Commentary

Super Bowl Crack for Gambling Addicts

Watching CNN Headline News this morning in my hotel gym, they did a piece on the “3,000, 000 people who can’t stop themselves from gambling.” The Superbowl is a big fat gambling honey pot for these sorry, helpless slobs. Have you gambled for real money? I have. It is fun, it is a rush, but addicting? I have trouble believing that people can’t kick addiction to substances that their body develops a craving or need for. An “addicition” to the rush of any behavior–gambling, base jumping, playing Doom 3–is not an addiciton, it is liking it. Doing it is a choice, baby. Shikha points out in a nice commentary that the case for gambling addiciton is mighty weak.

Despite the growth of casinos, the number of problem gamblers has hardly budged: The first federal commission on gambling in the 1970s found that 0.77 percent of the U.S. population had a gambling disorder. Three decades later in 1999, the National Gambling Impact Study Commission reported that less than 1 percent of the adult U.S. population had gambling issues.

Adrian Moore

Adrian Moore, Ph.D., is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.