While our organization does not take a position on gambling expansion in California or any other state, we do comment on false charges about the effects of our industry in gaming jurisdictions, such as those made by Susan Gluss in her Oct. 24 op-ed “Backlash on Betting.”
To support her opinions, Gluss relies heavily on data from one of the nation’s leading gambling opponents. Contrary to her claims, research for a 1999 federal commission estimated pathological gambling prevalence at less than 1 percent. A report by a nonpartisan panel of state and local public officials the following year and research by numerous state governments also reported that no evidence exists to conclude that gambling expansion causes rising levels of pathological gambling.
As to annual costs associated with gaming, Gluss’ source tabulates figures that are 10 times the amount estimated by the federal commission. Furthermore, commission research conducted by one of the most prestigious scientific organizations in the country — the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences — concluded that “gambling appears to have net economic benefits for economically depressed communities.”
While Gluss is entitled to her views, Californians deserve a fair account of issues involving gambling expansion instead of misinformation backed by junk science.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.
President and CEO
American Gaming Association