Casino gambling has become a popular widely available form of entertainment. The industry has spread rapidly in the last twenty years, but there has been little scientific analysis of the social and economic effects of gambling. This is starting to change, as more than a handful of researchers have begun examining the economic effects of casinos and gambling.
I began studying the economic effects of gambling with a focus on casinos in 1996. This book is the product of my research during the past ten years. My goal in writing this book is to give a balanced, mainstream, comprehensive economic analysis of the casino industry. If I am successful, this will be a unique contribution to the gambling literature that will be a valuable resource to gambling researchers in a variety of disciplines, as well as policymakers and the general public.
Although it does not cover every aspect of “the economics of casino gambling” the book provides a fairly comprehensive discussion of the issues and the debates ongoing in the literature. The focus of the book is the economic effects of casino gambling, particularly the economic growth and the social costs that may accompany legalized casino gambling.
This is a book on economics but the fundamental concepts needed to understand the analysis in the book are outlined in the appendix. Therefore, researchers in law, medicine, psychology/psychiatry, political science, public administration, and sociology, as well as laypeople, should find this book accessible and interesting.
The reader should come away with a solid understanding of how mainstream economists view the effects of casino gambling. Unlike some contributors to the literature, I make a sincere attempt to acknowledge other perspectives and to alert the reader to specific areas of debate. To be sure, there is disagreement even among economists about the effects of casino gambling.
These areas of debate receive considerable attention throughout the book. It is left to the reader to decide which perspectives seem most reasonable and convincing based on the available evidence. My hope is that this volume will provide an informative, interesting, and even controversial, discussion of the economics of casino gambling.