The Economics of Gaming: Risk and Reward in American History

Apr 28, 2004Apr 29, 2004

Schedule:

Session One: Wednesday, April 28
Ante Up:  An Abbreviated History of Legalized Gambling in the United States 
Dr. Raymond Sauer
Professor of Economics
Clemson Univeristy 

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

Session Two: Thursday, April 29
Let it Ride:  Gaming in the Modern Political Economy 
Dr. Raymond Sauer
Professor of Economics
Clemson Univeristy 

Click Here to listen to audio archive.

From Midwestern riverboats to East Coast racetracks, gambling is deeply rooted in American history.  Not surprisingly, it is also among the most heavily regulated and politicized markets in our economy.  While not all Americans choose to gamble, most would agree that the choice to do so is an essential aspect of a free society.  Yet there remains great disagreement over the method, manner, and extent to which government should curtail this behavior.

For many, gambling is a form of recreation and has come to embody the American spirit of individual liberty and freedom.  Others argue that the activity imposes high social costs on society, and that such behaviors should be taxed and regulated accordingly.  To complicate matters, the advent of internet and offshore gambling has greatly challenged the scope of American regulatory authority. As a result, policymakers face great challenges in developing rules and institutions that effectively address the varied concerns and interests at stake.

By focusing on the principles that underlie the current debates in gaming policy, this course will present a multi-layered framework for analysis.  Participation in this program will allow you to better address the following questions:

  • What are the origins of state-sanctioned gaming in the United States?  How and why did it develop as it did?\
  • What might explain the expansion of legalized gambling over the latter half of the 20th Century? What about casinos on Indian Reservations?
  • How has the advent of Internet gambling affected the gaming industry?

In addition to gaining an economic perspective for effective decision-making, attendees will leave with a fuller context with which to assess pending issues and legislation.