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Is Gambling an Acceptable Form of Leisure Essay

Nowadays, gambling industry is already become a huge global industry. Due to the rapid development of technology, people can place the bet in another country simply by using internet without travel, which make much easier for gambler. According to Roberts (2004, p168), gambling also become one of the leisure industries, such as visit a casino can be seen as a leisure activity. Also is different personal perspective with no doubt.

Devereaux (1968) defined that ‘gambling is a form of activity in which the parties involved, who are known as bettors or players, voluntarily engage to make the transfer of money, or something else of value among themselves’. Since colonization in 1788, the culture of gambling includes legal and illegal has prospered in Australia (Rowe & Lawrence 1998 p40). O’Hara (1988) has examined a wild range history of gambling in Australia and well documented the growth of gambling into a major national industry.

Based on freedom of choice, must be enjoyable and intrinsically motivating, leisure should be always positive as a main premise. Besides, good leisure should be socially acceptable which is good for personal and does not have negative impact on other people. But in reality, there are many forms of ‘deviant leisure’ exist, such as gambling has certainly been in people shadier uses of leisure. In finding Rojek (1999) there usually are 3 forms of the dark side of leisure, self-indulgent, self-destructive and exploitive.

Therefore, gambling is not a good leisure but an acceptable form of leisure unless it is illegal. However, there is no distinct evidence shows that gambling has brought up the life quality of people as a leisure activity. So, a question raised here whether gambling is an acceptable form of leisure or not, it is always been arguable. This essay will focus on whether gambling is an acceptable form of leisure, here are two sides which gambling is more affected by the strength of economy or by the impact of gambling on personal and social life.

Leisure is the free time away from work and other obligation. As Kohn (2007) point out that the structure of work and leisure is usually represents in opposite way. There is a most satisfying form of leisure which is “unconditional leisure”, as it is leisure activities free from obligation (Kelly 1972). Dumazadier (cited in Reible 2005) stated that ‘normal’ leisure should be beneficial to people, essential to wellbeing. This means ‘normal’ leisure is providing the opportunity to get freedom, happiness and be ourselves.

In addition, Rojek (1999, p83) also pointed out that ‘leisure activity possesses a positive connotation’, it was like a reward for labor. Thus, ‘normal’ leisure is good, which mean it would benefit self and social with moral. However, there is deviant leisure exist because leisure cannot always be positive, that is a form of resistance to the social pressure, creating the identity, finding the sense of being and belonging in an otherwise dehumanize existence, it also for refusing compliance and create the cultural values in a new community(Reible 2005).

In Western society, the consumption of deviant leisure is a normal part of leisure, as it conventionally enjoyed and albeit vicariously (Rojek 1999, p81). Nevertheless, according to Stebbins et al. (2006), deviant leisure goes against to the moral grain of society’s behaviour sometimes. Thus, the some kind of deviant leisure certainly would bring the negative effects to the society as it is against the society norm. But, everyone has the freely choose of leisure whether is deviant or normal, there is strong personal perspective of the choice.

However, the research shows that there are qualities of serious leisure and enjoyment which does the ‘dark leisure’ holds (Reible 2005). Downes et al. (1976, p11) states that gambling ‘is given short shrift as a parasitic, materialistic and entirely negative activity’, such as the dark side of play. Based on common sense, It is acceptable of legal gambling, on the contrary, illegal gambling is not social acceptable and it is immoral. According to Roberts (2004, p170), Gambling generally been divided into two section which are soft and hard gambling.

Soft gambling is between two events has a cooling-off time period, such as football pools and lottery. The continuous play is hard gambling, such as casino. And hard gambling generally considered especially dangerous. That is because people play in casino, even they lost money, and they (gambler) probably will continue play and lose more as they normally always have the thought that they are going to win back. ‘The industry of gambling has its body of ‘scientific’ knowledge, or trade know-how, on how to maximize profits’ (Roberts 2004, p170). This is underlying a fact that is a small chance to win such in casinos.

To assist the horse property owners and racing industry is an objective of brought in the slot machines (Gambling’s bad bed 2005), and University of Nevada (2001-2008) indicates that slot machines plays very important role in casinos. Based on the Nevada Gaming Almanac 2001eds (cited in University of Nevada, 2001-2008) research shows that almost half income of casinos in Las Vegas is come from slot machines. Therefore, slot machines considered the cocaine of gambling, also is an element of people obsessed with gambling so much. But in the Australia, gambling is an activity that people regards as morally stained (O’ Hara 1988).

Las Vegas represent a great example, this is because Las Vegas is the most exciting and entertaining city in the whole world, the gambling industry made Les Vegas become a booming city (Roberts 2004, p170). Based on research, there are some positive effects of gambling. Walker (1998 p6) notes that based on economists side, casinos has wholly positive economic effects in the world. Casino also increases the wealth of the society as it like an export industry of a country. Gambling is an attractive activity to gambler, lots of gambler travel to another city or country just for gambling.

