Off The Map
Byline: JOHN FETTO
Place Your Bets
Sin City no longer has a monopoly on legal gambling. Casinos presently operate in 30 states nationwide, including 11 territories with commercial casinos and 23 with Native American gaming facilities. According to a study by Harrah’s Entertainment, 53.2 million Americans – 27 percent of the U.S. population over age 21 – visited a casino last year, averaging a trip about once every two months or 5.7 times a year. Of course, gambling wasn’t always so socially acceptable. The National Opinion Research Center (NORC), at the University of Chicago, reports that the percentage of American men who have ever gambled rose to 88 percent in 1998, up from 75 percent in 1975. The share of women who have gambled at least once in their lifetime increased to 83 percent, up from 61 percent. Still, it’s one thing to drop a quarter into a slot machine and walk away; for many the rush of gambling is like a drug. The NORC estimates there are 5.5 million “pathological” and “problem” gamblers in this country today and an additional 15 million who are considered to be at risk. What are the chances of becoming a pathological bingo player?
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
Steer clear of the keno lounge if you want to hold on to your bankroll. On average, the house keeps 25 percent of all dollars bet at keno.
DOWN AT THE TRACK
Compulsive bettors are most heavily concentrated at dog and horse racetracks, where 15 percent of patrons are considered “problem” or “pathological” gamblers.
EVEN AT HOME
Some 2.5 million Americans will gamble online this year, putting an estimated $5.5 billion in the pockets of online casinos.
TAKE A CHANCE
Forms of gambling adults age 21 and older participated in during the past 12 months:*
IT’S A LIVING
Nevada’s casinos employ 56 percent of the nation’s 364,804 casino employees.
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