Making Money and Gambling

In the UK and America there are a multitude of ways to gamble. Exorbitant sums of money are involved with respective governments receiving substantial income in the form of taxes. Socially, gambling has been exposed to opposition morally and singled out legally as a corrupt trait in some societies. Never the less gambling continues to rise as a major form of relaxation and as a way either, legally or illegally, of making money.

As long as there have been human beings gambling, or games of chance as they are commonly known, has been in existence. It was around the mid thirteenth century that dice first came to prominence in Greece, although a similar form of entertainment was used by the Ancient Egyptians called “Knuckle bones.” Playing cards were first attributed to China in the ninth or tenth century. They were then taken up by Europeans in the fourteenth century, probably Italy, using a pack with 78 cards. It was a hundred years later before the standard pack of 52 cards became accepted as the norm. But as well as these games, betting on sports such as horse racing and dog and cock fighting enjoyed popular appeal. In all of us there is a the appeal of winning money for little or no effort but, there are still mixed feelings toward the various forms of gambling available today.

Religion is prominent in many societies today. In some it is more dominant than politics and influences many of the decisions governments make. In fact many religions condemn gambling. Although Catholic countries were the first to start playing lotteries seriously. It is the fact that gambling can be attributed to greed and corruption and can be the downfall of many that fosters the beliefs of the anti-gambling faction. Gambling has also been linked to alcoholism with many games of chance taking place in public houses. The fact that drinking alcohol can also be associated with violence and lust does nothing to help the pro gambling lobby. The fact also that there are winners and losers with the winners gains offset by the loser’s losses (although the poker games I have played in this never works out!).

Here in the UK things are a bit more relaxed. Have a look at these figures:

8% of adults play bingo

11% of adults use licensed betting shops

62% of all households play the National Lottery on a Saturday

33% play on a Wednesday

The above figures were taken from Social Trends 1998 so today those figures could be considerably more. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, had forthright views on gambling. He said “that a Christian should be a steward of money and not own it” and “money should not be gained through means which could harm one’s neighbour” i.e. pawnbroking or charging excessive interest on loans.

Not everybody connected with religion has taken such a stance. The soon to be Anglican Bishop of Exeter, Robert Mortimer, said in 1933 that not all forms of gambling were immoral. He actually did some research into the various forms and decided that some forms of gambling were a “legitimate indulgence” which no institution had the right to ban completely.

In 1948 an international congress of Anglican Bishops were concerned about the after effects of gambling on not just gamblers but their families as well. In fact, when Premium Bonds were first introduced in 1956, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, condemned them as private gain divorced from responsibility.” This was backed up by the then shadow Chancellor, Harold Wilson, as a”squalid raffle.”

Many governments now take a back seat when it comes to deciding issues on gambling, realising than prohibition would condemn the problem to underground activities, therefore losing revenue.

One more point in gambling’s favour. As early as 1569 it was used as a means of raising funds for public projects.

So there it is, not all forms of gambling are bad.In fact some are quite therapeutic. As long as indulgences are not taken to excess there is not much harm done. It is when gambling takes over one’s life that problems arise. The motto is “know your limits and stay safe”.

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Problem Gambling Effecting Local Economy

Political leaders are approving gambling establishment developments in hope to raise needed revenue with out consequence to their constituents. Political leaders are aware that a significant number of people already have a problem gambling and the likelihood of more people developing an addiction is likely to increase. It’s unfortunate but these same leaders refuse to do anything about it since the increased revenues from the gambling establishments helped to fund many state needed programs.

Political leaders look at the short run, because they are continually being tested to see what they can do for their voters. These leaders are not elected for life and usually serve for two years unless they are elected again. Once they are up for re-election they tell the voters this is what they have accomplished during their term. It’s unfortunate but these gambling establishments slowly deplete the economy. By the time all the negative affects are felt either the political leader is no longer in office, up for re-election with all new promises or another source of revenue is found. This political game continues until enough people put pressure on their leaders. Problem gambling is a silent addiction and very few people are willing to admit they have a compulsive gambling addiction, lost all their money to gambling, stole from their employer so they could gambling and or are embarrassed to let their love ones know they had a problem. Once again the political leader win and their voters and the local economy lose.

