| U.S. News & World
Report--Social Costs of Gambling
January 15, 1996 U.S. News & World Report
What are the social costs? "...However, gambling is not an entirely benign form of
fun. In 1989, sociologist Rachel Volberg did a survey that found 1.7 percent of Iowans had
a history of compulsive gambling. Last year, Volberg returned-four years after Iowa became
the first state to allow riverboat casinos-and found the numbers of problem gamblers had
tripled to 5.4 percent." p. 59.
"Even small numbers of addicted gamblers come at great expense, since each one is
thought to cost between $13,200 and $35,000 for services ranging from court costs to
treatment. But the biggest costs are to families. When Illinois State University at Normal
Prof. Henry Lesieur surveyed members of Gamblers Anonymous in Illinois, 26 percent said
they had divorced or separated because of gambling; 34 percent had lost or quit a job; 44
percent had stolen from work to pay their gambling debts; 21 percent had filed for
bankruptcy; 18 percent had had gambling-related arrests; 66 percent had contemplated
suicide, and 16 percent had attempted suicide." p. 59.