THE ROOTS OF MODERN ‘SOCIAL COST OF GAMBLING’ ESTIMATES

Authors


Douglas M. Walker is an associate professor of economics, and Shannon M. Kelly is an economics student, both at the College of Charleston, in Charleston, SC, USA. Walker has served as a consultant for governments, industry groups and in legal cases related to the social costs of gambling. None of these consulting activities is associated with the specific focus of this paper (walkerd@cofc.edu and shannonmkelly@hotmail.com.).

Abstract

We discuss some critical issues in social cost of gambling methodologies which suggest that many social cost estimates are arbitrary. Rather than using monetary estimates of costs and benefits, we argue policy-makers should focus on fundamental issues: consumer sovereignty, property rights and the role of government in free societies.

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