Gambling with Terrorism and U.S. Military Readiness: Time to Ban Video Gambling Devices on U.S. Military Bases and Facilities?
Kindt, John Warren
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This article examines the effect that video gambling devices (VGDs) on US military bases have on military readiness in the 21st century's "Age of Terrorism. " The harmful effects of gambling on military personnel outweigh any potential benefits. However, this conclusion is not clear from the information upon which military analysts and researchers rely. Upon examining the harmful effects that gambling has on military readiness, issues arise regarding the potential biases of the informational sources that study the impact of gambling. A review of these informational sources reveals that many sources have close associations with the gambling industry including the industry's financial leverage. One conclusion of this analysis is that the U.S. Armed Forces should reinstitute the historical ban on VGDs on U.S. bases and other facilities due to the costs of training military personnel, addressing related suicides, and ensuring peak "military readiness." A second recommendation is that before military analysts and researchers rely on various sources of gambling information, they should determine whether those sources have ever received direct or indirect financial assistance from pro-gambling interests. By the 21st century, pro-gambling interests had become so financially ingrained in the traditional sources of gambling information that military analyst and researchers necessarily needed to rely on information from academics and researchers who declined to accept any honoraria, consultant fees, or research grants from pro-gambling or other special interests.
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