Policymakers resort to gambling as a panacea to be the cure for all economic ills but gambling addiction it the ugly side of the coin. USA Today is in the view that gambling states are addicted to easy money in its report dated 25 Sep 2014. The Editorial Board cited New Jersey are the prime example of the worst offenders in the world of gambling. "They are both addicts and pushers. They throw temper tantrums and upset settled policy when their fix of gambling revenue runs low."
New Jersey began offering online gambling last year to bring in more tax revenue as Atlantic City casino revenue took a sharp dive. Since the revenue from the online gambling was not much of a help, the state will come up with more gambling products. Governor Chris Christie has given the green light for casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting. A federal judge will hear Christie's argument on Oct 6 as a 1992 federal law banned the practice in all but four states where it previously existed.
The good days are gone. Christie can't expect gambling to be the savior. New Jersey is no longer the gambling mecca of the East Coast. Adjoining states - Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware - have all opened casinos recently. As of 2012, America had 513 state-licensed casinos, plus 466 on tribal lands. With more players, it is obviously going to be less share for the same pie.
There is a deadly social cost for gambling. Compulsive gambling habits from 1% to 2% of gamblers are known to destroy lives. People lose their jobs, families and self-confidence due to heavy losses. A study done by Baylor University in 2011 estimated the cost of gambling ill at $9,393 per compulsive gambler per year. The state should explore alternatives instead of always relying on gambling to bail them out.
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