Gambling should be illegal: Top 5 reasons why

Whether gambling is legal or illegal, there will always be gamblers. Wanna bet? We still think it should be illegal. Read on for reasons why…

minute read

The main difference between legal and illegal gambling is that legal gambling is monitored by government inspections agencies. But more people gamble because it is legal, and although the government collects taxes on jackpots, Indian casinos and lotteries, the system is highly subject to fraud.

Gambling online is illegal (federally), but this doesn’t stop people from doing it. And even though the Organized Crime Section of the Department of Justice found that “the rate of illegal gambling in those states which have some legalized form of gambling was three times as high as those states where there was not a legalized form of gambling,” we still believe that gambling is a drain to society. Here are our Top 5 reasons why.

Reasons why gambling should be illegal

1. Gambling is subject to fraud.

Legalized gambling, specifically Indian gaming, is the fastest growing industry in the world, and can have a corrupting influence on state government. The governments are addicted to the revenue received from Indian gaming and lotteries. Recently there have been numerous news reports of corruption and fraud in state lotteries.

2. Availability of gambling facilities increases risk of problem gambling.

Legalized gambling makes this activity available to too many people. Governments and casinos portray this as a harmless form of entertainment. Because of the availability of legalized gambling, it is more addictive and destructive than most other addictions.

Furthermore, most citizens would not gamble illegally. Legalized gambling, therefore, entices people to gamble, who normally would not gamble at all. In states with different numbers of games, participation rates increase steadily and sharply as the number of legal types of gambling increases. In fact, legalized gambling in various states has not been a competitor to, but rather has become a stimulator of illegal gambling.

The public is assured they have the potential to win a huge jackpot. All that is required is to drive to the casino or purchase a lottery ticket. Because of the availability of gambling, many gamblers become addicted and compulsive. Interested in how to quit gambling?  Read more here.

3. Problem gambling costs society billions annually.

The social costs of gambling addictions will eventually impact careers, physical and mental health issues, bankruptcy, divorce, crimes, and treatment. The gamblers will eventually rely on welfare or unemployment benefits, impacting the government, and the costs could reach several billions of dollars per year.

4. Gambling exploits the poor.

Evidence shows that legalized gambling often hurts and even destroys, especially those who are poor and disadvantaged. If gambling were illegal, the gambling venues would not be able to promote their lotteries, casinos, or other forms of betting and exploit people who are most vulnerable.

5. Gambling sets a double standard for governments.

State lotteries are argueably an effective way to raise taxes. Legalized gambling is a disturbing governmental policy. Governments should promote desirable qualities in the citizens and not seduce them to gamble in state-sponsored vice. When this occurs, the government contributes to the corruption of society.

Legalized gambling is a bad social policy. At a time when independent organizations estimate that there are at least 12 million compulsive gamblers, it does not make a lot of sense to have the state promoting gambling. State sponsorship of gambling makes it harder, for the compulsive gambler to reform.

Compulsive gambling costs

In addition to the above reasons for making gambling illegals, are the economic costs that gamblers themselves incur. The average compulsive gambler has debts exceeding $80,000. Additionally, compulsive gamblers affect the lives of family, friends, and business associates. Some of the consequences of gambling include marital disharmony, divorce, child abuse, substance abuse, and suicide attempts. Other social costs surface because of family neglect, embezzlement, theft, and involvement in organized crime.

Crossing our fingers or wishing on a star will not guarantee a win. The only guarantee is, if a person is a compulsive gambler and continues to gamble, the end result is prison, insanity, or death. Whether gambling is legal or illegal, there will always be gamblers. Wanna bet?

Reference sources: Probe [dot] org
About the author
Marilyn Lancelot is a recovering alcoholic and compulsive gambler with twenty years of recovery. She has authored three books, Gripped by Gambling , Detour, and Switching Addictions. She also publishes a newsletter on-line, Women Helping Women for recovery from gambling. This newsletter has been published for more than 10 years and is read by women and men around the world.


