Government Regulation of the Alcohol Industry: The Search for Revenue and the Common Good

Greenwood Publishing Group
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This is the third book in what the author calls his sin trilogy: the gambling, tobacco, and alcohol industries. Similar to the gambling and tobacco industries, the alcohol industry is one in which the business and public policy processes are intimately linked. Furthermore, it is a highly regulated industry whose very existence depends upon the will of government at all levels and branches. What all the industries share is that they are viewed as a painless source of revenue for government. The alcohol industry is composed of three segments, namely beer, distilled spirits, and wine, each with a distinct product and market. Since the end of Prohibition, public policy makers have developed a certain tolerance for alcohol products, but they continue to grapple with the question of how to deal with the alcohol problem. While the author updates the current structure and strategies of competition among these industries, his primary rationale for doing so is to analyze how these industries react to increased public scrutiny of their business activities. The other unique feature of this book is its emphasis on how public policy measures affect the sale of beer, distilled spirits, and wine at the state level.
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About the author

RICHARD MCGOWAN is Adjunct Professor in Economics at Boston College. He is coauthor (with John Mahon) of Industry as a Player in the Political and Social Arena (1996), and author of Business, Politics and Cigarettes (1995) and State Lotteries (1994), all published by Quorum.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 1997
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Pages
171
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ISBN
9781567200348
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Government & Business
Business & Economics / Industries / General
Law / Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice
Social Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Lotteries and state-sponsored gambling is big business. This is the first study that evaluates the business strategies of state lotteries on two fronts. First, it examines which of the lottery strategies produces the most consistent source of revenue for the state. Second, it analyzes possible overall gambling strategies that states will need to utilize as they seek to expand gambling revenue. This is must reading for those operating lotteries, state legislators, vendors to state lottery commissions, taxpayers, and scholars in public policy and government.

The whole question of state-sponsored gambling is explored, integrating both the business and policy strategies of operating a state lottery. Initially, gambling and lotteries were introduced into the public policy process in times of social unrest, brought on by the outbreak of war. Since regular sources of governmental revenue were diverted to the war effort, proceeds from gambling activites were used to finance the building of roads, canals, and schools. An Ethics of Tolerance also had to evolve in order to engender the public's acceptance of lotteries and gambling. Today, states are using gambling revenues to support education, public transportation, and aid to local towns and cities. Hence, gambling revenues must be maintained or increased. States now must decide whether they should introduce other gambling initiatives, possibly cannibalizing their existing activities in the process. The basic question, of whether it is actually possible for a state to establish an overall gambling strategy, is explored by an analysis of the gambling policies of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The future of gambling in the United States, as states move beyond lotteries to sanctioning casino gambling by private entrepreneurs, concludes this most relevant and provocative book.

Lotteries and state-sponsored gambling is big business. This is the first study that evaluates the business strategies of state lotteries on two fronts. First, it examines which of the lottery strategies produces the most consistent source of revenue for the state. Second, it analyzes possible overall gambling strategies that states will need to utilize as they seek to expand gambling revenue. This is must reading for those operating lotteries, state legislators, vendors to state lottery commissions, taxpayers, and scholars in public policy and government.

The whole question of state-sponsored gambling is explored, integrating both the business and policy strategies of operating a state lottery. Initially, gambling and lotteries were introduced into the public policy process in times of social unrest, brought on by the outbreak of war. Since regular sources of governmental revenue were diverted to the war effort, proceeds from gambling activites were used to finance the building of roads, canals, and schools. An Ethics of Tolerance also had to evolve in order to engender the public's acceptance of lotteries and gambling. Today, states are using gambling revenues to support education, public transportation, and aid to local towns and cities. Hence, gambling revenues must be maintained or increased. States now must decide whether they should introduce other gambling initiatives, possibly cannibalizing their existing activities in the process. The basic question, of whether it is actually possible for a state to establish an overall gambling strategy, is explored by an analysis of the gambling policies of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The future of gambling in the United States, as states move beyond lotteries to sanctioning casino gambling by private entrepreneurs, concludes this most relevant and provocative book.

The great majority of Americans--more than 80%--say they approve of gambling, even if they themselves don't gamble. Still, deep divisions persist in our attitudes toward the gambling industry. Is it profoundly destructive, preying on human weakness and stripping its victims of their sustenance and dignity? Or is it a vehicle of the American dream--an engine of personal enrichment, enormous public revenue, and economic development? The industry's explosive growth has sharpened the debate, radically altering the gambling landscape and dramatically raising the stakes involved. Author Richard A. McGowan, a respected authority on the public-policy aspects of gambling and other sin industries, reveals the new dynamics of gambling and frames the age-old ethical and practical questions it poses.

Whether benefit or bane, gambling today permeates American culture in unprecedented ways. Its newest venues--Native American tribal casinos and the Internet--are drawing in new gamblers in vast numbers and generating spectacular profits. Social, legal, and political controversies inevitably have followed.

How should public policymakers approach expanded gambling? As regulator of the gambling industry, government has always been the gatekeeper. Its role and responsibilities remain central to the gambling debate, even while it stands to reap huge windfalls from the very industry it is regulating. Meanwhile, Internet gambling, more or less regulated at home, has found willing government sponsors abroad--removing an ever-larger segment of the industry from U.S. government jurisdiction and recasting the gambling debate.

Using this book, citizens can:

Learn the ethical and rhetorical framework of the gambling debate. The terms of the arguments advanced by advocates and opponents help explain why the gambling industry has been tolerated or encouraged by public policymakers.

Weigh the risks and rewards of government-sanctioned gambling through three actual case studies, from Missouri, Massachusetts, and the Chinese island of Macao--which in 2006 surpassed Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the world.

Each situation highlights particular problems and opportunities, and each is presented with discussion questions.

Take an informed position: Should sports gambling be legalized? Should U.S. restrictions on Internet gambling be loosened? Should government get out of the gambling business altogether?

Find out more about the many facets of the gambling debate by using the study resources provided.

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