Playing to Lose

Gambling is a business based on people losing money. Warren Buffett, widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world, has described gambling as “a tax on ignorance.” Increasingly, across the country, state governments have legalized gambling on lotteries and in casinos without much thought to the negative impacts. Thirty years ago, there were few lotteries, and casinos existed only in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Currently, 43 states have some form of lottery, and there are over 500 casinos in 28 states. The growth of gambling has been remarkable in these past 30 years. Gambling has transformed itself from a “sinful” pursuit to one that is now generally considered acceptable and, in this process, society has paid a great cost.


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