'Gambling is inevitable. No matter what is said or done by advocates or opponents of gambling in all its various forms, it is an activity that is practiced, or tactily endorsed by a substantial majority of Americans'. (Commission on the Review of National Policy toward Gambling 1). The history of gambling in America dates back into the early colonial times. Additional evidence for the longevity of gambling comes from the Bible which mentions lots being cast for Christ's clothing (Pierce and Miller 9). In the modern world, the terms gambling and gaming are used interchangeably. Within the gambling industry, the term gambling has fallen into disfavor and is being replaced by gaming. The latest wave of lotteries in the US began with the New Hampshire lottery in 1964. The lottery in New Hampshire sprang from the desire to keep taxes low or nonexistent (Pierce & Miller 55).
Definition of terms
Gambling is the lawful placement of a wager or bet on the outcome of an uncertain future event. Bet refers to an amount placed on the outcome of an uncertain future event, particularly pertaining to gaming. The amount spent on a particular form of gambling.
Wager is a bet or an amount placed on the outcome of an uncertain future event pertaining to sport, mainly racing. Bingo is a game of chance played for prizes, including monetary prizes, with cards bearing numbers or other designations that the card-holder covers when those numbers or designations are announced. A winner is determined when the first player
covers a previously specified arrangement of numbers or designations on the cards. Casino can be defined as a gambling facility that normally includes all or some of the following: slot machines, video games, card games, and other games such as keno, craps, and bingo.
Lottery is a game of chance in which tokens, keys, or other objects are sold. Of these items, only one is the winner. The winner is usually selected randomly by a draw (Basham & White 126).
Indeed legalization of gambling in New Hampshire would be beneficial to the state residents since gambling would be a form of tourist attraction, lead to increased employment opportunities and source of revenue.
Legal gambling activities include state lotteries; pari-mutuel betting on horses greyhounds, and jai-alai; sports book-making; card games; keno; bingo; slot machines; progressive slot machines; video poker machines; video keno machines; video blackjack machines; and video roulette machines. Not all of these are legal in all places. But the spread has been discrepant, with each state selecting the type of gaming that it tolerates or at least condones. Some states have casinos, but no lotteries. Other states have lotteries, but no casinos. The most popular kinds of illegal games are "numbers," which is essentially a lottery, and betting with bookies, typically sports betting. Sports' betting, in particular, is thought to measure to a large sum.
Supporting evidence of the thesis statement
Even if gambling may be abolished in New Hampshire, people will continue to gamble anyway. Thus the legalization of gambling may assist people to become responsible gamblers. Gaming is a form of recreation for many Americans. It is a form of entertainment that has gained much popularity since the colonial times. Other major gains of gaming include; its tourist attraction role, increasing employment opportunities and a source of revenue for the state or government.
The first major gain is tourist attraction and with the presence of casinos and other gambling facilities, New Hampshire can benefit from the casinos that may be a major tourist attraction. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. Some casinos are known for hosting live entertainment events, such as stand-up comedy, concerts and sporting events. Out of all the states in US with gambling facilities, New Hampshire is ranked number 33 out of 46 in the number of casinos. The casinos or wagering locations can be found in five different locations i.e. Belmont, Hinsdale, Rochester, Salem and Seabrook throughout the state. New Hampshire is famous for dog racing and horse racing, two horse tracks and pari-mutuel facility are available (World Casino Directory 2010). Pari-mutuel facility is a form of gambling where the gambling establishment pools the bets of players and does not risk any of its own money. The winnings are taken from the pool of bets. The value of winnings is determined by the pattern of bets placed by the players.
Money spent on gambling at, say, a casino that derives from tourists who live in other cities, regions, or countries represents a net benefit both to the casino and to the community in which the gambling occurs since it is new money entering the local economy (Basham & Karen, 68). The tourist attraction resulting from the gambling facilities in this state can assist propel economic development since it becomes a source of foreign exchange for the state residents. In this way the livelihoods of the residents can be improved through the provision of better health and sanitation facilities.
The second major gain is the increased employment opportunities. Gaming in New Hampshire can be an attractive source of income for the residents through the provision of employment opportunities. Gambling is said to be recession proof and amidst the global slowdown this industry is growing at a tremendous rate and is also a major source of employment. The growth in this industry is compounded by the emergence of the technological advances as in the mobile gaming and internet gaming. One other reason for its growth is its expanding consumer base, which is increasing through internet, and primarily includes the rich class of people. The rise of internet gambling has been the primary driver of the intensifying levels of competition in the industry (McGowan 4). Gambling facilities such as casinos employ quite a huge segment of the population since they get on board people with different expertise to design their premises and also work in the hotels. Gaming industry also widens the people's scope of the business ventures that they can undertake keeping in mind that even during economic downturn, the industry can still thrive unlike many other business ventures.
The third major gain is the generation of revenue. The gambling industry has been one of the world's fastest growing service sectors since the 1970s. The casino industry is a popular global gaming industry which generates a large volume of revenue through licensure and taxation. The gambling industry can be a major contributor to the government in terms of tax revenues. This industry is a major boost to the economy and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country. New Hampshire is one of the few states with neither a state income tax nor a sales tax. In a search for the additional sources of revenue, policy makers found the voluntary nature of taxation through the lottery to be very attractive: New Hampshire law makers could increase revenue without increasing 'taxation' (Pierce & Miller, 56). The New Hampshire Gambling Tax is a 10% tax on any and all gambling winnings (Gambling Winnings Tax, 2010). The introduction of casinos and other gambling facilities often encourages large investments into communities for new capital projects, and additional spending for continual improvements and refurbishment on the initial investment (Basham & Karen, 69). Thus the state could gain from the legalized gambling especially of the casinos that would pump more money into the economy of New Hampshire.
One of the major issues that opponents of legalized gambling might advance against it is that gambling breeds crime in the society. Gambling is often associated with crime where by compulsive gamblers are said to engage in crime in order to pay for their huge debts and also once they become bankrupt they are said to engage in criminal activities such as robbery. Compulsive gamblers are involved in such criminal activities to make money to be able to visit the gambling facilities such as casinos soonest possible. A common misconception is that there is an association between gambling facilities and the incidence of crime. Opponents to gambling argue that the introduction of legalized gambling increases crime in a community while proponents claim that legalized gambling reduces crime because it eliminates incentives for illegal gambling (Basham & Karen 83). Legalized gambling cannot be directly associated with crime since New Hampshire has already legalized bingo and lottery, yet crime and other social problems such as addiction and drug trafficking are bound to occur irrespective of the status of gambling in the state.
The acceptance of gambling today can be seen by the substantial numbers of players of the various state lotteries and similar illegal games. Since gambling or gaming has been perceived as inevitable in the United States and more specifically in New Hampshire, it is important that the state undertake a regulatory role of this popular activity. The growth of gambling has been remarkable: in 30 years gambling has transformed itself from sinful to well accepted. Illegal gambling still exists and, by many accounts, flourishes. Regulation rather than prohibition is the surest remedy of gambling debate in New Hampshire.