America’s history with gambling has been characterized by ambivalence. There have been periods of full embrace of gambling within communities, followed by movements seeking temperance and prohibition.
Starting in the 1970s, there was a slow movement to accept gambling as a regulated pastime. As gambling expanded over the last 20 years, regulation of gambling has been an issue at the state level, meaning that there has not been a national, consistent plan to address the impact of gambling problems.
The result has been that each state has different approaches, resources and attitudes on how to deal with gambling addiction. Legalizing gambling has significantly contributed to the economy and has supported many different businesses and industries. The negative impact, though, of pathological gambling remains under-addressed in many states. It is my belief that there is a shared responsibility between the gambling industry, the government and individuals who gamble to work together to develop policies and procedures that limit harm from gambling.
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© 2013 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.
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