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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Anyone who thinks casinos are innocent fun should read this
on May 16, 2000
I live near one of the big casino riverboats mentioned in O'Brien's book and I read this book out of curiosity more than anything. Prior to reading this, I had NO idea how much intense lobbying - as well as graft and corruption - were behind the gambling industry.
One tidbit I found especially disturbing is the story behind how gambling was legalized in my home state.
"Bad Bet" tells of a former Midwest governor who was in power when Argosy Gaming made it's big push to get gambling legalized in this state. (Argosy won) Now that we have riverboats all over our state, this former governor now *works* for Argosy Gaming.
Rapes and robberies went up 33% in Atlantic City, New Jersey after the casinos opened there.
"Bad Bet" it tells of the subtle and overt techniques casinos use to lure people in and entice them - to keep the money flowing. Even the layout of casinos is done with much forethought as to the best way to separate people from their money.
And O'Brien talks about how the gambling industry goes looking for communities in economic straights to set up shop. (which is exactly what happened in our city)
This is a powerful book. I think every local or civic leader that has a casino in their community or is even considering allowing casinos in, should pause and read this book. It'll open their sleepy eyes to some hard ugly truths.
Having lived in a community that invited the riverboats in, I see firsthand that O'Brien is telling the truth about what to expect when big gambling comes to town. It's a sad affair.