Our Gambling Initiative examines the ethics and practice of government sponsorship of gambling.

This work grew naturally out of our Thrift Initiative. Some institutions in our society embody and promote thrift. Others – let's call them anti-thrift institutions – embody and promote waste and dissaving. Some anti-thrifts are in the private sector, while others are public. Today in the United States, by far the most powerful anti-thrift institution in our public sector is gambling.

As in all our work, our strategy for this initiative is scholarly excellence aiming at a fresh public argument. Our argument is that it's time for the American government to end its partnership with organized gambling interests and to embrace a fundamentally different and higher path to national prosperity. For an overview, you can read (and consider signing) An American Declaration on Government and Gambling.

In 2013 we launched a series of reports that we are calling "Casino Land: American in an Age of Inequality." The goal is to understand the meaning and role of casinos in American life – how they work and what they do, the values they embody and transmit, their impact on civil society, their connection to government, and their relationship to the rise of American inequality. To explore this facet of our work, you can:

Read our Council on Casinos' 2013 report Why Casinos Matter: Thirty-One Evidence-Based Propositions from the Health and Social Sciences.

Read David Blankenhorn's 2013 report New York's Promise: Why Sponsoring Casinos is a Regressive Policy Unworthy of a Great State.

Read Paul Davies' 2013 report Stacked Deck: Inside New York's Dishonest Casino Plan.

Read Amy Ziettlow's 2014 report Seniors in Casino Land: Tough Luck for Older Americans.

There's a great analysis of state lotteries as public sector anti-thrifts in our 2008 report, For a New Thrift, and an excellent discussion of the Texas debate on state-sponsored casinos in our 2011 report, Thrift or Debt: Which Direction is Right for Texas? You can watch a fascinating conversation on the biochemistry of gambling, Are Casinos Like Cocaine for the Brain?

You can learn a great deal about this issue by visiting our grass-roots partner organization, Stop Predatory Gambling.


Learn more

Read the report Seniors in Casino Land: Tough Luck for Older Americans

Learn more

Read the report Why Casinos Matter: Thirty-One Evidence-Based Propositions from the Health and Social Sciences

View all members of the Council on Casinos

In the News

Towns Must Weigh Gambling's Consequences
Kent J. Siladi, Hartford Courant, 1/28/2017

The Devil in my Casino
Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, 1/5/2017

How Casinos Enable Gambling Addicts
John Rosengren, The Atlantic, 11/16/2016

A Growing, Harmful Industry
Robert Steele and Tony Hwang, 11/23/2015

Doubling Down on a Troubled Industry
Robert Steele and Tony Hwang, 11/10/2015


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