In 1994, at the American Medical Association’s (A.M.A.) annual meeting, the House of Delegates included a discussion of compulsive gambling. Consideration of the promotion, epidemiology, and hypothesized economic costs associated with gambling led to the adoption of a gambling resolution. Specifically, delegates from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont introduced issues of 1) gambling promotion by private entrepreneurs and state governments, 2) a prevalence estimate of 4.5% for pathological gambling, 3) participation in gambling by teenagers, which is estimated to be growing three times faster than among adults, and 4) an estimated cost in excess of $40 billion annually to American business as a consequence of compulsive gambling. In addition, the delegates proposed that 1) a percentage of white collar crimes such as embezzlement, forgery and fraud are attributable directly to compulsive gamblers seeking to fund their addiction, and 2) greater availability of gambling leads to greater gambling behavior. The resolution printed below was adopted by the A.M.A. in June, 1994.
Where the phrase “compulsive” now stands, earlier versions of the resolution used the phrase “addictive.”
This public education project is funded, in part, by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
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For more information contact the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, 190 High Street, Suite 6, Boston, MA 02110.