As such should be understood that gambling increases international tourism benefits (Rowe & Lawrence 1998, p46). And cannot deny that gambling is an acceptable leisure activity which based on it is beneficial to the international finance. In addition, according to Devereaux (1968 p53) gambling is the ‘wagering of some ‘monetary’ stake on the outcome of an uncertain event’. And that is the reason of why government and corporations in Australia as elsewhere have legalised to operate casinos. Rowe & Lawrence (1998, p39) has also point out casinos fetched a wide range of leisure and entertainment benefits.

In the contrary, Walker (1998 p6) notes that based on social scientists side, gambling brings many negative social impacts, such as family breakdown, bankruptcy, unemployment, crime and suicide. ‘There was a vein of real humanitarian concern for the misery undoubtedly caused by excessive gambling’ (Downes et al. 1976, p39). Gambling could leads to a wide range of criminal activities, such as theft, fraud, and even murder. For example, when a gambler gambled away all the money and facing the financial crisis, could borrow money from loan sharks, the repayment of debts occurs then.

The gambler would suffers many serious problems, in order to avoid family suffers the gambler must pay the debts in time. Moreover, the time spent in gambling is taken from family and social events, which means there is a possible that heavy gambler living with no social life and only gambling. As Lesieur (cited in Walker 1998, p45) point out that ‘not only does this cause dissension within the family but it also causes gamblers to be increasingly isolated from their social supports’. The gambler suffers depression afterwards (Walker 1998 p45).

Walker (1992) point out that one of the theoretically common reasons of gambling is that gambling brought the excitement, thrill, fun, amusement to gambler. In terms of leisure and entertainment, as gambling is an activity with the big chance of earning money in the short time. And also enjoy the thrill of winning. But also is quick to lose a big amount of wealth. Thus, gambling is a dangerous activity which occur a very high risk, and turns some gambler to financial crisis momentary. However, to determine the view of gambling whether is a leisure activity, the most important trend is the social acceptance (Pellegrini 2001).

As the problems of gambler lost their all the money in gambling and the exploitation is arguable in everywhere. In order to being fairly treated by gambling organizations, the government has the responsibility to protect the gambler from exploitation, and to represent the people is the core role of the government in the gambling world (Walker 1998, p21). If government does not legalese the gambling, gambling will not only still exist but also is illegal. According to Walker (1998, p22), ‘Exploiting is not regards as acceptable gambling but as cheating’, which is also immoral.

Essentially, the holders of a gambling industry exploit greed and other human weaknesses to generate huge profits (Wooten 1999). This is not only an immoral, but also very effective in the gambling, as the people normally cannot refuse the temptation. However, it will be better if the government can give pressure to gambling industries in order to protecting the gambler from exploitation. In personally experience, gambling between friends and families is like many other leisure activities. This is not gambling for money, it is just spent leisure time with social groups as a normal leisure activity.

In other words, gambling can be a good social occasion for friends going for a drink and chatting together (Roberts 2004, p174). The purpose of going to casino in some people mind is that feel the atmosphere and have drink with friends. Moreover, this phenomenon has been more widespread. Nevertheless, a casino is a place for gambling is the view of the gamblers. It is all about money exchange whether is winning or lose. But there are always another sector of society believes there are different in a casino as mentioned above, they do not always about money in a casino.

By introduce of the casino hotel complex provides for the customer, Philip Satre mentioned that the many customers visit a casino are trying to seek excitement, and casino become a place with high quality such as the bar services and some casino even have dancing and singing performances, so casino not only a gambling place (Walker, p39, 42). For example, the crown casino in Melbourne has crown hotel. Hence in conclusion, gambling is affected by the strength of economy and also by the impacts of gambling on personal and social life. In other words, gambling is immoral, brought many negative impact to personal and society.

Gamblers have to facing financial crisis if lost money in gambling. On the other hand, gambling industry has increases the wealth of a country and beneficial to economics. At the same time, gambling brings people more choice of leisure. As Rowe & Lawrence (1998, p48) states that leisure and entertainment have always been a part of a casino. And Walker (1998, p40) has noted that casinos are part of the leisure industry. Therefore, casino and leisure is related together tightly. Customers can get many service and product in casino which is more leisure. In addition, by protect from government, gambler been treated fairly from exploitation.

This essay has demonstrated the relation between leisure and gambling which is connected closely. Such as stand at the same time. It has presented evidence that the gambling is the dark side of leisure, by the increase crime when gambling appears. Casino is a dangerous form of gambling which is continuously played. In order to avoid negative impact for personal and social group, People should be having strong self-control when play in a casino. However, the results show that gambling can be a social acceptable activity of leisure, even it is not a good and normal leisure.


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