The legalization of gambling and casino development in communities has become a heated debate topic in recent years. As with any debate, there are two sides presenting valid arguments. The purpose of this paper is to present information from the perspectives of those both in favor of and opposed to the legalization of gambling and casino development in their communities. The paper concludes with the application of ethical theories to help determine the morality of casino development.
Positions Regarding the Legalization of Gambling and Casino Development
Debates are created out of a passion and/or concern over a particular issue. In this case, the question that needs answered is “what are the implications to society for legalizing gambling?” This section examines the supporting views as well as the opposing views for the legalization of gambling and casino development in communities.
There are many reasons why a person or entity is in support of legalizing gambling. The bulk of those reasons are financial: increased tax revenues, increased tourism revenues, and increased job opportunities (Koo, Rosentraub, & Horn, 2007). Stitt, Nichols, and Giacopassi (2005) point out that many states have adopted the legalization of gambling and casino development as a way to increase tax revenues quickly and effortlessly. According to Wiley and Walker (2011), in 2007 the casino industry paid $365 million in state and local taxes to the state of Michigan. Other states struggling to balance budgets see the success Michigan has had with casinos and advocate for casino development in their states. As a result of casino development, tourism revenues increase. Increased tourism revenues in areas of business such as local hotels, restaurants, airports, and local attractions are considered “spillovers” that can add millions of dollars to the local economy (Wiley & Walker, 2011; Koo et al., 2007). Finally, an increase in job opportunities is a strong motivator for the legalization of gambling and casino development in a time where jobs are hard to find. Jobs are created in all sectors from planners, construction workers, dealers, table workers, cooks and kitchen staff, bartenders, wait staff, security, hotel staff, event coordinators, etc. Financial reasons are the most discussed reasons for the advocacy of legalizing gambling and casino development.
The opposing side of the legalization of gambling and casino development holds the costs to society as the most important reasons to deny the casino industry access to their communities. Some reasons cited as societal costs are: increased crime, increased traffic congestion, and increased family problems (Stitt et al., 2005). According to Stitt et al., (2005) people are concerned with the possible increase of crime in their communities if casinos are allowed to be built. Some of the crimes of concern are theft, prostitution, vandalism, and public drunkenness. Traffic...