People are gambling excessively. A gambling establishment could not expand at the rate they are growing if people weren’t losing their money. These same people cut their spending at their local shopping centers, personal entertainment like movies and cut spending for everyday staples. I met one mother who stopped buying milk. She figured she could save twenty dollars a month and this would give her more resources to gamble. Now that she stopped she can’t believe that she could do such a thing to her family.

The gambling establishments created an empire. They opened gift shops, entertainment concert halls, gas stations and unique restaurant inside their entertainment complex. They give every patron a tracking card that earns them points only valid at their gambling complex while they gamble. They then use these points to eat, entertainment, hotel and or purchase gifts. This past holiday a significant number of people saved some of their points to buy family gifts. Once again the gambling establishments win and the local businesses and shopping centers lose.

Not everyone has a gambling addiction, but a good majority of people enjoy recreational gambling. It’s unfortunate but even a casual gambler gambles more then they expected. These casual gamblers people also will have to cut back their spending for a short time. They may not go out to their local diner because they cn eat for free at the gambling establishment. In all these situations, the local economy suffers. People who live with in fifty miles of a gambling establishment are more like to be negatively affected.

It’s time to find a solution to this growing epidemic. Political leaders need to step up to the plate and stop the abduction of the people. Recently their have been a significant number of commercials dealing with gambling addiction. Everybody applauded this first attempt to deal with gambling addictions. Unfortunately it appears the leaders are too late. An acre of land on fire can not be distinguished with a cup of water.

The only solution to stopping the problem gambling is to regulate the gambling establishments and or consider closing them down until a solution is found. No matter which direction the political leaders choose they need to pick up their pace.

Mr. Howard Keith has an extensive background in dealing with compulsive gamblers, relatives and friends of gamblers and teenage gamblers. Mr. Keith believes there are many alternatives to aid in the recovery of a gambling addiction verses a twelve step program. A large percentage of his emails were from compulsive gamblers looking for an alternative to Gamblers Anonymous and twelve step programs. Gamblers Anonymous also helps a significant number of people each year but there is a large percentage that they are unable to reach. For more information on gambling addiction and stop gambling you can check out

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Compulsive Gamblers Offered Help on Gambling Sites?

There is a lot of information offered online about treatment to stop gambling, advice for gamblers that want to quit, gamblers anonymous, stop gambling forums, etc. Ironically, you will find many articles that offer advice to people who want to quit gambling on actual gambling and betting websites.

Unfortunately, this is nothing more than a cynical use of Internet marketing techniques to attract relevant traffic to gambling sites. The casinos know that if someone is addicted to gambling and he lands on their website, he is more likely to gamble on their site than other visitors. Further, when someone is looking for a solution to their gambling problem, they are weak and vulnerable. They are seeking help because they are desperate, but at the same time, all it might take for them to start gambling at that moment is a trigger – like landing on a site where they can gamble.

Don’t be fooled. It’s not that the gambling sites are interested in helping problem gamblers that end up there. It’s precisely the opposite – they are looking to attract people at their most vulnerable moment. Here is how it works:

1. Internet gambling website owners understand how the Internet works. They also understand how the Internet is an irresistible temptation for problem gamblers. And once they get a problem gambler on their site, they know there is a good chance he will stay and play (and lose).

2. The Internet is probably the first place the average problem gambler seeks help for his problem. They conduct searches for “gamblers anonymous”, “treatment for problem gambling”, “help for gambling problem”, etc. Some may even be looking specifically to block gambling sites. Even gambling filters are offered on many betting sites. The very websites that created the problem — casinos, poker games, blackjack, bingo and numerous other forms of betting online — want to be there to welcome problem gamblers. So they supply the content that a compulsive gambler is searching for.

3. These sites don’t actually create advice and tips for problem gamblers. They scrape articles from databases and add deliver content created by others. It is sophisticated and it is unethical. But it is not illegal. Countless gamblers, who have made a decision to work towards recovery, are surprised to find themselves on yet another gambling site facing temptation.

This is one reason a gambling filter installed on your computer, to block gambling sites, can be so helpful. One of the problems gamblers face is the simple temptation. Seeing a computer can be a trigger. But if access to gambling websites is blocked, it is is possible to protect the addict from this 24/7 temptation. And certainly, they should be protected from landing on gambling sites when they are innocently seeking help!

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