Gambling Industry Gathers in Vegas for Conference on Growing Pastime

14 June 2000

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- June 14, 2000 -- As reported by The Salt Lake Tribune:

"…Gambling has become a major economic, social and political presence in many parts of the world," said [William] Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming, based at the University of Nevada, Reno.

"This week, in the world's undisputed gambling capital, Eadington is leading the 11th International Conference on Gambling and Risk-Taking, the largest gathering ever of gambling scholars.

"…There are 97 topics designed to help society "comprehend, understand and manage" the issues of gambling. Among the topics are gambling's social impact, particularly on the young and elderly; its economic effects; regulation of Internet gambling; proposed prohibitions on sports betting; the rise of the Indian gambling industry in California; and the latest in prevention and treatment of gambling disorders.

"…That gambling would attract such a large and diverse gathering is testament to its prominence in the late 20th century. In the United States alone, gambling revenues have grown from $10 billion in 1982 to an estimated $60 billion last year. The growth is led by Nevada, whose gross gambling revenues rose a whopping 14 percent in April over a year ago. The monthly casino take in Nevada is rapidly approaching $1 billion.

"…Though gambling was targeted for prohibition less than a century ago, today it is so widely accepted in mainstream society that many no longer consider it a vice, said Eadington. As a result, governments have given gambling a `constrained permission' to exist, he said.

"The glaring exception, of course, is Utah, one of just two states (Hawaii being the other) that has no form of legalized gambling.

"…Still, said the gambling expert, don't bet on it happening for at least another generation."

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11th International Conference on Gambling and Risk-Taking