University of Pittsburgh
November 8, 2006

Pitt's School of Social Work Hosts Robert Goodman, Author of The Luck Business: The Devastating Consequences and Broken Promises of America's Gambling Explosion


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-How much of a gamble is Pittsburgh taking on with a new casino? Robert Goodman, author and professor of architecture at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., will deliver a lecture titled "The Luck Business" from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 15 at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work Conference Center, 2017 Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The talk is part of the Pitt School of Social Work Fall Speaker Series.

Goodman's book, The Luck Business: The Devastating Consequences and Broken Promises of America's Gambling Explosion (Simon & Schuster, 1995), is a study of the economic and social impacts of gambling policy in America that grew out of his work as director of the U.S. Gambling Study, a two-year research project funded by the Ford Foundation and the Aspen Institute.

In the book, Goodman says many cities are turning to legal gambling with the hope that it will infuse their local economies. But the reality, he says, is that the big-spending tourists don't flock to these casinos, little new money comes into the region, and what local money is spent is diverted from other local restaurants, movie theaters, and shops.

Goodman has been a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Stouffer Fellowship at the Joint Center for Urban Studies at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has provided expert testimony on these issues for public and private organizations, including the U.S. Justice Department. He has spoken on urban planning and economic development issues before state and local governments, as well as the U.S. Congress, and has been a featured speaker at public forums and professional conferences across the country, including the national meetings of the American Bar Association, the National Press Foundation, the National Association of Attorneys General, and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Goodman is currently researching the social and economic consequences of alternative transportation policies for the future of American cities.