The Business of Gambling: Testing America's Luck

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photoAmerica, it's fair to say, is wild about gambling.

In 1962, American place about $2 billion in bets. By the year 2000, that number had grown to $866 billion. And now, the country is headed for a staggering trillion dollars a year in wagers.

These bets take place in over four hundred casinos nationally. In vast lotteries embraced by state governments as revenue godsends. At horse tracks and dog tracks and sporting events. On 35,000 internet sites devoted to gambling.

Imagine it. Americans spend $22 billion spent a year on all movies, plays, concerts, live performaces, on all sports events. And nearly a trillion dollars on gambling.

This hour, On Point: is there such a thing, in America today, as too much gambling? How are the slots and scratch tickets and powerballs shaping us as a nation?

Up next On Point: gambling gone wild.


Oscar Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada

Richard McGowan, SJ, economics professor at Boston College, and author of several books, including "State Lotteries and Legalized Gambling," his new book is "Government and the Transformation of the Gaming Industry"

Jan Jones, senior vice president at Harrah's Entertainment, and former Mayor of Las Vegas

This program aired on September 18, 2002.


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