Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
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 Iowa State University Report on Gambling Impact on 

A conference at Iowa State University, sponsored by the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, reported on several studies done in Iowa by the Glen Roberts Research organization and the ISU College of Family and Consumer Science regarding the impact that expanded legalized gambling, especially river-boat casinos, has had on Iowa.

The conference reported on a poll, taken of about 630 citizens, that asked questions about social and economic impacts of expanded gambling. One finding was:

  • that Iowans believe gambling has a heavy negative impact on the family. Strong majorities of 63 to 75 percent say that wagering has a negative impact on family finances, marriage, and couple relationships and family relationships.
  • Gamblers negatively influenced by gambling reported:  "It was to the point where I considered taking my life." ; "I isolated myself from everyone."; "My parents could no longer rely on me."; "I ended up in a divorce."; "I stole from my employer."; "Family relations were destroyed irreparably, principal casualty is lack of trust."

Iowa has been subjected to riverboat casinos for several years, and has had more time than we in New Mexico to evaluate the impact that expanded gambling has caused to their citizens. Do we need to experience all the negative impacts of casino gambling that Iowa has felt? Wise legislators can learn from the misfortune of nearby states.