The pros and cons about legalizing gambling in New York | MyPaperHub



In the contemporary society, gambling has become an accepted reality in New York and also in the majority of the states in America. Gambling may be traced from as early as during the Roman Empire during the rule of Caesar, who had so many engaging in it around the kingdom. Korn and Shaffer define gambling as the act of risking something that holds value to an individual for an outcome or event whereby the possibility of winning is lower and is not certain at all (223). Gambling is all over the state and the country with individuals playing the lottery, betting on football teams, betting on horse racing on the track and even the usual dubbing of an individualism bingo on the community hall. It may also take several forms that could range from the traditional forms, poker tournaments, online casinos and even betting on the ponies as well (Johansen, 67-80). It is an issue that had resulted to heated debating among the lawmakers and also the general public on whether gambling should be legalized and hence allowing the adults to engage in the sources of entertainment freely. There are also several definitions that individuals, institutions, and even leaders ascribe to gambling mostly depending on their personal experience with gambling or even out of the perceptions that they have formed. America, in general, has faced rapid legalization of gambling over the years with New York not being left behind. In New York, gambling is one of the things that every individual will give a try at least once in their lifetime. New York first legalized lottery in 1967 as the second state in America after New Hampshire (Korn and Shaffer, 231). By 1970, New York passed a law that allowed off-track betting on the horses marking the beginning of the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation that began its operations in 1971. New York was fast at passing the initial legislations to allow Casinos to operate in the City, and it is this that continues to raise public debate on the issue from across the divide. Today\, charitable gambling, pari-mutuel and Lotteries, casinos and others apart from commercial gambling are legal in the City. It is this that makes it essential to be able to make an analysis of the pros and the cons of legalizing gambling before making any premise of taking a standpoint on the issue.

Pros of legalizing gambling

Legalized gambling results to enormous revenue generation for the state governance. The revenue is raised through the taxes, regulatory fees and other charges imposed on the gambling businesses. It is a venture that may gross to over fifty million dollars on an annual basis thus indicating its viability to the City of New York (Korn and Shaffer, 234). It is the revenue collected from gambling that further leads to tax cuts in other sectors and also it may balance the financial needs of the city leading to increased income for the individuals and also the state governance. The places of gambling also result in other indirect revenues to the government through the growing tourism of gamblers from other parts of the world in search of the experience. It is a business that has made states such as Las Vegas the hubs of tourism both domestic and international. The tourism, in turn, results in huge financial gains to the state and the government.



Figure 1

Source: (Williams, West and Simpson)

A Global online report as illustrated indicated in a study by Williams, West and Simpson illustrated in figure 1 above indicates rising gambling revenue to the respective countries over the years. It is therefore, imperative that New York legalizes gambling so that they may not miss out in the opportunity to tap the extra revenue that comes with gambling.

The economic benefits that come with gambling are also an ideal way to stimulate the economy of New York. The legalization of gambling such as Casinos came at a time that the City and the Country, in general, faced the huge financial crisis (Rowen and Marcum). However, the billions of dollars generated every year through gambling may be the economic boost that the City requires and is very exciting particularly in the troubled economic times that the country is in. moreover, the revenues would otherwise be lost if the gambling was illegal yet individuals still engage in it at the underworld.

Legalizing gambling is a classic manner of taking the control away from the underworld and the organized criminals. It weakened the power and also the influence asserted by such criminals such as embezzlers, armed robbers, drug lords and others that use the casinos and other underworld gambling areas to engage further in crime. They also use such gaming areas at stabilizing their criminal empires due to the massive revenues generated from the business to the individuals and also such grouping (Johansen, 86).

Legalizing gambling is also a significant way of changing and also shifting the legal behavior among individuals regarding the issue of gambling (Rowen and Marcum). It is natural for individual to want to try out the actions or behaviors that they have been otherwise told not to engage in as they raise their curiosity to the same. However, if individuals are told to gamble at free will, it might be a tool for reducing the illegal gambling associated with increased crimes and solidification of the criminal gangs.

Gambling has also resulted in increased revenue and earnings for the majority of families and individuals. The standards of living for some people that win the lottery and other gambling may be shifted and lifted high in a fortnight (Rowen and Marcum). There are also some individual that are so good at gambling that they rely upon it to increase their earnings through gambling in sports and other gambling centers that they are confident in engaging in and still win. Moreover, the gambling dens such s casinos, the lottery and other forms of gambling areas even the online ones result to the need to create more jobs. There are thousands of people that are employed in such areas right from getting jobs as security people, attendants, secretaries and so much more.

Legalization of gambling also further leads to the increased security of the citizens that may be engaging in the act. There are instances whereby individuals engage in gambling and as a result of their sheer perfection they can win games but some gambling centers especially when illegal may refuse to give the winnings to the individual (Rowen and Marcum). The winners or losers may also be at risk from the fraudulent gambling centers that have faulty systems or that use deception through tampering of the systems so as to ensure that they make more profits on a daily basis. There are also a lot of crimes related to gambling disputes. If the law protects an individual, they may choose to file a lawsuit against any gambling center or individual that they feel had acted in a manner inconsistent with the gambling laws. Therefore, avert from solving such disputes on the streets that may result in violent crimes in the process  (Korn and Shaffer, 230).

