Predatory gambling is when state and local governments partner with powerful corporate gambling interests to use commercialized gambling to exploit and defraud citizens and their communities across the country.
The business model for state lotteries and local casinos depends on blatantly exploiting the financially desperate and the addicted. It cannot survive without these citizens. Government’s primary responsibility is to protect citizens – but for the government to win, its citizens must lose.
Over the next eight years, the American people are on course to lose more than $1 trillion of their personal wealth to predatory gambling. At least half of this personal wealth – $500 billion – will be lost to state lotteries.
Through its massive advertising and marketing, predatory gambling has become the public voice of American government to citizens today. It’s what we advertise to the American people more than anything else.
The real revenue for casinos comes from problem gamblers, occasion gamblers make up only a small percentage of profit for a casino. Here’s just a few ways a regional casino will target the vulnerable in your community:
- Casino marketing preys heavily on the poor, the elderly, the less educated and psychologically vulnerable population. A study from the Research Institute on Addictions at the University of Buffalo found that people living within 10 miles of a casino have an increased likelihood to develop a gambling addiction by as much as 90%.
- Half of casino visitors are over age 50, but casinos market themselves to the over 70 and even over 80 market. For these vulnerable populations, gambling offers an escape from boredom and loneliness into a hypnotic zone of rapid-fire electronic stimuli.
- ‘Electronic Crack’ – Slot machines are the most addictive form of casino gambling and designed to maximize your “time on device” until you’re out of money.
- More serious age-related cognitive decline plays a role, too. A 2012 study found that changes in the anatomy and chemistry of brains in dementia patients 65 and up “may render older adults particularly vulnerable to the stimulation provided by the slot machine.”
- The Kenosha Casino will also feature online sports betting. Young adults are at particular risk for developing a gambling addiction. Studies show that sports bettors are male, under 35, single, educated and employed or in the early stages of their careers. The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that sports bettors show significantly higher levels of problematic gambling than other gamblers.
Casinos leave nothing to chance – in the end, the house (and government) always win.