Understanding The Benefits of The US Gambling
Commission also has tried to survey the universe of information available from other sources. But it is clear that Americans need to know more. In this context, the Commission’s call for a pause should be taken as a challenge¾a challenge to intensify the effort to increase our understanding of the costs and the benefits of gambling and deal with them accordingly. Policymakers and the public should seek a comprehensive evaluation of gambling’s impact so far and of the implications of future decisions to expand gambling. In fact, state and local versions of this Commission may be an appropriate mechanism to oversee such research. If such groups are formed they will find as did the Commission that the search for answers takes time. Therefore, some policymakers at every level may wish to impose an explicit moratorium on gambling expansion while awaiting further research and assessment.
Although some communities may decide to restrict or even ban existing gambling, there is not much prospect of its being outlawed altogether. It is clear that the American people want legalized gambling and it has already sunk deep economic and other roots in many communities. Its form and extent may change; it may even disappear altogether. But for the present, it is a reality. The balance between its benefits and costs, however, is not fixed. To a welcome extent, that appears to lie within our power to determine. We can seek to shape the world we live in or simply allow it to shape us. It is in service of the former that this Final Report and its recommendations are offered.