Gambling Studies

Useful gambling research – studies, reports, news stories

A few key reports

Gambling: Context and Addictions
National Institute for Health and Medical Research, 2008, Paris

IIGET (Integrated Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team)/RCMP Report on money-laundering (and gangs) in BC Casinos

Robert Goodman, pre-eminent US economist of gambling expansion
See our blog post on him here. It contains both of the following:
1. Goodman, Robert, June 13, 2007, Video: testifying before Philadelphia Council’s Rules Committee.
2. PDF report
Easy access to a casino increases problem gambling.


By Category

Lawsuits filed by users
Problem gambling


Cavedinia, Paolo, Giovanna Riboldia, Roberto Kellera, Arcangela D’Annuccia, and Laura Bellodia, February 15, 2011. “Frontal lobe dysfunction in pathological gambling patients” in Biological Psychiatry 51(4), 334-341. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
The data suggest a link between PG and other disorders (i.e., obsessive-compulsive disorder and drug addiction) all having diminished ability to evaluate future consequences, which may be explained at least in part by an abnormal functioning of the orbitofrontal cortex.

Goudriaan,A.E., J Oosterlaan, P. Beurs, W. van den de Brink, 2006. « Neurocognitive functions in pathological gambling: A comparison with alcohol dependence, Tourette syndrome and normal controls,” in Addiction, 101(4), 534-547. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
Pathological gamblers and alcohol dependents are characterized by diminished executive functioning, suggesting a dysfunction of frontal lobe circuitry in these disorders.

Kevin McCauley, 2011. The Choice Argument video against calling addiction a disease. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from (video clip)
Addiction is a disease of choice. Addicts are not able to make good choices.

Ross, Don, Carla Sharp, Rudy E. Vuchinich and David Spurrett, 2008. Midbrain Mutiny: The Picoeconomics and Neuroeconomics of Disordered Gambling. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
Pathological gambling is a true addiction, a chronic disruption of the balance between the midbrain dopamine system and the prefrontal and frontal serotonergic system.


Net Industries. Undated. Casinos: The Effects of Casinos – Bankruptcy Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
Counties and states in which casinos operate have higher bankruptcy rates. One exception is Biloxi, Mississippi, where tourism had been enhanced tourism had been increased.

Gambling boys – teen gambling addicts: CBC

Gambling: Context and Addictions
National Institute for Health and Medical Research, 2008, Paris

Kindt, John Warren, 1996. “The Business-Economic Impacts of Licensed Casino Gambling in West Virginia: Short-Term Gain but Long-Term Pain.” Retrieved April 9, 2011, from
With the exception of the cluster services associated with gambling, casinos tend to put pressure on surrounding businesses. After gambling was legalized in South Dakota, gambling become one of the leading causes of business and personal bankruptcies.


Casino-free Philadelphia. Undated.
Gambling-related political corruption became so widespread in the 1800s that every state in the union eventually outlawed lotteries and all other forms of gambling. Today, history appears to be repeating itself. The recent wave of gambling expansion in the United States has spawned another epidemic of political corruption:
· Two former West Virginia Senate Presidents were sentenced to prison for taking money from gambling interests. One was charged with soliciting $15,000 from a casino company to help pass a bill that would have allowed casinos in the state. The other was convicted for accepting an illegal $10,000 payment from gambling interests.[1]
· Nineteen Arizona legislators and lobbyists were caught on videotape taking money after agreeing to vote for legalized gambling.[2] Six lawmakers eventually accepted plea bargains; another was convicted of conspiracy for taking $25,000 from an undercover agent.[3]
· Three Hilton Hotels executives — one a board member — resigned in the wake of an investigation regarding the corporation’s attempts to obtain a riverboat license in Kansas City, Missouri. Hilton allegedly paid $250,000 to a business headed by the former chairman of the Kansas City Port Authority, whose approval Hilton needed to lease city property for the casino. The former chairman later cast the deciding vote awarding Hilton the lease.[4]
· Missouri’s House Speaker of 15 years resigned in 1996 in the wake of a federal investigation induced by charges of gambling-related dealings. The ex-speaker demanded that a gambling company direct payments of $16 million toward the ex-speaker’s friends and business associates in order to secure a casino license in the state.[5]
· In Kentucky, 15 state legislators were eventually convicted or pled guilty to charges involving the state’s horse racing industry.[6]
· The FBI launched a two-year investigation into the activities of more than a dozen Louisiana legislators suspected of accepting bribes from gambling interests.[7] One former state senator, who chaired the senate committee overseeing gambling matters, has been convicted of racketeering-related charges in the investigation.[8] A representative who sat on a similar committee in the Louisiana House resigned after admitting to using his influence to help two organized-crime-controlled video poker companies in exchange for gifts.[9]
· Seventeen South Carolina lawmakers were convicted of or pled guilty to charges related to a federal sting operation labeled “Operation Lost Trust.” The investigation centered around allegations that legislators accepted gambling money in exchange for pro-gambling votes on horse racing legislation.[10]
· In 1997, the former chairman of the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee was indicted on charges of bribery, perjury and filing false finance reports. The charges stemmed from allegations that the former chairman took bribes from the lead engineering firm in a riverboat casino project in the state.[11]
· Four of Atlantic City’s last seven mayors have been found guilty of or pleaded guilty to corruption charges.[12]

CBC News, April 8, 2011. Former officers slam Vancouver casino proposal Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
Eighteen law officials have opposed the expansion of Edgewater citing money laundering, loan sharking, extortion and prostitution, as well as a “vulnerability to public corruption.”

