While the gambling industry is indisputably large and powerful, it has received little attention from political scientists. Utilizing a variety of perspectives and techniques, von Herrmann analyzes gambling's recent expansion, finding public attitudes have been shaped both by government policies and the industry's attempts to create a family-friendly image.
Von Herrmann examines the politics of state and federal gambling policy, particularly policies relating to casinos and state lotteries. She considers gambling policy from a variety of perspectives, including the politics of adoption, the state and federal governments' role in policy formation and implementation, and the broad economic and social impact questions related to gambling. The inclusion of several state case studies provides insight into the largely successful reshaping of Americans' image of gamblingfrom seedy, sinful, and corrupt behavior to a benign, pleasurable entertainment experiencewhich ultimately has led to widespread availability.
While many have asserted that gambling policy fits well within the political models of morality politics, von Herrmann challenges this notion. Noting that true consensus has not been achieved in the area of gambling policy, she shows how supporters' economic arguments and opponents' moral concerns have effectively bifurcated the current debates on gambling policy; gambling is now viewed by many in two distinct and separate bodies of thought. As she observes, the challenge for the future of gambling policy is to find ways to bridge the gap. Of particular interest to scholars, students, and other researchers involved with public policy, particularly that relating to gambling.
About the Author
DENISE von HERRMANN is Chair of the Arts and Sciences Division, the University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Policy Making and Morals
The History and Regulation of Gambling in the United States
The Politics of Gambling Adoptions
State Regulation of Gambling
The Economic and Social Impacts of Gambling and Their Effects on Policy
Rolling the Dice: Assessments and Directions for the Future of Legal Gambling