Indian Casinos and the Morality of Gambling

  • Jeffrie G. Murphy
Part of the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy book series (LOET, volume 3)


The recent development and success of Indian casinos has generated substantial public policy debate on gambling. Those who oppose casino gambling often base their opposition on the claim that gambling is, in some often not clearly specified sense, immoral. The purpose of the present essay is to make a start toward understanding and assessing this claim.


Organize Crime Female Genital Mutilation Casino Gambling Indian Tribe Recreational Gambling 
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  1. 1.
    This is a slightly revised transcript of a public lecture that was presented at a Symposium on Indian Gaming that was held at the Arizona State University College of Law on October 11–12, 1996. The lecture benefitted enormously from earlier discussions with Ellen Canacakos, Peter DeMarneffe, Ira Ellman, and Rebecca Tsosie; but it was never intended as—nor does it now pretend to be—a deep or final scholarly analysis of the moral and social policy implications of gambling. Its purpose is simply to get some ideas on the table for discussion. For various legal perspectives on Indian casinos, see the essays in Arizona State Law Journal, Volume 29, Number 2, Spring 1997.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See, for example, the New York Times story on June 17, 1996, concerning the way that casino gambling is disrupting tribal governance among the Oneidas.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    John Rawls, A Theory ofJustice, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1971, ChapterGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    The empirical support for this claim is summarized by Robert E. Goodin in his book No Smoking, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1989. My own thinking about addiction has been greatly influenced by this book.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrie G. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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