Chapter 8: Gambling: Where We Are and Where We Might Go
INTRODUCTION It has been the thesis of this book that the evolution of the ‘gambling’ industry into the ‘gaming’ industry is more than just a matter of pleasant semantics. This evolution coincides with profound changes in the economic and political environment in which this new gaming industry operates. This chapter will have three parts. First, there will be a summary of the economic and political changes that have been described in the previous chapters, and the implications that the changes have for the future of the gaming industry. The second part of this chapter will consist of a series of trends that will affect the future of the gaming industry. Finally, there will be a series of policy recommendations that might help to alleviate some of the problems faced by public policy officials as they attempt to regulate the gaming industry. SUMMARY OF THE ECONOMICS AND POLITICS OF THE GAMING INDUSTRY Economics One of the reasons why the gambling industry has morphed itself into the gaming industry is to become part of the ever-increasing entertainment industry. But as it became part of the entertainment industry, two important changes were to be hallmarks of this new gaming industry. Clearly, the entry into mainstream entertainment has facilitated the industry’s tremendous growth throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The focus of the gaming industry is not merely to provide the bettor the thrill of winning, but to become the venue where the customer can spend a good deal of his or her entertainment budget....
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