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Word Count: 1,970
Throughout history state-supported gambling has long been an alluring financialcure-all a quick fix approach to raising money Despite steady opposition legalgambling has become widely accepted Both public and private betting have beenpopular in America since colonial years The first horse racing track opened in themid-seventeenth century Lotteries raised money for everything from public works to IvyLeague universities and have been supported by such luminaries as GeorgeGrowth in the gaming industry always has been met by strong protests Charges ofimmorality criminality and corruption always accompany games of chance1 Manynations have outlawed lotteries at one time or another An American ban occurred in theface of rampant fraud in the late1800s Other forums of gambling have mostly beenassociated with organized crime interests numbers games roulette dice bookmakingDespite its checkered career gambling is enjoying a renewed growth unprecedented inAmerican history Casino gambling is expanding floating gaming parlors are back on theMississippi sports betting is increasingly accepted and lotto fever has seized the entireIts hard to believe that New Hampshire re-introduced us to the lottery in 1964 a merethirty years ago Wagering tripled between 1982 and 19892 As each state jumps on theage-old bandwagon promising instant answers to fiscal problems we need to askourselves if legal gambling is a good bet Annual handle amount wagered for legal forms of gaming exceeds 250 billion Illegal gambling adds about 50 billion for a grand total of 300 billion per year3 or 2000 per adult To put this in perspective Americans spend about 425 - 450 billion a Amount spent on specific games 1989 Lottery - 20 billion Horses - 14 billion Casinos - 200 billion 107 billion in 1983 Bingo - 4 billion 3 billion in Las Vegas casino revenues grew from 19 billion in 1974 to 48 billion in 19806 Average
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