What’s Predatory Gambling?
Predatory gambling is when government uses gambling in the form of casinos and lotteries to cheat and exploit citizens. It’s a mathematical certainty the more citizens spend on gambling sponsored by the government, the more money they lose.
For-profit gambling, or commercial gambling, is illegal unless the government makes it legal. Where you have legal gambling the government has given its support and in nearly every instance, operates in partnership with gambling interests, whether in the form of state lotteries, commercial casinos or tribal casinos.
While most people understand lotteries are an extension of government, many citizens don’t fully realize that the same is true for casinos. Casinos are the creation of state government and its public policies. (Tribal casinos are also the creation of government – the federal government – and its public policies.) They are instituted to create a new revenue source separate from direct taxation and in the process, they create regional monopolies for the casinos. They regulate with a finger on the scale, looking to maximize revenues and often in ways that discriminate against other legal businesses. They rescue casinos from bankruptcy. Without the legal, administrative, regulatory, and promotional privileges provided by state governments, casinos and lotteries would not be spreading into mainstream American life as they are today and would likely still exist only on the fringes of the society.
How is government’s public policy of predatory gambling different than social gambling like the office Super Bowl pool or a Friday night poker game with the guys in the neighborhood?
1) The speed of the games.
2) The “buzz” or high people get when they play.
3) The frequency of gambling and the length of time doing it.
4) The amount of money people lose.
5) The business practices used to promote it.