Social Indicators Research

, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 369–394 | Cite as

Social Capital and Casino Gambling in U.S. Communities

Article

Abstract

This paper empirically analyzes the impact that the spread of casino gambling has on social capital in communities throughout the United States. Social capital is a networking process that translates into an individual’s effectiveness in the community and workplace, and binds communities together. Several recent studies have also demonstrated a link between higher levels of social capital and quality of life. In this study, social capital is measured based on six dimensions: trust, civic, volunteerism, group participation, giving, and meeting obligations of family and friends. Using data from the DDB Needham database for the years 1978, 1988, and 1998, regression analysis is conducted on over 300 Metropolitan Statistical Areas throughout the United States to determine the impact that the spread of casino gambling has on social capital. The results of the analysis indicate that the presence of casino gambling significantly reduces social capital when a casino is located within 15 miles of a community, suggesting that a casino’s location influences a community’s quality of life and should be a consideration when deciding on the merits of gambling legalization.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Education, Health Services Outreach, School of MedicineUniversity of NevadaReno
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA

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