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Thursday, July 10, 2008

How gambling affect society

How does the gambling affect the society?

Gambling is properly playing games of chance, such as cards, pitch-and-toss, etc… for money. But it also includes betting, which is staking money on an uncertain future event, such as a horse-race. The essential feature of gambling and betting is the risking of money on a chance, in the hope of winning a large sum.

Moralists always denounce gambling as wrong, and yet at first sight it is not easy to show why it is wrong. It is true that in a game of chance or a bet, one of the parties must lose his money, but the gain of the other cannot be called robbery, because both parties willingly agree together to run the risk. You might say that if two sensible men agree to risk the loss of their money in a game of chance, it is their own business, and no one has any right to interfere with them. Perhaps a comparison of gambling and dueling will help us to see why gambling is an evil. In a duel, as in a game of chance, both parties willingly agree to run a risk. In gambling they risk the loss of their money; in a duel the loss of their lives. But in most modern civilized countries, dueling is a crime in the eye of the law, and is punishable with heavy penalties. Why? If two men agree to try to kill each other, that is their own private affair. Why should the law stop them? The answer is that it is not their own private affair. It is a public affair; because, if every citizen can take the law into his own hands and avenge an injury himself, all law and order in the state will go to pieces. And gambling is condemned for the same reason; because the effect of gambling is injurious, not only to the individuals, but to public social life.

The evils of gambling may be summarized as follows. First, it discourages steady habits of industry by holding out before men the hope of getting rich quickly and easily. Secondly, gambling often becomes a habit, as strong as the drink craving, which a man cannot break; and frequently it leads not only to his ruin, but to the misery of his family that depends on him. Thirdly, it produces an unhealthy and restless excitement in men’s minds. Lastly, it often ends in theft and embezzlement, and even crimes of violence. Judged by its effort, it is therefore an evil.

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