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"Casinos As Leisure, Recreation, And Tourism" An Analysis Of Clientele And Their Motivations

2805 words - 11 pages

Casinos, at least at first consideration, would appear to offer much in terms of recreation, tourism, and leisure. However, on closer consideration, it would appear that there are also many drawbacks to this endeavour. Casinos do not attract the well heeled, upper-echelon representatives of society that they are often expected to attract. Instead, they often attract those in our society who can least afford to gamble. They also have the potential to increase crime in the community as a whole. While some advocate government support of casinos, even this option can have more negative than positive consequences. In fact, casinos are not a healthy community option for recreation, leisure, and tourism.The first task at hand in demonstrating the unsuitability of casinos for recreation, leisure, and tourism is analyzing the issues surrounding gambling themselves. These issues are not only diverse, they are extremely disturbing. Baker (1996) argues that gambling should remain in the realm of criminals, not be cloaked in the perceived legitimacy of state sponsorship. He justifiably claims that states were able to legitimize this immoral activity by convincing an unwary public that the revenues from gambling would go to better benefit if harvested by state agencies than the criminals who were previously the sole beneficiaries. Baker effectively argues that it not only lowers the status of a once strong nation to: "let its governors take over the rackets. It is a no-class thing to do" (Baker, 1996). We have standing proof (in the form of state sponsored lotteries) that government sponsored gambling, whether that gambling is in the form of lotteries or casinos, is potentially hazardous to the community that accepts it. While Baker uses a ranting-reeling approach to discounting the perceptions of state-sponsored gambling, the facts are indeed very clear that the original proclamations that state sponsored lotteries were the remedy to soothe all financial woes are dead wrong. Those same proclamations are now being considered in the question of whether government sponsored casinos is a positive potential in terms of recreation, leisure, and tourism. However, we must look beyond the remedy and deep into the wound itself in order to see the realities of gambling. Those same realities apply street gambling and casino gambling equally. We again turn to the history of state sponsored lotteries to demonstrate the argument presented above. It has now become explicitly clear that state sponsored lotteries are not all positive in terms of societal impacts. Indeed, in some considerations these lotteries could be said to be characterized more by the negative factors that it is associated with than by any benefits that either the states or their citizens acquire. There are profits to be reaped but they do not come in the form of lottery winnings. Indeed, these lotteries pay off in revenues to the state but the question is left as to whether these revenues mitigate for the...

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