PRAISE FOR HIGH STAKES "New & Notable" nonfiction book selection, July 2011


"'High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America's Gambling Addiction,' should be required reading for any state legislator who must vote on allowing or expanding gambling."

The Christian Science Monitor

This important book will be of interest to all Americans but should be required reading for politicians who see gambling as a panacea for their state’s fiscal problems.”

Library Journal

Skolnik rips off the sparkly silicone sheen of glamour that coats the (Las Vegas) Strip and shows the whole skein of pathologies we live with here.”

—J. Patrick Coolican, columnist for the Las Vegas Sun

Read this book: If you have a casino near your home. If you know someone who gambles. If you have kids. If you gamble. Sam Skolnik has drawn from a mind-boggling array of sources and data on gambling pathology and casino-industry economics, proving that, like it or not, casinos and gambling addiction are inexorably entwined.”

—Christina Binkley, author of Winner Takes All: Steve Wynn, Kirk Kerkorian, Gary Loveman, and the Race to Own Las Vegas and columnist for The Wall Street Journal

Sam Skolnik takes you into compelling territory—the nation’s trillion-dollar gambling empire, the world of pathological addiction it has spawned, and its deceitful public relations spin. With the research skills of a journalist, a cast of poignant characters, and a provocative personal story, Skolnik’s High Stakes is an important exposé.

—Sally Denton, co-author of The Money and the Power: The Making of Las Vegas and its Hold on America

High Stakes pulls off the blinders and reveals the hidden impact of America’s runaway love-affair with gambling. A veteran journalist, Sam Skolnik tells this story with the added chilling authority of someone struggling to control his own poker habit. The result is a fascinating glimpse at the gaming industry’s seductive appeal and the price we're paying as gambling is legalized more and more around the country.”

—Pete Earley, author of Super Casino: Inside the “New” Las Vegas

“Combining his award-winning skills as an investigative reporter with his insights as a gambler, Skolnik examines the underbelly of America’s addiction to gambling. Propelled by the gambling industry’s promises of jobs and economic development, and ushered in by politicians assuring painless revenue streams, Skolnik reveals the truth in this important and long overdue book. High Stakes is a must read for every citizen who wants to understand the true cost of legalized gambling.

—The Rev. Tom Grey, Senior Advisor for the Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation



Article by Jason Lemon, "Priest Goes to Rehab After Gambling Away More Than $1 Million Including Loans from Parishioners," Newsweek, July 11, 2018: Read here

Article by Josh Peter, "Why ban on sports betting is close to being overturned," USA Today, November 28, 2017: Read here

Article by Tanya Mohn, "Fighting Compulsive Gambling Among Women," The New York Times, April 28, 2017: Read here

Article by David Purdum and Ryan Rodenberg, "Future of sports betting: the pitfalls,", November 1, 2016: Read here

Article by Chris Korman, "DraftKings, FanDuel are fun, addictive, and completely unfair for most fans," USA Today's For the Win column, September 18, 2015: Read here

Article by Lu Shen, "Iowa Lottery proceeds' destinations shift over 30 years," The Des Moines Register (reported by, Columbia College in Chicago and the Investigative News Network), January 10, 2015: Read here

Article by Jake Blumgart, "Why Opening a Casino Is a Terrible Idea," Pacific Standard, July 4, 2014: Read here

Opinion column by Ed Komenda, "Is gambling being spread too far?" VEGAS INC, June 22, 2014: Read here

Article by Jake Blumgart, "Can Unions Save Atlantic City?" Vice magazine, April 23, 2014: Read here

Opinion column by Sam Skolnik, "A Symbol of Predatory Inequality," The New York Times, January 23, 2014: Read here

Article by J. Freedom du Lac, "Virginia resists the siren call of casinos as gambling halls proliferate accross the country," The Washington Post, November 29, 2013: Read here

Article by J. Freedom du Lac, "For Maryland's gambling addicts, new casinos amplify the 'siren call'," The Washington Post, June 1, 2013:     Read here

Opinion column by Jay Evensen, "Online gambling is nothing to celebrate," Deseret News, May 1, 2013: Read here