Legalizing gambling also offers a way for the government to come up with intervention mechanisms, campaigns and also educating the public on safe gambling and also on their rights and how to protect themselves from being defrauded. Gambling just like drugs such as alcohol may be very addicting, and therefore, there is a need to have interventions for such individuals (Rowen and Marcum). If the people are left in the underworld businesses, then there is no way the person may see for help if they have a gambling problem in fear of prosecution but if legalized and then the government creates systems of rehabilitating such individual, then it would lead to reduced impacts. Moreover, the government may also increase the awareness of the effects of excessive gambling or even engage in capacity building endeavors to educate the public on safe gaming. The government can also be able to establish controls and statutes that oversee the gaming industry thus controlling its effects since when left in the underworld, it is still widely practiced, and there is little that the government can do to help the victims and all those affected by gambling (Rowen and Marcum). It is just like alcohol and cigarette smoking that are legal, but there are controls instituted to ensure that the public remains informed and engages in safe behavior.


The disadvantages of legalizing gambling

Gambling has been associated with increased financial losses and making of poor financial decisions. Ideally, an individual should only engage in gambling with the money that they spare and not the money that they intend to use on the basic needs since the outcome has a very high uncertainty. It is like investing in a very high-risk business and therefore, should be ready to lose (Basham and White). However, when gambling is legalized, yet there is a majority of the public that has little or no information and insight on the best gambling behaviors, then individual may end up losing a lot of their finances. There are cases of individuals losing all their lifetime savings through gambling others even gambling on their personal assets leading to massive financial losses that may result to frustration and further impoverishing of individuals. If a person makes a loss and cannot accept it, they may also lead to gambling another time even with borrowed money to recover what they had previously lost.

Gambling is highly addictive among individuals and just like any other addictions; it may result to adverse. Addiction to gambling just as addiction to drugs and Alcohol has negative effects on it only the individual but also the others around them including their family members (Basham and White). The gambling addicts are not self-conscious and may not know when to stop and accept a loss or rather be content with their winnings but may end up betting off everything they own. There are cases of individuals that may bet off even their personal assets such as cars, houses. With the legalization of gambling, then individuals are more encouraged to engage in it and thus increasing the addiction rates in the City (Basham and White).

There are also some indications of the connection between gambling and the growth in crime rates. The crime rates may result from individuals that may have lost everything through gambling leading to crime to recover their losses (Darian-Smith, 30). There are also other that may have increased income from gambling and may be irresponsible at managing such income. They are, therefore, tempted to engage in further crimes such as drug abuse. As a leisure activity, gambling involves other illegal activities such as prostitution, money laundering as the individuals avoid taxation and also in drug addiction as the celebrations continue.

Legalized gambling may result in an increase in the costs and expenses of controlling its effects, operations, and consequences. To maintain the standards and also the laws set in place to control gambling there is a need to institute policing policies, may even establish a gaming control unit (Darian-Smith, 30). Establishing and running such units is expensive to the state and therefore the argument that it brings in revenue, such expenses may lead to the expenditure of that revenue collected through the legalized gambling. There are also some other costs that the state may accrue through the lost revenue generation by individuals that may become gambling addicts and end up affecting their productivity and may incur further costs at rehabilitation (Basham and White).



Figure 2

Source: (Williams, West and Simpson)

A Canadian Community Health survey 1.2 in 2012 as reported by Williams, West and Simpson as indicated in the Figure 2 above indicated that despite the problems that the antigambling associate with the legalized gambling, the gambling presented moderate and low risk to majority of the gamblers. The fe4serach indicated that gambling was a non-problem to 71% of the respondents. It is therefore, clear that regardless of the problems affiliated with gambling as shown by the negative effects of legalizing it; the benefits outweigh the negative consequences of gambling.



In conclusion, legalization of gambling in New York continues to be subject to debate and also controversy in a major way. Gambling may be defined as the act of risking something of value in pursuit of something else of which its attainment is uncertain. Legalization of gambling in New York has been a process that has taken decades to the point at which it is at today. The law enforcers, the public, and other stakeholders had to make a real cost-benefit analysis before making legalization of the various types of gambling. There are a series of advantages that come with the legalization of gambling. Such benefits include the revenues raised from the business to both the public and also the state. However, other cost implications are a consequence of legalization of gambling. Nevertheless, it is apparent that legalization of gambling has more advantages than the disadvantages and that the benefits outweigh the consequences of its legalization.




Works cited

Basham, P.& White, K. Gambling with our future? The costs and benefits of legalized gambling.

The Fraser Institute Digital Publication (Canadiana No. 20020102449). Vancouver, B.C.: The Fraser Institute, 2002. Retrieved April 27, 2016, from

Darian-Smith, Eve. New Capitalists: Law, Politics, and Identity Surrounding Casino Gaming on

Native American Land, Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2004. Pp. 30

Johansen, Bruce. The Praeger Handbook on Contemporary Issues in Native America, Westport,

CT: Praeger Publishers, 2007. Pp. 67-100.

Korn, D. A., & Shaffer,H. Gambling and the health of the public: Adopting a public health

perspective. Journal of Gambling Studies 15:4, 1999; 223-234.Retrieved April 27, 2016, from,1,15.

Rowen, Henry and Marcum, Jess. How many games in town?— the pros and cons of legalized

gambling. National Affairs, Inc., 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2016, from

Williams RJ, West BL, & Simpson RI. (2012). Prevention of Problemm Gambling: A

Comprehensive Review of the Evidence, and Identified Best Practices. Report prepared for the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre and the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long Term Care. October 1, 2012..


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