Tuesday, May 29, 2007

No Duh (Pt. 3998)

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting shocking news --- addicts are seldom capable of denying themselves access to the object and manifestation of their addiction:

People who sign for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's self-exclusion program could be ejected from casinos or have their winnings forfeited. Excluded gamblers also are kept from receiving targeted mail promotions or players club perks.

But so far, only 52 people have signed up for the program, officials said.

An estimated 124,000 people in Pennsylvania, or 1 percent of the state's population, are "pathological gamblers," according to the National Council on Problem Gambling. The group estimates that 3 percent of the state's residents are "problem gamblers."


And this is a great illustration of problems with cost-benefit analysis, as the cost of problem and pathological gambling are externalized and often excluded from the cash generating considerations used in the decision to justify legalizing and licensing large scale gambling in the state. Everyone knows that there is problem gambling but it was not a significant consideration in the decision process as the cost could be passed off to a combination of the future and to other agencies and stakeholders including family members while the benefits of increased revenue for either tax-shifting away from property taxes or increased spending was explicitly included in all calculations.

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