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Futures At Stake

Youth, Gambling, And Society

Howard Shaffer, Hall,Matthew, Joni Vander Bilt, Elizabeth George

Publication Year: 2003

Published by: University of Nevada Press

Series: Gambling Studies Series


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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

I begin this foreword with a look backward. It is said, after all, that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So I first look to my own experiences. Had this been a book about adult compulsive gambling, I would have readily shared my views and experiences. I know what it is to be a compulsive gambler. I also could have described what it took to change and escape this difficult circumstance. I could...

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pp. xiii

The stakes are high for our young people. Convening the North American Think Tank on Youth Gambling Issues was a major step toward keeping them out of harm’s way. Forty-two public and private sector leaders from the United States and Canada came together in April 1995 at Harvard Medical School, Division on Addictions, with a common vision: to seek solutions to what is fast becoming a leading social health...

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pp. xv-xvi

This book is evidence of a continuity of vision and commitment on the part of numerous individuals and organizations throughout North America. Initiated at the first North American Think Tank on Compulsive Gambling, held in 1988, the vision of addressing the spectrum of issues surrounding compulsive gambling was extended at the 1995 think tank to focus on youth gambling. We would like to thank all those who steadfastly held the thread that enabled this..

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Introduction: Youth and Gambling: Creating a Legacy of Risk

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pp. 1-24

Futures at Stake: Youth, Gambling, and Society represents only one of the many products of a think tank held at Harvard Medical School on April 3 and 4, 1995. The think tank was a watershed event in the history of North American gambling. For the first time a diverse group of professionals gathered to investigate the multiplicity of factors specifically associated with youth gambling. The purpose of this...

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1 The Emergence of Gambling Among Youth: The Prevalence of Underage Lottery Use and the Impact of Gambling

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pp. 25-38

During the past decade, the proliferation of American gambling has been extraordinary. In addition to the recent availability of riverboat, Native American, and urban casinos, the lottery has become a staple of American gambling. In spite of warnings from both scholars (Eadington, 1992; Shaffer, Stein, Gambino, & Cummings, 1989) and social policymakers regarding the potential adverse consequences of the spread...

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2 American Indian Gaming

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pp. 39-48

Although American Indian gaming has expanded dramatically since 1988, historical documentation shows that gambling was part of the traditional activities of American Indians’ games prior to the 1800s, in the forms of shell games, hand games, and moccasin games. In addition, some reservations have a recent legacy of gambling and have operated bingo and pull-tabs for twenty-five or more years....

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3 Gambling in Canada: History, Economics, and Public Health

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pp. 49-62

All gamblers are not the same, and the causes of gambling are multiple. Inherited predisposition to gambling is only one etiological factor. In addition, gambling patterns vary, often in terms of broad social context, subjective states, and environmental pressures. Labeling gambling dependency a “disease” or an “impulse disorder” does not absolve the intemperate gambler from moral responsibility. Thus, by...

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4 What Are My Chances? Using Probability and Number Sense to Educate Teens About the Mathematical Risks of Gambling

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pp. 63-83

The last 20 years have seen gambling explode; it now pervades our society. Andersen (1994) recounted that before 1978, the year casino gambling came to Atlantic City, “Nevada was the only place in America where one could legally go to a casino, and there were just fourteen state lotteries” (p. 45). Furthermore, “as recently as 1990, there were just three states with casinos, not counting those on Indian reservations;...

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5 Youth-Gambling Treatment Issues

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pp. 84-99

Gambling touches on every aspect of personality, relationship, and impulse. Thus, the techniques used to treat adolescents who gamble may resemble the psychotherapy of all youngsters. This chapter will focus on a helpful core of essential skills and concepts that practitioners and administrators can use to influence the young personality with this addiction. It is assumed that professionals who treat this...

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6 Gambling in a Familial Context

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pp. 100-125

Familial and friendship frameworks pose the context in which compulsive gambling lives. Although a compulsive gambler can be isolated from a family of origin or a family of choice, the more usual situation is that of a compulsive gambler acting and interacting with related others. Specifically, compulsive gambling by an adult has been shown to have significant consequences for a partner/spouse...

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7 Underage Gambling and the Law

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pp. 126-189

How old should a child be before he or she is allowed to gamble? This question is not merely rhetorical. Every government has both the power and the obligation to set the minimum age to gamble once it has legalized that activity. Not establishing an age limit is itself a decision, a legal declaration that anyone, even a small child, can legally wager. The regulation and control of gambling comes under a government’s police...

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8 Economic, Social, and Policy Observations on Youth Gambling

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pp. 190-198

The logic of economics—as presented to college students in principles of economics courses throughout America—is often wasted on the young. Economics involves the study of how individuals achieve material well-being through the exchange of one’s time for a wage or salary, the exchange of tangible property for more liquid forms of wealth, or the exchange of money for desired goods and services.....

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9 Youth Gambling: The Casino Industry’s Responsibility

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pp. 199-207

As chairman and chief executive officer of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., I would like to present our company’s views, as well as our company’s course of action, on the problem of underage gambling. However, I also write from my perspective as a parent: I am the father of four children, all of whom are native Nevadans. My children spent their formative years in Reno, where my family lived within walking distance...

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10 A Personal View from the Gaming Industry: Recognizing a Problem, Working Toward a Solution

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pp. 208-218

I wrote this chapter for two reasons. First, I am from the gaming industry, and I believe the industry can do a great deal to help prevent youth gambling problems. Second, I have taken a proactive posture regarding the gaming industry’s response to problem-gambling issues involving young people and adults. I represent the new wave gaming executive, that is, one who does not have a long history working in the...

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11 Social Policy and Youth Gambling: Perspectives from the Public Sector

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pp. 219-227

I come from a blue-collar community, and my background has had a significant effect on how I view problem gambling. For example, I remember a specific instance, shortly after leaving high school, in which a young man I had known since grammar school abruptly left the state. He had incurred about $20,000 of debt from gambling and apparently saw no other option than leaving the state for his own safety. My...

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12 Adolescent Gambling Research:The Next Wave

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pp. 228-255

Research on teen gambling is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, a body of knowledge is emerging, with its base in the United States and the United Kingdom. This chapter reviews that literature, examines the data lacunae existing in the field, and makes suggestions for the direction of future research. Surveys of teen gambling (including rates of gambling, expenditure, and gambling problems) are discussed in light of...

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Epilogue: Juvenile Gambling in North America: Considering Past Trends and Future Prospects

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pp. 256-282

As this volume reveals, the citizens of the United States and Canada now have at their disposal a broad, representative, and empirically derived database that describes the parameters of juvenile gambling in North America. This research provides information about the relationship between juvenile gambling and attending factors attributable to personal, family, peer, school, and broader community influences. Notable among these topics is the expansion of legally sanctioned forms of...

Appendix: The North American Think Tank on Youth Gambling Issues: A Blueprint for Responsible Public Policy in the Management of Compulsive Gambling

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pp. 283-303


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pp. 304-310


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pp. 311-326

E-ISBN-13: 9780874175769
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874173680

Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2003

Series Title: Gambling Studies Series


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Subject Headings

  • Teenage gamblers -- United States.
  • Teenage gamblers -- Canada.
  • Compulsive gambling -- United States -- Prevention.
  • Compulsive gambling -- Canada -- Prevention.
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