Gambling expenditures now top $550 billion per year. That's more money than Americans spend per year on films, books, amusements, and music entertainment combined. Rex Roger's, writer of the America's "New Love Affair with Gambling," explains that gambling has gone up about $1.5 billion per day or an increase of roughly 3,000% in the past 20 years. No matter how you look at gambling, it's not going away. But yet year after year state voter's turn down casinos in their state. Utah and Hawaii are the only two states that still have the "no legal gambling policy." The other 48 states allow some form of legal gambling. The lottery, lottery tickets, and the stock market are the most common forms of gambling in today's society. It has been estimated that around 82% of people in the United States have taken their chances on the lottery. If people have the right to go out and buy a lottery ticket and possibly win over $180 million, they should have the right to go to a casino, relax and play a game of cards. Although gambling has its downsides, all forms of gambling should be legal because it is your money and your decisions, if you are an adult your responsible for yourself if you win or lose, and it can generate more revenue for the states.
Gambling does have it's downsides, Howard Schaffer, director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Addiction Studies, predicted, "We will face in the next decade or so more problems with youth gambling than we"ll face with drug use." The National Institute of Mental Health notes that "addiction" to gambling is growing fastest among teenagers. Suicide rates are twice as high among teenagers with gambling problems, and teenagers are nearly two-and-one-half times as likely as adults to become compulsive gamblers. .
The Illinois Institute for addiction recovery explains that there are 3 phrases in gambling addiction. The "winning phase" in which the gambler experiences a big win or a series of wins that leaves them with unreasonable optimism that their winning will continue, and they begin increasing there bets.