries in their communities.

The Lottery Wars: Long Odds, Fast Money, and the Battle over an American Institution

By Matthew Sweeney

Synopsis: Sweeney provides a history of the American lottery and delves into how the institution went from being banned nationwide to seeing itself flourish in recent times in the name of school kids and senior citizens.

Without Reservation: How a Controversial Indian Tribe Rose to Power and Built the World’s Largest Casino

By Jeff Benedict

Synopsis: Benedict reveals the mysterious roots of Connecticut’s Pequot tribe, the racial tension that divides its members, and internal power struggle over who controls the incredible amounts of money generated from Foxwoods, the largest casino in the world.

Money for Nothing: One Man’s Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions

By Edward Ugel

Synopsis: Ugel, who started gambling as a teenager, tells his own personal story of addiction and the story of the unregulated but legal industry that preys on recent lottery winners by selling them money in exchange for a portion of their future lottery payments.

Governing Fortune: Casino Gambling in America

By Edward Morse and Ernest Goss

Synopsis: The book analyzes the costs and benefits of legalized casino gambling and the policy decisions affecting its regulation.

The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and Its Hold on America

By Sally Denton and Robert Morris

Synopsis: Denton and Morris’ investigative history simultaneously explores the crimes and malfeasance of Las Vegas and the expansion of the Vegas philosophy of greed and artifice into a wholesale American model.

Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America

By Charles Clotfelter and Phillip Cook

Synopsis: An excellent examination of the state lottery system in America.

The Luck Business

By Robert Goodman

Synopsis: Goodman persuasively shows how the gambling industry milks existing wealth and siphons off money from retail businesses and the manufacturing industry. He further investigates how gambling interests have enlisted government as a full partner.

Nicotine Dreams: A Story of Compulsive Gambling

By Katie Cunningham

Synopsis: Meet Kim, a fairly ordinary, middle-aged woman with a job, two adult children, and a difficult husband. For enjoyment she plays the stock market, buys expensive handbags and sneaks an occasional cigarette. But when a casino opens within driving distance of her house, her life as she knows it will soon be over. This is a story of addiction. This is a story of one woman’s descent into gambling hell, where the compulsion to play slots and poker machines is so great, she will risk it all in order to place just one more bet.

Hitting the Jackpot: The Inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History

By Brett Fromson

Synopsis: Fromson chronicles the rise of Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

Legalized Gambling: For and Against

By Rod Evans and Mark Hance, Editors

Synopsis: Compiled in late 1990’s, this volume captures all the main arguments on both sides of this controversy, many of which the gambling interests still deceptively promote today.

Gripped by Gambling

By Marilyn Lancelot

Synopsis: Lancelot’s personal story begins with alcohol addiction, followed by prescription drugs, overeating, and eventually gambling.

Switching Addictions

By Marilyn Lancelot

Synopsis: Lancelot wrote the book after hearing hundreds of recovering gamblers and alcoholics say, “And then I switched addictions.” It’s a book filled with different addictions, warning signs, and tips on how to recognize and recover from each one.

She Bets Her Life: A True Story of Gambling Addiction

By Mary Sojourner

Synopsis: Sojourner takes both an objective and a deeply personal look at the psychological and physiological impact of gambling addiction on women.

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