Access to gambling and declaring personal bankruptcy

Abstract

The link between gambling and bankruptcy is investigated. By exploiting a natural experiment, refining the identification techniques traditionally used in the literature, and incorporating time effects, it was found that casino style gambling and pari-mutuel wagering have different impacts on bankruptcy rates. The results show that pari-mutuel gambling increases bankruptcies for counties within 25 miles of a gambling facility by 9.25%. This represents a total increase of more than 1500 bankruptcies for the studied counties. Bankruptcy rates for counties more than 25 miles from pari-mutuel gambling establishments are not impacted. In addition, casino style gambling showed no significant impact on county bankruptcies, regardless of accessibility.

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