CNN, January 13, 2011. Former Louisiana governor released from prison. Retrieved from
Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards was released from federal prison Thursday after serving 10 years for asking for payoffs from people who applied for riverboat casino licenses in New Orleans in the 1990s.

Holman, Sean, April 7, 2010. BCLC chair had stake in Alberta casino development. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
Richard Turner had a stake in a Paragon Gaming Inc. casino development in Alberta while he was chair of British Columbia Lottery Corp.’s board of directors.

Kindt, John Warren, 2011. The Business-Economic Impacts of Licensed Casino Gambling in West Virginia: Short-Term Gain but Long-Term Pain. Retrieved April 9, 2011, from
The casino industry spent $3 million to get the Florida referendum on the ballot and $16.5 million to campaign for the casinos – more than the combined gubernatorial campaigns of Governor Lawton Chiles and his challenger Jeb Bush (Lavelle fu94).

In recognition of the problem of corruption, in some states, it is illegal for officials to accept contributions from gambling interests.

Rawls, Phillip, January 19, 2011. Casino lobbyist starts corruption term. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
Casino lobbyist Jarrod Massey is the first to be charged of 11 people arrested in Atlanta on charges of buying and selling votes on pro-gambling legislation.


Kindt, John Warren, 1996. “The Business-Economic Impacts of Licensed Casino Gambling in West Virginia: Short-Term Gain but Long-Term Pain.” Retrieved April 9, 2011, from
Research throughout the nation indicates that for every dollar legalized gambling contributes in taxes, it usually costs the taxpayers at least 3 dollars. (Politzer, Morrow and Leavey 1981; Better Government Association 1992; Florida Budget Office 1994). These costs to taxpayers are reflected in: (1) infrastructure costs, (2) relatively high regulatory costs, (3) expenses to the criminal justice system, and (4) large social-welfare costs (Illinois Governor’s Office 1992). Accordingly, several state legislators (e.g., in South Dakota) have called for at least partially internalizing these external costs by taxing all legalized gambling activities at a straight 50 percent tax rate….

[A] 1995 Wisconsin report concluded that “[w]ithout considering the social costs of compulsive gambling, the ‘rest-of-the-state’ areas lose-or, transfer in-$223.94 million to the local gaming areas. Considering the lowest estimated social costs of problem gambling, the rest of … [Wisconsin] loses $318.61 million to gambling” (Thompson, Gazel, and Rickman 1995). This report also concluded that without casino gambling, many local citizens would have increased participation in other “outside” activities. “More than 10% of the locals would spend more on groceries if it were not for the casino, while nearly one-fourth would spend more on clothes…..” (Thompson, Gazel, and Rickman 1995).

See also Bankruptcies.


C. Bennett Williamson and F. Stephen Bridges. Legalized Gambling and Crime in Canada. Psychological Reports, 2004 (95) p.747-753. Retrieved February 27, 2011, from
Casinos were positively associated with both rate of theft and robbery in 1990 and 2000.

IIGET (Integrated Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team)/RCMP Report on money-laundering (and gangs) in BC Casinos

Vancouver Sun, October 20, 2006. Casino a crime magnet: RCMP. Retrieved April 9, 2011, from
The opening of River Rock Casino in Richmond has led to a quadrupling of casino-related crime and allowed new organized crime groups to gain a foothold in the city, according to an internal RCMP report obtained by The Vancouver Sun.

Lawsuits filed by users

Associated Press, June 13, 2000. Casino Loser of $1 Million Settle Suit. Retrieved April 10, 2011, from
Stephen Roel who claimed he was plied with drinks while he gambled away more than $1 million reached an undisclosed settlement with two Las Vegas casinos. He had a $50,000 credit line at the casino; however, he was allowed to extend that to about $840,000 despite being drunk.

CBC, March 24, 2010. Loto-Québec to pay for gamblers’ therapy: Cost estimated at $50M to reimburse gambling addicts. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
Loto-Québec will pay for addiction therapy for thousands of compulsive gamblers in the province, after the gaming corporation reached an out-of-court deal in a decade-old class action suit. The Quebec Superior Court approved a estimated $50 million settlement between Loto-Québec and a group of compulsive gamblers that sued the gaming corporation for damages related to their addiction. The lawsuit affects nearly 120,000 people in Quebec. When the gamblers first sued they sought about $700 million and measures to warn the public about the dangers of gambling. They accused the gaming corporation of negligence for not including warnings on video lottery terminals (VLTs).

