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Lobbying powerhouse and leader of the religious right movement in the United States, James Dobson, and his religious conservative groups who follow everything he says without question, have been citing an out of control increase in problem gambling as their reasoning for opposing all expansion of gambling in the United States for the past two decades. That argument, based on opinion and zero facts, has been officially defeated this week with the release of an extensive study completed by the UK Gambling Commission.
Of course, there have been strong studies done in the past that have also concluded that gambling problems do not increase as gambling casinos expand, but this study was done in the UK and it is getting enough major mainstream publicity to put the anti-gambling groups strongest argument finally to rest.
The most important of the past studies that have been done, which gets the least publicity, is actually one out of South Africa that conclusively found that gambling problems actually decrease in areas where casinos expand, if, and this is an important if that the gambling industry and lawmakers looking to expand gambling must completely understand, if the expansion is coupled with a strong public campaign revealing the perils of gambling and how to avoid them.
“It seems to me that the logical answer for all nations across the world is to legalize gambling,” said Gordon Price, Casino Gambling Web’s analyst, “and the religious and moral groups should be spending their time and money on lobbying lawmakers to make it mandatory for casinos to be involved in some sort of problem gambling initiative.”
The third study, which was actually more expansive than the UK Gambling Commission study, was completed by Harvard University researchers earlier this year. That study had over 40,000 participants and it revealed that only 0.4% of those online gamblers, who were followed over a 9 month period, developed gambling problems.
The UK study that was released earlier this week concluded that 0.6% of gamblers develop problems.
All of the numbers are way below the estimates that experts and analysts predicted, and much to religious conservatives dismay, they all revealed that people in general are smarter than experts, and self-appointed experts, gives them credit for.
“We should not be taking away freedom because some religious group says gambling destroys families,” Price continued, “we should rely on studies and facts and give freedom back to the people in countries where freedom reigns supreme.”