Predatory gambling is when state governments partner with powerful corporate gambling interests to use gambling to exploit and defraud citizens and their communities across the United States.
The almost sole focus of state-sanctioned gambling has been to maximize profits, not protect the public interest. It’s exempt from truth-in-advertising laws, giving gambling corporations wide latitude to market gambling, grossly exaggerate chances of winning and aggressively lure citizens to lose their money.
Without the legal, administrative, regulatory, and promotional privileges provided by state governments, lotteries, regional casinos and other commercialized gambling operators would not be spreading into mainstream American life as they are today. They would likely still exist only on the fringes of the society.
Predatory gambling is far different than social gambling events like the office Super Bowl pool, your March Madness bracket or a Friday night poker game with the guys in the neighborhood. The differences include:
1. The presence of a “house” which means the participant will inevitably lose over the long-term.
2. The speed of the games
3. The “buzz” or high people get when they play.
4. The frequency of gambling and the length of time doing it.
5. The amount of money people lose
6. The business practices used to promote it.