“The United States has always been a gambler country”, says Keith White, president of the National Council on Gaming Problems, an American organization created in 1972.
According to official numbers, 80 percent of American has played in a casino at least one time in their lives. Some estimates have reported that about 1 percent of the American population (approximately two million people) has a gambling related problem, specifically a compulsive addiction, a fraction that is slowly growing since the possibilities to play related to the proliferation of the gambling industry increase.
Nowadays, lottery tickets can be bought in any food stand and grocery store; also, the gaming industry over the Internet is a fast growing business with more and more casinos going online every month. Only two states have refused to legalize gambling (Utah and Hawaii).
The authorities are trying to play a controlling role over the industry to avoid people from becoming addicted to gambling; in this way, some media campaigns have been developed to reinforce the fun part of gambling and the negative impact of compulsive play. But it is said that a conflict of interests exists since both the state and the casinos are looking forward to maximize the earnings generated by the game.