What the explosive growth of legalized gambling means socially, politically, and economically for America.
Forty years ago, casinos were legal in just one state. Today, legalized gambling has morphed into a $119 billion industry established in all but two states. As elected officials are urging voters to expand gambling's reach, the industry's supporters and their impassioned detractors are squaring off in prolonged state-by-state battles. Millions of Americans are being asked to decide: are the benefits worth the costs?
With a blend of investigative journalism and poignant narratives of gambling addiction, award-winning journalist Sam Skolnik provides an in-depth exploration of the consequences of this national phenomenon. In"High Stakes," we meet politicians eager to promote legalized gambling as an economic cure-all, scientists wrestling with the meaning of gambling addiction, and players so caught up in the chase that they ve lost their livelihoods and their minds.
“This important book will be of interest to all Americans but should be required reading for politicians who see gambling as a panacea for their state’s fiscal problems.”—Library Journal
“Read this book: If you have a casino near your home. If you know someone who gambles. If you have kids. If you gamble. Sam Skolnik has drawn from a mind-boggling array of sources and data on gambling pathology and casino-industry economics, proving that, like it or not, casinos and gambling addiction are inexorably entwined."─Christina Binkley, author of Winner Takes All: Steve Wynn, Kirk Kerkorian, Gary Loveman, and the Race to Own Las Vegas and columnist for The Wall Street Journal
“Combining his award-winning skills as an investigative reporter with his insights as a gambler, Sam Skolnik’s High Stakes examines the underbelly of America’s addiction to gambling. Propelled by the gambling industry’s promises of jobs and economic development, and ushered in by politicians assuring painless revenue streams, Skolnik reveals the truth in this important and long overdue book. High Stakes is a must read for every citizen who wants to understand the true cost of legalized gambling.”—Reverend Tom Grey, Field Coordinator and National Spokesperson for the Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation
“High Stakes pulls off the blinders and reveals the hidden impact of America’s runaway love-affair with gambling. A veteran journalist, Sam Skolnik tells this story with the added chilling authority of someone struggling to control his own poker habit. The result is a fascinating glimpse at the gaming industry’s seductive appeal and the price we're paying as gambling is legalized more and more around the country.”─Pete Earley, author of Super Casino: Inside the "New" Las Vegas
“Sam Skolnik takes you into compelling territory—the nation’s trillion-dollar gambling empire, the world of pathological addiction it has spawned, and its deceitful public relations spin. With the research skills of a journalist, a cast of poignant characters, and a provocative personal story, Skolnik’s High Stakes is an important exposé.”—Sally Denton, investigative reporter and co-author of The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and its Hold on America