Gambling Beliefs Versus Reality: Implications for Transformative Public Policy
Gambling, both casino-and Internet-based, is big business. In 2007, U.S. casino revenues, not including Native American casinos, totaled $32.2 billion, and American consumers lost, on average, $138 million per day at U.S. casinos (Basham & Kwon, 2008). Unfortunately, about a quarter of that revenue was supplied by problem gamblers (Williams & Wood, 2004). Given the growth trends of virtually all forms of gambling, it appears as though consumer attitudes toward gambling are changing as well, with gambling increasingly perceived to be simply another form of leisure entertainment (Currie, Hodgins, Wang, & Chen, 2009). It has been estimated that online gambling revenues range from $10 billion to $12 billion yearly (Schwartz, 2006). Although online gambling is illegal in the United States, consumer attitudes generally do not re$ ect this, with a 2007 poll reporting that almost half of Americans agreed that “Internet gambling should be permitted as long as it’s regulated by the government” (Ipsos, 2008, para. 9).