What are the Odds? With flashy lights, cheap buffets, and free hotel rooms; owners of casinos use these things as a ruse to pull people in. In a study by Dr. Weinstock, it was found that when gambling, the odds are stacked against the player. The odds of a college athlete becoming a pro football player are 3,000 to 1, the odds of being struck by lightning are 280,000 to 1, the odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are 140,000,000 to 1 (Weinstock). Gambling is a complex and intriguing human activity.
It has been in existence for several thousand years.
Casinos are now located everywhere and gambling has become a recreational activity for all kinds of people. Gambling can be destructive to people and communities; however gambling can be a positive pastime because it provides entertainment and relaxation. It is a popular activity because people find it so pleasurable. The United States History of Gambling board did a study shows that thirty-eight percent of Americans will go to Las Vegas in their lifetime (History of Gambling in the United States).
People go on vacations to places like Las Vegas or Reno Nevada, which are two major cities for gambling, to gamble for fun. It’s an enjoyable activity. People can participate in many different types of gambling; those with instantaneous prizes or scratch cards, slot machines, betting on sporting events, betting on special events, televised lotteries and traditional lotteries. Gambling can be positive and negative for these reasons: economy, addiction, harmful to the youth, and scholarships. Gambling preys on people who are poor, luring them with the promise of a life free from financial worries and burdens.
In a physiological study, sixty percent of casino revenue comes from gamblers making less than $25,000 per year (Nance-Nash). As a result, bankruptcy rates are 100 percent higher in counties with casinos than in counties without casinos. While casinos may bring in tax revenue, this is perhaps the worst form of regressive taxation imaginable (Nance-Nash). The poorest of the population are the ones funding this tax revenue. On a more positive note, the regulation of the economy is a positive in favor of gambling.
Wherever there is a casino, there is people spending money. When people win money, they use it to purchase items, thus putting the money back into the economy. Through regulation of the economy, new schools and hospitals can be constructed because of the increased funds caused by gambling taxes. With the creation of new casinos, other businesses in the area are often forced to shut down. Although gambling establishments may give tourism a boost, there may also be an increase in crime rates, which clearly isn’t a positive change.
With more people passing through a town or city, there are more opportunities to commit crimes without getting caught. Gambling addicts can turn to thefts, robbery, fraud and embezzlement just to get more gambling money. The benefits to local businesses may be overstated, since many tourists will confine their activities to casinos and may not even spend their money elsewhere. Casinos are bad, because when people become addicted, it takes away from the economy by providing rehab, food, and housing assistance. As some people view gambling establishments as providing jobs, the activity also takes jobs away.
People who become problematic gamblers become so addicted that they feel like that can’t do anything else besides betting. In turn, this causes people to lose their job in result of this addiction. 50% of college students were either problem or probable pathological gamblers (Weinstock). Looking at gambling from a different angle; when these establishments are built, other real estate such as hotels and restaurants are added to the community. These businesses provide more jobs. . Casinos are a positive because of the jobs they provide.
Such jobs include: dealers, security staff, janitors, and entertainers. By providing more jobs, casinos help increase the population in an area. Jobs in the casino industry are often well paid jobs. Casinos make a great addition to a city with rundown areas because they encourage visitors and tourists. Gambling addicts not only do damage to themselves but to their families. Gambling addicts take a whole lot of time away from their families and friends. What’s worse is that they may even be spending not just their money but money for their family’s daily expenses or for their kids’ education.
Addicted gamblers fail to recognize this and are only focused in getting more cash when in reality, they’re just losing more. Gambling badly affects family life. Divorce, child neglect and suicides are products of gambling addictions. The legalization of gambling is not a problem, people who become addicted bring the problems and suffering upon themselves. A lack of self-discipline can lead to financial problems. Americas gambling addiction isn’t too far behind the nation’s drug problem, and it’s growing (Nance-Nash).
In the United States there are 15 million Americans addicted to gambling and 23 million addicted to drugs or alcohol so the problem of people being addicted to gambling is not as bad as it may look. Also, there is a simple cure to gambling and that is to just stop going to casinos. Drugs have harmful effects and are much harder to break that addiction. The key for society is to find the right balance of it. Furthermore, people should be aware of the downsides of gambling so they participate in moderation. Gambling is fun and rewarding but destructive too, if one doesn’t know how to handle it.
As a youth, the rates of being at-risk for problem gambling can be two to three times higher than an adult. Gambling has become a problem because young kids, not yet old enough to gamble are now participating in this harmful activity, illegally. Huang found through research that students who gamble are at risk of obtaining other addictions such as binge drinking, marijuana use, cigarette use, and unsafe sex. (Huang) Living in the constantly changing times of today, technology has made placing bets easier than ever before.
Students are liable to take part in gambling because it is deemed socially acceptable. As is it glamorized by advertising, and promoted as a sport, more and more people have found it okay to throw their money away on a nonsense game of luck. Although, for students gambling creates money for scholarships like the Arkansas Lottery scholarship. The Arkansas Lottery Commission is responsible for providing entertainment to the public and maximizing the revenue generated. Though gambling is looked at both negatively and positively everyone has their own opinion.
They are all opinions; by giving supporting facts for both looks I have shown that gambling does have its ups and downs. Neither out ways is the other gambling something that will more than likely always be around. The gambling industry only exists because there are people willing to risk their money on a game of chance in the hope that they will make a profit. Usually, the only people who profit are the owners of casinos and other gambling establishments, but there are some people who are convinced that their day will come. Is it worth the risk to gamble your life away?
While doing research supporting gambling it was found that gambling is beneficial because it stimulates the brain and strengthens decision making skills. (Campbell) People gamble, whether it is legal or not, because it helps them face the world more successfully than they could without the spark which it gives. Gambling is just an extension of entertainment like going to the movies or out to a sporting event. Casinos and gambling are harmless in moderation. They are beneficial to the community and the people who live there. Legalized gambling is a national sensation. The gaming industry is prosperous and should continue expanding.