Gambling is defined as the wagering of resources such as money on certain events whose outcome is uncertain with the sole intention of winning more money (Grinols 19). Gambling has become a global concern affecting all the continents with its practice dating back to hundreds of years. People gamble for several reasons such as fun, to pass time, to forget certain problems in their life or even to win some money (Grinols 9).
A lot of Gamblers have lost their homes due to failure to afford money to repay the mortgages they had undertaken whereas others have gone to the extent of stealing from their employers so that they can secure money for gambling, these accumulated debts have resulted in one being considered as bankrupt. Gambler’s children have always been the victim of abuse and neglect due to their caretakers and parents being victims of pathological gambling.
Several gamblers are said to have suffered from depression after losing large amounts of money to gambling. This has made them result in drug and alcohol abuse after completely losing direction and sense of responsibility. This comes about after someone feels unwanted by their family and society and results in gamblers completely losing the determination to live and instead end up opting to commit suicide to avoid facing the embarrassment and shame they have brought in their families. Gambling addiction has rendered its victims suffering from serious problems such as pathological gambling or compulsive gambling. Unfortunately despite all these negative effects, the numbers of gambling centres are increasing tremendously leaving deep financial and mental wounds in the lives of the affected parties.
Statement of the problem
Nowadays gambling has caused a lot of pain not only to individuals practising it but also to their families as well. A lot of people have failed to realize the fact that gambling whether in casinos or online cannot pay out more than they actually earn/bring in, so what we do is donate to them (casinos). One of the major effects of gambling is an addiction (Cosgrave 26). Gambling addiction has numerous negative effects on the lives of the affected parties. Through addiction, a gambler might end up losing the support of his or her family as one no longer spends quality time with them, in some severe cases, this might result in divorce. Another major social negative effect is the loss of one’s professional life; this is because a gambler will dedicate a negligible amount of time to his career and leave the rest to gamble. This has resulted in the loss of employment on the part of the gambler that forces him to result in criminal activities (Lester 47).
Suicide cases have become a norm, this has been caused due to the lack of hope and needs to live occasioned by the sudden upside-down-turns in the lives of the gamblers and the much depression suffered due to the much embarrassment caused to their (gamblers) lives and their families as well (Cosgrave 12).
Despite all these negative aspects of gambling, there are a few positive outcomes associated with it, this includes a high level of employment opportunities created by the gambling firms. These firms usually have large numbers of employees who depend on them as sole sources of livelihood. Another positive impact is a large amount of revenue collected from gambling units such as casinos in form of government taxes (Evans 66). However, these gains are negligible compared with the much harm gambling causes in our lives and society at large. With all that in mind this project will be able to tell on the various shortcomings, we as a nation are likely to face in case we embrace and legalize gambling.
It is assumed that the federal legislators will clearly understand and see the numerous negative effects gambling causes in our lives and hence vote against the legalization of gambling. There are several pressing issues relating to the safety features put in place especially in the online gambling sector:-
To start with it is on the nature of the gambling sites as there is the fear that the sites may not be genuine. Secondly, the providers of the gambling service may take the gambler’s money and fail to pay the winner or even worse still shut down the system.
The third pressing issue is when it comes to online gambling details relating to the gambler’s credit card will be required and thus he (gambler) will be subjected to a lack of privacy on his personal information. Finally, the online facilities may be used for money laundering activities by unscrupulous individuals. With all that in mind, it’s prudent for us as patriotic citizens to stand and declare gambling as a bad social, economic and political policy.
Significance of the project
The proposed measures are expected to have far-reaching measures that will positively transform society. This project will therefore serve two important factors;
First expected that this project will show the federal legislators reasons as to why gambling should not be legalized. Secondly, the project will inform the general public and the youths in specific on the effects of gambling.
With all that in mind, it is important to put in place control mechanisms to counter the above loopholes; First, the government should ensure that gambling is only carried out by limited resort-styled licensed casinos. In so doing the government will be regulating and avoiding the emergence of individuals with intention of stealing from innocent gamblers. The state should also put in place operational controls this would be in form of policies taken to govern the gambling operations of the various gambling firms and also on the various products that they offer.
Concerning online gaming, the government should prevent money laundering by restricting the amount and frequency of money deposits into the accounts of the gambler. Additionally, the government should ensure that those wishing to practice it are issued with a unique code. This code will be used to monitor their transactions and in case one gambles excessively then he or she will be tracked for counselling and if dictates then he need can be cut off from online gambling practices. Due to its technical nature, the government can generally decide to ban online gambling activity and thus eliminate its spillover effects on the youths. Privatization is also a key factor that can be recommended in case gambling has to be legalized. By privatization of the gambling firms there will be an increase in competition and efficiency and thus resulting in an overall increase in the availability of the gambling service.
Also, the private firms are well known for increased incentives offered to their employees, in so doing they will be motivating them (employees) to be more accountable and efficient in their work. Another importance associated with privatization is the fact that there will be public confidence as people stop seeing the government as the regulator and also the beneficiary of the gambling activities. This will be an overall cancellation of conflict of interest in the roles of the government (Evans 76).
Problem gambling is generally unique to each gambler therefore each victim normally has a tailor-made program that is only suitable to the person undergoing rehabilitation, however, the first major step to deal with the problem is the realization that one has a gambling problem. Just as Paul Krugman wrote on the return of depression, economics failure of regulation in the financial sector has led to it being out of control thus leading to great depression hence if one fails to take care of his/her finances (gambles all) he is likely to end up in financial crisis.
Youths today use online services for many reasons such as social networking, seeking health advice and even recreational services. With that in mind, it is important to counsel them to only use these online services for good reason and avoid being lured to gamble. Carrying out public education is also an important way of preventing problem gambling, this would be by introduction of topics in school curriculum stipulating the dangers of engaging in activities such as gambling. Limits regarding the promotion and advertisement of gambling centres and the products they offer should be put in place. The affected youths are also advised to embrace internet-based therapy where they are guided on the various ways they can use to get out of the gambling problem. The government should impose stiff penalties on anyone who permits a minor to participate in any gambling activity, this will ensure that the minor’s life is not unduly influenced until they are old enough to make wise decisions affecting their lives.
Cosgrave F James. The sociology of risk and gambling reader: New York, Miley and Sons, 2006.
Evans Rod L, & Hance Mark. Legalized gambling: for and Against, Chicago: Open Court Publishers, 1998.
Grinols Earl. Gambling In America: Cost and Benefits, London: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Lester David. Gambling Today, Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas Publishers, 1979.