Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

There’s a lot of talk about what a casino would do to boost tax revenue but consider what Les Bernal shared in a Congressional Committee last month. “Americans are expected to lose $118 billion of their personal wealth to commercialized gambling in 2018. [T]he American people are on a collision course to lose more than $1 trillion of wealth to government-sanctioned gambling over the next eight years… . This is happening at the same time that around 50 percent of the US population has zero or negative net wealth, meaning their debts equal or exceed their assets.” Commercialized gambling, whether casinos or state-run lotteries are billed as recreational activity where the government gets painless revenue without raising taxes. But considering Bernal’s perspective, gambling is the great transfer of wealth leaving a whole lot of nothing for most who gamble.