Gambling Politics: State Government and the Business of Betting
Legalized gambling has spread like wildfire through the United States, with only Hawaii and Utah still prohibiting all of its forms. The reason? Gambling has become the method of choice for states in search of additional revenue: in 2002 alone, state lottery sales exceeded USD42 billion, netting nearly USD14 billion in voluntary taxes. Gambling Politics examines this dramatic development in contemporary state policymaking, as well as the shifting and often contentious politics accompanying gambling's spread. Fierce and Miller present a multistate analysis of lottery and casino proposals to explain why states have or have not adopted various forms of gambling since 1966. Supplementing their research with case studies of Florida and Illinois, they provide insight into the process of policy diffusion, explore the symbolic threats associated with gambling, and assess the changing influence of religious and other interest groups. Gambling lost much of its stigma, the authors conclude, once state-run lotteries meant government was engaged in the business of sin and citizen objections could no longer be heard over the din of interest-group lobbying.
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