The U.S. Congress created the National Gambling Impact Study Commission (NGISC) to investigate the social and economic impacts of legalized gambling on the U.S. population. Established in 1997, the NGISC was formed in response to the dramatic expansion of legalized gambling over the previous 25 years. Between 1973 and 1997, the number of states offering lotteries increased from 7 to 37, and cumulative annual sales rose by $32 billion. Prior to 1990, Nevada and New Jersey were the only two states offering legalized casinos; by 1999, 28 states had legalized casinos. Despite the widespread expansion, very little was known about the societal impact of legalized gambling. The NGISC's mandate was to provide an accurate assessment of the social and economic benefits and costs of legalized ...

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