Gambling is an exciting pastime, and there are many options for enjoying the many aspects of it whether you are at home or in a casino. Many people feel all gambling is wrong, and are quite firm in their belief.
The history of gambling is quite a storied one. Despite the evolution of this popular pastime, gambling isn’t always viewed as socially acceptable. The effects of gambling can be far reaching. Known as ‘gaming’ for around 265 years before the term ‘gambling’ was introduced, the entertainment value of the many types of wagering money or property continues to grow.
Back in 1994, the UK government approved a National Lottery, which helped to make gambling seem more mainstream to the public. The advent of gambling via the Internet, mobile phone and/or television also served to make the gambling laws that were passed in 1968 seem rather old-fashioned. As more people began to enjoy gambling from the comfort of their homes, and the impacts of Internet gambling became apparent, a change of rules was definitely needed!
The gambling industry in the UK was given a thorough review, approved by the government, during the year 2000. Gambling statistics were studied, and the follow-up to this review was dubbed the Bud Report. It recommended that gambling as a whole should be modernized. This report also suggested that current laws be relaxed to let communities have more freedom of choice concerning their gambling habits.
A new Gambling Act went into effect in 2007, and the reaction of a large number of people was anything but positive. They refused to recognize any benefits of gambling. The most vocal criticism of these liberal gambling laws came from the Methodist Church and the Salvation Army. Their concern was that the number of casinos in Britain would grow at an alarming rate. Nevertheless, the new laws remained, and served to regulate not only certain lotteries, bingo, casinos and gaming machines, but also remote gambling and betting.
More than ten various commissions and trade associations have been established to aid in the monitoring process of gambling. They also have the power to impose fines, pull licences, assess penalties, and can see that those who cheat or gamble illegally are prosecuted. Among these are the National Lottery Commission, the Gambling Commission, British Casino Association, British Horseracing Board, and the Association of British Bookmakers.
Three categories of gambling are prevalent in the UK. These are betting, casino style gambling, and lotteries. In most cases, a person must be over age 18 in order to gamble. The exceptions are fruit machines which pay with tokens, which has no age limit, lotteries that are local, and football pools, with the latter two having an age limit of 16 and above.
Those who are employed within the gambling industry are held to high standards. Some must obtain certificates of approval before they can begin their jobs. Betting shops and bookmakers also play a big role in the UK gambling scene. Sports betting is quite popular, and betting shops offer a location to place a bet via betting terminals, seating to watch the events on television, and enjoy some refreshments as well. Bookmakers have many tasks. They accept the wagers, collect money from those who lost a wager, pay those who won, and turn a profit by striving for a ‘balanced book’. Gamblers can also place a bet on the Internet or by way of a telephone call. The types of sports betting in the UK include horse and dog racing.
Casinos are full of different types of gambling to attract visitors. Slot machines which can deliver a large jackpot, table games with playing cards such as Blackjack, and games of chance like roulette are all popular. The odds always favour the house in casinos. Millions of pounds flow through the coffers of the various British casinos each year. By law, the casinos cannot advertise their addresses, nor can they urge people to come in and gamble.
Fruit machines, also known as slot machines, seem to be very profitable for the casinos, and are hugely popular with the gambling public. Bingo is also popular, especially with institutes and clubs who hold bingo games so that a charity receives the proceeds. Lotteries continue to be a popular way to raise money, or to take a chance on winning a jackpot by buying a ticket. 70% of the UK population enjoy playing the lottery. The draw variety of lottery is well known, and there are also the raffles, scratch cards, sweepstakes, and those lotteries found on the Internet and interactive television. Lottery fraud is becoming a gambling problem that must be solved.
Internet and remote gambling have boosted the profits and also the problems relevant to UK gambling. The increased monetary benefits are seen by some as one of the benefits of gambling, along with giving people a social outlet. Another favourable benefit is the money gambling can raise to profit charity.
However, others are staunchly determined that all types of gambling exploit those who are addicted to the thrill of this pastime, and see this habit as one that is just as damaging as alcoholism. By creating gaming addicts, draining the bank accounts of those who can’t stop gambling, and damaging the lives of those family members who must live with the repercussions of having a gambler in their midst.
There is a big chance that the gambling statistics that zero in on those who have a problem with gambling are going to continue to grow. Many organisations have been formed to look into gambling’s social impact. They have revealed the four reasons people gamble are escapism, the idea that they are doing something glamorous, the thrill of risk taking, and the social aspect.
The liberal laws of the UK will more than likely increase gambling problems. According to the Church of England’s organisation, all gambling should be avoided as the risks outweigh the benefits. The Church will not enter into investments with any company who gets more than a 25% turnover from gambling proceeds.
By Cindy Leggett
Cindy Leggett is an inveterate reader, writer and information addict who enjoys creating web articles. One of her favorite places in the world is Las Vegas, Nevada, where she continues to hone her knowledge of gambling. The casino games she enjoys playing the most is online slots and now one of the prominent writer for Casino-Affairs.com, an online casinos guide.