SPG Research Center
Casinos and state lotteries are the most predatory business in America and their windfall is coming at your expense.
Most Recently Added Posts
New Report Shows How Casinos Affect Seniors
Senior citizens are becoming more and more prone to problem gambling due to casinos, according to a new report by the Institute for American Values. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to slots and similar electronic games, some of the most highly addictive and highly profitable for casinos.
Regions With Casinos See Increase Sex Trafficking Among Minors
One of the most unfortunate consequences from casinos is that along with them tends to come a rise in crime. Of all the crimes associated with communities around casinos, one of the most prevalent is the sex trafficking of minors. This atrocity is garnering more and more attention nationwide as the number of children affected increases exponentially.
The Poor Disproportionately Affected by Problem Gambling
A study by the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions shows that our nation’s poorest citizen are also those who problem gambling hits the hardest. Those living in poor neighborhoods are over twice as likely to have a gambling addiction than their counterparts in a more affluent community.
People in poor neighborhoods are twice as likely to have gambling problems
Casinos Don’t Provide Budgetary Stability They Promise
Casinos fail to increase revenue even though casino leaders continue to promise to the contrary, according to an article in the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky. Instead of generating new income to provide for education and other services, experts say casinos provide an unstable and unsuccessful base for revenue and caution against using them to fix budgetary problems.
Money for lottery tickets could be better spent on education
This story in The Chicago Reporter chronicles the funding problems that have plagued the city’s education system. The article proposes that instead of buying lottery tickets, that give only 30 cents per dollar to the school system, Chicago’s children would be better served with contributions directly to the schools.
Study Shows Slot Machines Are Built to Deceive
According to this Washington Post story, a new report reveals that slot machines are maufactured to trick players. The machines often use positive reinforcement, in the form of celebratory sounds, to convince gamblers they have won when they are actually losing their money.
False thinking can ‘recruit’ addictive emotions
Luke Clark (2011) explains how faulty thinking helps trigger the brain’s pleasure centers, creating a cycle of harmful and sometimes addictive behavior in gamblers. Occasional wins, near misses, and machine environmental features all impact cognitive and emotional factors, Clark reports in “Decision-making during gambling: an integration of cognitive and psychobiological approaches.” He notes “(gambling) may provide useful insights into the mechanisms of human irrationality.” His study examines irrational thinking from a cognitive approach, and then from a psychobiological approach, discussing how the brain’s reward system reacts to gambling. The two combine, he suggests, in an anomaly – with cognitive distortions recruiting the brain’s reward system.
An early review at ‘harm minimization’
Australia has been into government-sponsored machine gambling for decades, but unlike most US jurisdictions, the government units have made some efforts to study and look for ways to minimize harm to customers. (Government acknowledges it is harming it citizens, but seeks generally to lessen the degree of harm.) In this industry-funded study, researchers experimented with reducing speed of play, reducing the maximum bet per play, and reducing value of bill denominations accepted by electronic gambling machines. As Schull (2012) noted in her book “Addiction by Design,” these factors are key elements machine manufacturers use to extract the maximum amount of losses from players. In this University of Sydney study, “The Assessment of the impact of the Reconfiguration on Electronic Gaming Machines as Harm Minimization Strategies for Problem Gambling (2001), the authors conducted experiments in convenience machine gambling areas to determine how much these three key elements impacted game enjoyment, losses, and “harm” from addiction.