We have an education lottery in this state, and are still ranked in the 40's out of 51 in public education. Teachers still pay for the majority of their own school supplies, and are among the lowest paid in the country. When they legalized casino/slot machine gambling in SC, the areas that had them turned into complete shitholes or were already shitholes and the problems were exacerbated by the presence of a casino. The areas of Mississippi with riverboat gambling are also shitholes, and the economies around them are depressed while still dependent on the riverboats.
I've never been to Vegas, but friends tell me that it's one of the most depressing places on earth once you leave the casino properties.
I don't think it should be criminalized, but I also don't think it should be something we should promote as a positive, and/or pretend like there are positives that outweigh or nullify the negatives.