Article  |  Volume 2

Why They Say "No" (Casi—"No"): Countries that Reject Legalized Casino Gambling

by William N. Thompson

Most world venues have legalized casino gambling. Indeed, the numbers of venues has been growing rapidly. In 1986, seventy-seven nations permitted legal casino gambling; in 1996, 109; while recent reports indicate 132 countries have casinos. Nonetheless, there are several cases of jurisdictions rejecting the legalization of casinos.

This article seeks to find common reasons for the rejections, and examines the following ten venues: Bhutan, Brazil, Japan, Liechtenstein, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, and Norway. The study utilizes a framework from the book The Last Resort: Success and Failure in Campaigns for Casinos, by John Dombrink and William N. Thompson. The authors developed a “Veto Model” for explaining why American states rejected casinos in the decades before 1990. Major veto factors influencing casino campaign outcomes included: (1) the economic conditions and state experiences with gambling, (2) the position of political and business elites, and other gaming interests; (3) campaign sponsorship; and (4) whether the dominant issue in a campaign was economics or crime and social problems. For successful campaigns (e.g. Atlantic City, 1976), all factors had to be supportive of casinos.

2 UNLV Gaming L.J. 195 (2011)