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OUTLINE – Supporting Arguments & Counter Arguments or Rebuttals



Online gambling increases suicide rate

Online gambling increases crime rates

C. Online gamblers become compulsive gamblers


Both federal and state governments can gain
revenue by taxing the industry

Online gambling is a source of charity

C. Online gambling creates revenue for credit
card companies


More than double of what is gained in tax
revenue would have to be paid back through social services

Gambling takes away from the community and
donates a small percentage to charity

C. Online gambling creates a risk factor in the
credit card industry

Supporting Arguments

A. Online gambling increases suicide rates

A study by
Dr. Phillips, a professor of sociology at U.C. San Diego found a strong
correlation between gambling and suicide.
In this study, he examined death certificates of 3 major cities that
allow gambling: Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Reno. He found suicide rates were up to 4 times
higher than comparable sized cities where gambling is not legal. Dr. Phillips also discovered visitors to
cities which allow gambling kill themselves at a higher rate. Most cities nationwide have a recorded ratio
of 1 visitor suicide per 100 visitor deaths.
Las Vegas has a recorded ratio of 1 visitor suicide per 25 visitor
deaths, 4 times higher the national average.
Dr. Phillips concluded that gambling is linked with suicide levels, 2)

B. Online gambling increases crime rates

There has
been a substantial increase in the number of crimes after the introduction of
casinos in a city or county. Nine years
following the introduction of casinos to Atlantic city, the total number of
crimes within a 30 mile radius more than doubled. Counties of Minnesota also encountered the
same inconvenience post introduction of casinos. In the first six years of casinos in
Minnesota, the crime rate in counties with casinos increased more than twice as
fast as in non-casino counties. Another
county that suffered the same fate is Harrison County of Mississippi. Harrison
County, where most of the Gulf Coast casinos are located, witnessed a 58
percent increase in total crimes between 1993 and 1996. These are just a few of numerous historical
data that shows an undeniable correlation between gambling and crime rates, 8)

Online gamblers become compulsive gamblers

At least
80% of U.S. adults have gambled at least once.
However, of the 80%, approximately 5% of these become compulsive
gamblers. Using sample statistics of the
Minnesota population, 33% of Minnesotans know someone that has a gambling
problem, 5).

Counter Arguments

A. Both the federal and state governments can
gain revenue by taxing the industry

the United States is unable to tax the online gambling industry. The Unlawful
Internet Gambling Enforcement Act prohibits the operation of online gambling
sites, 1). Therefore, the online gambling industry operates abroad, out of U.S.
jurisdiction, 1). However, the UIGEA does not prohibit gamblers to take part in
online gambling, 3). According to Gambling industry experts, $347 billion is
wagered online annually. Legalization of online gambling would allow the
industry to operate in the United States, within U.S. jurisdiction, which would
generate federal and state tax revenue, 3).
Legalization of online poker could mean up to $250 million annually in
state taxes for California alone.

B. Online gambling is a source of charity

In wake of
the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the online gambling community donated more
than 3.5 million dollars to relief efforts. Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker, the
world’s 2 largest gambling sites donated $1,500,000 and $659,000,
respectively. Members of the online
gambling community year in and year out have shown themselves to be among the
most generous people around. 10)Most notably, Barry Greenstein, a sponsored
Pokerstars professional is dubbed the “Robin Hood of poker”. For over
a decade, he has donated all of his tournament winnings to various charities.
His total donations to date is approximately $8 million, 9).

C. Online gambling creates revenue for credit
card companies

gambling increases profits of credit card companies,7). An estimated $347
billion are wagered online annually; almost all bets are funded by credit cards,
3), 7). Companies like Visa get a piece
of the action by charging fees every time their cards are used. These fees are usually charged at the
company’s highest, in the form of cash advances,7). However, many companies
such as Visa has discontinued service of transactions between U.S. gamblers and
gambling institution in response to the passing of UIGEA.


More than double of what is gained in tax revenues would have to be paid
back through social services

idea that the gambling industry helps society by generating tax revenue for the states
is a fallacy, 4). According to Mr. Grinols, a former senior economic advisor to President
Ronald Regan, for every $46 of economic benefits, up to $289 would have to be paid back
through social services. The simple truth is, gambling does not
generate positive cash flow for the federal or state governments.

Gambling takes away from the community and donates a small percentage to

6)In 2006,
gamblers in the United States lost over $90 billion in gambling, 6).The $3.5
million that the gambling community donated to Haiti relief efforts is
laughable compared to $90 billion gamblers took away from the community, 6),
9). Also, it’s important to mention that these are just quantitative measures
and doesn’t include the negative qualitative impacts to the community such as
depression. That’s what gambling does,
it takes away from the community and donates a small percentage back to charity

Online gambling creates a risk factor in the credit card industry

While the
legalization of online poker may potentially be profitable for credit card
companies, it also creates a risk factor due to debts people can’t or aren’t
willing to pay back. Gambling debts, even money owed to licensed casinos are
not usually legally enforceable,7). Slightly larger problems are charge backs; if
a player loses a lot, he can call up the credit card company and claim his card
was stolen. Credit card companies have a real fear that they may lose money
through these transactions.


1. “Prohibition on
funding of unlawful internet gambling”, U.S.C. § 5361–5367, GPO Access, Dec.
23, 2008

2. “Suicide Rate
Higher in 3 Gambling Cities”, Sandra Blakeslee, N.Y. Times, Dec. 16, 1997

3. “Casino
group wants to set up Internet poker sites and share revenue with cash strapped
state”, Patrick McGreevy, L.A. Times, Dec. 13, 2009

News Bureau, Mar. 08, 2004

“Compulsive Gambling”, Department of Human Services Staff,
Minnesota DHS, Jan. 07, 2008

6. “Consumer spend
on U.S. gaming surpassed $90 billion in 2006”, Christiansen Eugene Martin,
IGWB, Nov. 01, 2007

7. “Why Visa
has Dropped Online Gambling”, I. Nelson Rose, Casino City Times, Mar. 24,

8. “Gambling
and Crime”, Chad Hills, Focus on the Family, Jun. 19, 2007

“PokerStars, Full Tilt Lead the Way as Online Poker Donates
Millions to Haiti Relief”,
Dan Katz, Poker News Daily, Feb. 03, 2010

10. “Barry
Greenstein”, Poker News Daily Staff, Poker News Daily, Archived


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