The past time known as gambling has been around for centuries with historical records dating all the way back to 2300 B.C. Gambling, loosely defined is making a wager or bet on a undetermined outcome. A person could make a wager with another on whether or not it will rain the next day. In this scenario, the outcome may seem predictable due to news forecast or the cloud coverage in the area.
However, since there is no way for people to know the future for certain, there is no guarantee as to what will happen. This is a basic form of gambling that anyone could participate in which goes to show why gambling will never be eradicated, no matter how much legislation is put in place by government. The allure of winning something for making an educated guess can be very tempting to anyone. Nine times out of ten, money is the desired payoff to gambling but anything of value can be substituted for it. An example might be a bet where a person would wash someone else’s car if they lose or some other form of a beneficial service.
Overall, gambling has a bad reputation because people can literally lose all of their earthly possessions within seconds. The outcome for the gambler on the loosing end can be devastating for them and their entire family. As recent figures show, divorce and suicide are abnormally higher for gamblers as it is for non-gamblers. Nihad Awad, the National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Washington, D.C. recently spoke on this in a speech about code of ethics, here is his quote: The suicide rate for pathological gamblers is 20 times higher than for non-gamblers (one in five attempts suicide).
When you factor in the general addiction associated with gambling, divorce and often crime, it’s not difficult to understand peoples concerns. Even worse is substance abuse like drugs and alcohol dependency added to a gambling addiction. Too often people get caught in the strong gambling vice and their entire lives are left completely in shambles.
It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to gambling though. It can be exciting and can be done in moderation by responsible adults. Also, not all gambling has to involve a person giving up something if they lose. Consider a flash internet game based on a casino system such as slots. Sure there are online gaming sites where money is involved, however this isn’t always the case. Online internet gambling may be done just by playing against the computer system and no money changes hands at all. A situation like this is generally harmless and is done to gain practice or just to pass time. Even carnival games could be considered gambling but again, this is generally harmless even though money or prizes may be involved.
The ancient pastime of gambling will always be with mankind in some form or fashion. As I have illustrated above, it can lead to many problems for the person who gets carried away but that doesn’t have to be the case. Friendly gambling amongst family members isn’t the same as a hardcore casino high roller with a five figure pot in front of them. If you are a gambler who feels that gambling is taking control over your life, please seek out help in your area.
By Daniel Millions
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