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"Place Your Bets!" On Gambling, Government and Society


  • Michael Y. Seelig
  • Julie H. Seelig


This article outlines the major public policy issues in the renaissance of one of the oldest of human activities: gambling. It analyzes four factors which have shifted gambling from its role as a private pastime into the centre of the Canadian public agenda: (i) the public sector's active participation in gambling both as a promoter of lotteries, casinos, and raffles, and as a regulator of those activities; (ii) addiction, crime, and other problems associated with gambling; (iii) gambling's rapid proliferation, which has made it a major factor in many provincial budgets; and (iv) the extent to which public goods, including cultural institutions and amateur sport, are funded through gambling. We examine where Canadian society is heading in terms of its reliance on gambling, present likely trends in gambling revenues and activities, and review the implications of youth gambling. The paper concludes with recommendations for further study and legislative action.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Y. Seelig & Julie H. Seelig, 1998. ""Place Your Bets!" On Gambling, Government and Society," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(1), pages 91-106, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:24:y:1998:i:1:p:91-106

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruce K. Johnson & John C. Whitehead & Daniel S. Mason & Gordon J. Walker, 2007. "Willingness To Pay For Amateur Sport And Recreation Programs," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(4), pages 553-564, October.

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