Chung, Andrew, August 5, 2007. Casinos not taking chances in court. Retrieved April 11, 2011 from
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. has settled out of court all of the major lawsuits launched against it in recent years by compulsive gamblers, avoiding any court ruling on its controversial program that offers addicts a chance to keep themselves out of casinos. Many claim they signed “self-exclusion” forms, a pillar of the province’s problem gambling strategy, to ban themselves from casinos. The plaintiffs say the gambling venues ought to have exercised a “duty of care” toward them.

Associated Press, July 8, 2010. Terry Watanabe Cuts Deal In Gambling Lawsuit. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
Charges against Terry Watanabe and Mr. Watanabe’s lawsuit against the casino have been dropped and a deal reached. The lawsuit claimed that when the gambling addict was losing large sums of money, Harrah’s responded by offering him prescription pain killers and increasing his credit limit. Harrah’s also offered Watanabe a variety of incentives including a three bedroom palazzo, 15% cash back on monthly table losses of $500,000 or greater, a $12 500 transportation reimbursement, a $3 million line of credit, and tickets to a Rolling Stones concert.


Brunner, Terrence J., June 23, 1997. Statement to the Metro Ethics Coalition Project, Better Business Association. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
Those in favor of casino gambling often argue that casinos attract tourism and often cite Las Vegas as an example. Las Vegas is an isolated case. Most of the attendees at local casinos in Illinois live within a 50 mile radius in which they do not seek to spend their money on anything other than gambling.

LiveDealer. October 24, 2010. Why Singapore casinos will soon eclipse Las Vegas. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
The American market may be saturated while the Asian market is underserviced. New casinos in Singapore and Macau are beginning to meet the needs of the Asian market, and fewer offshore gambling tourists are expected to come to the U.S.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2011. Playing to Win: The casino and online gaming market stable despite the global financial downturn. Retrieved April 9, 2011, from
By 2014, the global gaming industry will still be dominated by large and prestigious gaming developments. However, there will be dramatic shifts as online gaming revenues take-off in many markets and the spending power moves from West to East, specifically to Asia Pacific. The US is expected to be the biggest regional gaming market by 2014 accounting for 44%o f all global revenues compared to 40% in Asia Pacific.

Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation, February 28, 2011. Pennsylvania business leaders rip the state’s casinos. Retrieved April 9, 2011, from
Spending dollars are diverted from other entertainment.


Darlene James Policy & Business Planning, November 2003. Gambling in Alberta Policy Background Paper. Retrieved April 10, 2011, from
Alberta and Saskatchewan have the highest rates of problem gambling, 5.2% and 5.9% respectively. The rate in BC is 4.6% using the Canadian Problem Gambling Index.

Goodman, Robert, June 13, 2007, testifying before Philadelphia Council’s Rules Committee. Retrieved February 21, 2011, from
Easy access to a casino increases problem gambling.

Smith, Garry J. and Harold J. Wynne, February 2002. Measuring Gambling and Problem Gambling in Alberta: Final Report. Using the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI), p. 4. Retrieved April 10, 2011, from
Problem gambling prevalence rates are highest amongst adolescent and Aboriginal populations. In Alberta, the rates are possibly as high as 24% and 49% leaving researchers to wonder if the Canadian Problem Gambling Index is culturally sensitive.
Problem gambling

Darlene James Policy & Business Planning, November 2003. Gambling in Alberta Policy Background Paper. Retrieved April 10, 2011, from
Problem gamblers spend greater amounts of time and money on gambling than intended, borrow or commit illegal acts to continue gambling or pay debts, experience anxiety and guilt as a result of their gambling behaviour, and have personal or employment problems due to their gambling. Problem gambling can also have consequences for the gambler’s family, friends, and employer from whom gamblers may pressure to give money or steal money.

Shaun McKinnon. December 17, 1997. “Study Links Gambling, Suicide” in Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 10, 2011, from
U.S. Cities with casinos have higher than average suicide rates among residents and visitors.

Sklar, Alissa. “Nothing to Lose: Anonymous Chat Service Helps Teens Who Gamble, in Faze Magazine. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from
Gambling related behaviors include lying, stealing from parents, drug and alcohol use, missing school, and suicide.

Thomas Appleyard, Gary Hoskins, and Brenda Teasell, January 1, 2004. Problem Gambling and Child Welfare, Oacas Journal. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from
Children of problem gamblers experience neglect, isolation, emotional deprivation, abuse, rejection, poor role modeling, family break-up, and death of a parent. They are more likely to overeat, have school problems, abuse substances, and commit suicide.


Casino International, August 23, 2010. Touchingly Profitable. Retrieved April 9, 2011, from
Touchscreens increases the number of rounds played by 30%.

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