Article by Chris Korman, "Already king of slots, Maryland Live looks to take share of table game market," The Baltimore Sun, April 11, 2013: Read here

Article by Daniel Bortz, "Gambling Addicts Seduced by Growing Casino Accessibility," U.S.News & World Report, March 28, 2013: Read here

Interview of Sam Skolnik on the Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb website, December 17, 2012: Read here

Blog interview of Sam Skolnik, "Crippling Debt at Foxwoods Masks the Hidden Social Costs of Gambling," published on Beacon Broadside (a Beacon Press website), March 23, 2012: Read here

Opinion column by Sam Skolnik, "The house loses: New York and the federal government look to gambling to solve all their woes — but it's a sucker's bet," New York Post, Jan. 22, 2012: Read here

Column by Rick Green, "Online Gambling Broke UConn Poker Addict — Now We Want To Make It Legal?" Hartford Courant, Jan. 5, 2012:           Read here

Article by Ron Dicker, "Cash-Strapped States Bet On Gambling," The Huffington Post, Dec. 14, 2011: Read here

Article by Ron Dicker, "New Jersey's Push To Legalize Sports Betting Could Pay Off For Ailing U.S. States," The Huffington Post, Dec. 1, 2011: Read here

Article by Josh Kosman, "Loading the dice: Kingpins bet feds will legalize online gambling," New York Post, Nov. 17, 2011: Read here

Editorial by The Christian Science Monitor, "What happens in Vegas," Sept. 21, 2011: Read here

Column by Neal Peirce, Washington Post Writers Group, "America's gambling addiction threatens the nation's soul," The Seattle Times, Aug. 27, 2011: Read here

Article by Elizabeth Stuart, "Gambling on the rise: Is America becoming addicted?" Deseret News, Aug. 9, 2011: Read here

Article by Sheryl Nance-Nash, "The High Price of America's Gambling Addiction," AOL's, July 22, 2011: Read here

Article by Sam Skolnik, "What our gambling problem is really costing us,", July 16, 2011: Read here

Blog post by Sam Skolnik, Kindle Daily Post, July 11, 2011

Review by Library Journal, May 15, 2011: Read here



Article by Sam Skolnik, "Betting the House: Five years later, Maryland's casinos have left addiction, crime, and half-filled promises in their wake," Baltimore City Paper, August 11, 2015: Read here

"New courts will stress treatment of gamblers: For criminal cases, law lets counties set up system similar to drug courts," Las Vegas Sun, June 1, 2009: Read here

"Criminals could get help for gambling, not prison time: Bill would let judges send some to treatment as is now case with drug, alcohol users," Las Vegas Sun, April 18, 2009: Read here

"Bet. Lose. Cut. Run!" Las Vegas Sun, Sept. 14, 2006: Read here

"All that glitter is not Gold's, says lawsuit seeking half of poker win," Las Vegas Sun, Aug. 22, 2006: Read here

"State tackles problem gambling: Legislature approves tax to support permanent aid plan," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 26, 2005: Read here

"State, tribes work on problem gambling," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 27, 2004: Read here

"Tribal casino helps problem gamblers," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 27, 2004: Read here

"Muckleshoots donate to help problem gamblers," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 10, 2004: Read here

"Funding for problem gamblers: New group forms to provide a permanent source of money," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 24, 2004: Read here


From my Seattle P-I series "Out of Luck":

"As gambling expands in state, so do problems," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Feb. 22, 2004: Read here

"Gambling addiction nearly tore a family apart: Des Moines man says he lost $250,000 in 3 years and his job," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Feb. 22, 2004: Read here

"Deck stacked against Asians: Casinos play off gambling-intensive culture," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Feb. 23, 2004: Read here

"Addict: 'Gambling just took over my life,'" Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Feb. 23, 2004: Read here

"Problem gamblers abandoned: State stopped funding treatment program that worked," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Feb. 24, 2004: Read here

"In Oregon, $3 million a year for treatment," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Feb. 24, 2004: Read here