Donald W. Black
Gambling has become a major recreational activity in the United States. In the past, legalized gambling was confined to a few states, such as Nevada and New Jersey, but in the past two decades gambling opportunities have expanded. Some form of legalized gambling exists now in all but two states; 37 have lotteries, and 27 have casino gambling. A 1999 survey showed that nearly 90% of the adult population participates in some form of legalized gambling, especially instant lottery games, slot machines, office pools, and card games. In the 23 years from 1974 to 1997, gambling expenditures more than doubled as a percentage of personal income. While most persons gamble responsibly, between 3.5% and 5% of the general population develops problematic gambling. Pathological gambling (PG), the most severe form of problematic gambling, may affect as much as 1% to 2% of the adult general population, which suggests that more than ...