[Earl L. Grinols] is a professor of economics at the University of Illinois who has spent 12 years sniffing around the gambling industry. On page 3, he describes an encounter with a gambling-industry executive. "I then asked him the following question: If he knew that what he did to make his living unintentionally hurt people -- really hurt them -- would it be enough to make him change his line of work? He quickly replied that, of course, it would. I then drew from my briefcase a photocopy of a newspaper clipping titled, 'Woman Gambles Away Family's Savings, Kills Self.'" The exec dismissed the account as anecdotal and incomplete. So Grinols set to work on a scientific study of America's $67 billion betting business.Grinols' book closes with a scenario involving a theoretical city of 362,000 -- slightly bigger than Pittsburgh -- that brings in a casino. All the economic activity, profits, taxes and new jobs brought in by the casino would be exceeded by gambling's social costs, leaving the city about $10.4 million poorer, he calculates. Let's hope state and local politicians read to the end, so we don't have to live it.
Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits; Cambridge University Press
Skipping to the end of a book is usually considered cheating. In the case of Earl L. Grinols' just-released Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits, cheating may be warranted. Because if the book's findings and the latest rumblings from Harrisburg a...