Say Yes to New Hampshire. Say NO to Casinos.
Addiction, Crime, and Public Health Damage
24. One-in-eight New Hampshire residents will be harmed.
Each problem or pathological gambler impacts the lives of approximately ten additional family members, workplace associates, friends, and crime victims. The Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre found that over 12 percent of Ontario adults are negatively affected from someone else’s gambling problems, usually taking form as being manipulated into lending money or not having money repaid.
Increased addiction-related social and economic costs include divorce, domestic violence, child abuse, child death by abuse, rape, assault, suicide, drug abuse, psychiatric and personality disorders, physical illness, bankruptcy, work absenteeism, lost workplace productivity, embezzlement, insurance fraud, arson, and increased police, civil justice, social services costs.
The National Gambling Impact Study Commission found that prevalence of these problems among pathological (addicted) gamblers compared to non-gamblers increases by up to several times: past year unemployment benefits by 3.3x, past-year welfare by 2.4x, bankruptcy filing by 4.6x, arrests by 7.2x, divorce by 2.9x, long-term illness by 2.0x, depression by 4.2x.
A national epidemiological survey of 43,000 American adults found that, “Pathologic gamblers were more likely than low-risk individuals to have been diagnosed with tachycardia (odds ratio 1.77), angina (OR 2.35) … Gambling severity was also associated with higher rates of medical utilization with pathologic gamblers more likely than low-risk individuals to have been treated in the emergency room in the year before the survey (OR 1.98). Significant effects of gambling severity remained even after controlling for demographic characteristics (age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, education, income, and region of the country) and behavioral risk factors such as body mass index, alcohol abuse and dependence, nicotine dependence, and mood and anxiety disorders.
A lifetime diagnosis of pathologic gambling is associated with several medical disorders and increased medical utilization, perhaps leading to a burden on healthcare costs in the United States. In response to its adverse experience with widely accessible video slot machines, Switzerland banned slot machines outside of casinos in 2005. Norway banned all slots of the type used in the US in 2007. Russia banished all gambling to four highly remote locations in 2009.