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THE CASINO BOOM: BAD LUCK FOR THE POOR

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Government can’t succeed in eliminating poverty but it can certainly contribute to poverty’s perpetuation. Authorizing commercial casinos throughout the country disproportionately damages poor people through the encouragement of bad habits. Barbara Dafoe Whitehead of the Institute for American Values notes that in the Northeast alone, 23 new commercial casinos have opened since 2004, with 12 more under-development. These establishments make most of their money on slot machines which Dafoe Whitehead describes as “sophisticated computerized devices engineered to produce continuous and repeat betting.” Numerous studies show the poor as chief victims of gambling addiction with its distortion of core American values- exalting success as a product of luck, rather than hard work and self-discipline. To pay for expensive social programs to help the poor, officials actually hurt the poor by taking their money to get tax revenue from gambling.

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