Legalized Gambling

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The United States has struggled with gambling policy since colonial days, and its legal stance has alternated between legalization and prohibition. Today, many forms of gambling are legal, and most Americans bet at least occasionally. Many people believe, however, that the recent rush to legalize gambling has turned millions of Americans into pathological gamblers. They blame a variety of problems, including crime, broken families, and the exploitation of the poor, on legalization. Defenders contend that gambling's negative consequences have been exaggerated and that most Americans bet responsibly. They also warn that prohibition will not stop gambling but instead turn the gambling business over to organized criminals. Legalized Gambling explains how the debate over gambling has become more intense in recent years because of the proliferation of online casinos and the popularity of illegal sports betting.