Monday, June 29, 2009

Gambling & The Great Depression, Then & Now

Excerpt from article, "Greater Depressions: Social and Behavioral Trends of Economic Collapse"

By Kathy McMahon, Psy. D.;

The Great Depression led to a much greater legalization of gambling. The antigambling mood changed as tremendous financial distress gripped the country, especially after the stock market crash of 1929. Legalized gambling was looked upon as a way to stimulate the economy…In 1933, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, and California legalized parimutuel betting. The California Legislature adopted a statute in 1933 referred to as the Horse Racing Act. The statutes took effect upon adoption by the voters of an amendment to the Constitution in June of 1933. During the 1930’s, 21 states brought back racetracks….Nevada legalized most forms of gambling in the State in 1931.

Lottery sales are up. Of the 42 states with lotteries, 22 set sales records last year, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. They’ll do even better in 2009. But will the gamblers?

The suicide rate among compulsive gamblers is more than 20 times higher than in the general population, according to the crisis center. As during the Great Depression, some people facing financial troubles (and State Governments as well) turn to gambling as a possible salvation. In fact, those who help with compulsive gambling problems are seeing an increase in requests for help. Calls to the 1-800 BETS OFF helpline have increased 41 percent from FY 2002 to FY 2008.

Article from "PeakOilBlues," a wonderful Psy-Fi (psychology & finance) blog where Angsty Americans go; see you there or be square!
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1 comment:

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