I'll never forget the one time I visited Las Vegas. I was in town for a wedding and was awed by the amazing architecture. It seemed to me, at the time, that no expense was spared by the developers. But while Christians can admire the beautiful architecture of Vegas, we must admit that there is tremendous social cost to the seemingly innocent vice called gambling. When I was a pastor, I saw first-hand who the gambling industry preys on: the poor. Sure you have your high-stakes wealthy who drop lots of money, but mountains of social research have documented the troubling social costs of gambling. Really the only ones who win, when a casino comes into your town, are the business-owners and the local governments. And sadly, those local governments end up paying out more in social benefits over the long haul. Families, the poor, and communities suffer greatly.
Recently, the Institute for American Values has released a report titled, "Why Casinos Matter." My ERLC colleague, Joe Carter, has put some of the best of this info in an article "9 things you should know about casinos and gambling." He also created a handy infographic that I've pasted in below. If you are interested in speaking on this topic in your church or community group, this would be a great resource: