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