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  1. Shame of the Gov allowing this brutal corrupted business smh so many are homeless because of Gambling sad sad

  2. I would like to get philosophical for a moment. First and foremost, I am pro gambling, but I have never gambled in my life. My mother was mentally ill and squandered all of her money on a gambling addiction when I was in my early teens. I suffered and I endured. Moving on, gambling opponents seem to base their arguments on a few basic points: “I have seen someone go down this road before”, “it is harmful to others” or “gamblers are too addicted to have a choice.” To the first argument, a rational society has acknowledged that policy should not be based upon emotion. Believe me, I can empathize with these concerns, but when overly passionate individuals who shout above the rest are allowed to dictate national policy, both the will of the majority and the rights of the minority are often ignored. For instance, one of my family members had an excessive fondness for cats. Although she made very little money, she devoted nearly her entire paycheck to taking care of her animals, resulting in personal malnutrition and horrendous living conditions. Did this incident disturb me? Absolutely! But I very much doubt that anyone would agree that isolated cases such as this provide justification to illegalize cats. Now, as for it being harmful to others, there appear to be two prongs to this argument: society and family. As for society, it can be argued that virtually anything can have a negative impact on societal perceptions. Social media arguably results in a socially damaged society, but we would not illegalize that. Our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is arguably contributing to obesity, but we would not mandate exercise. Virtually everything can be construed to negatively impact societal mentality, meaning that effectively maintaining a “healthy” societal mentality would require prohibiting virtually everything. We must keep in mind that we are neither strictly individualistic nor strictly communal beings, and we have proven in the past that a community that respects individual freedom can function (after all, gambling been a part of our culture for millennia). As for the family, we have institutions in place for protecting abused or neglected children, but it is simply inpractical to prevent it at the source. Keep in mind the principle argument against gambling in this regard pertains to the notion that a gambling addiction results in less money for dependents which results in suffering. However, by that same logic, should we regulate everything to ensure that families have as much money as possible? Should we force at least one member of each family to work? Should we illegalize leisure spending for those with families? Should we mandate that those with larger families acquire more lucarative jobs? Obviously, these solutions are as authoritarian in spirit as they are absurd in practice, and what exactly distinguishes them from gambling? Finally, in regards to the argument that gambling addicts do not have a choice… I completely agree! However, I do not believe this lack of a choice justifies illegalization. Studies have shown that smartphones can be just as addictive as gambling, and yet I’m fairly certain that none of you would condemn service providers for “exploiting the powelessness of the addictive”. Keep in mind that things such as reading, exercising, and even working can be addictive as well, arguably rendering individuals powerless to make an alternate decision. However, the rights of the minority should not be able to be abolished by the will of the majority—the absolute dominance of the majority can be used to justify any number of horrendous acts (the Holocaust and slavery come to mind). Simply because some people find gambling reprehensible doesn’t mean others should be forced to bow to this opinion. After all, virtually anything can be addictive and virtually everyone is opposed to something, so the notion that something should be illegalized when a potential for addiction and public opposition are found in conjunction would result in just about everything being prohibited (keep in mind that people are demonstrably less happy in totalitarian communities). Is our current system perfect? Absolutely not! But entrusting public policy and individual rights to an impassioned, vocal group creates far more problems than it solves.

  3. So somehow adults can’t be responsible for their own addiction and need a government mandate to tell them what to do? Why should it not be someone’s conscious decision to engage in such an activity and what gives you the right to decide someone’s lifestyle? I’m not even a gambler, but it’s my money, so I’ll spend it how I want, and the nanny state and uninformed authoritarians such as yourself will not tell me differently.

  4. Ban gambling, porn, coffe, softdrinks, smokes, alcohol it all destroying ppl… I AGREE with the Op, in truth this stuff exsists because of evil ppl, it not good for ppl at all. There is also spiritual impacts ppl are not aware off.

  5. I too think gambling should be banned. Yes, a few people get rich but everyone else loses their money. It’s not worth it.

  6. I’ve been reading up on many stories about embezzlement going on, which goes from 6 figures to 7 figures. Holy cow, there is a serious problem that needs to be addressed here. Communities should not be keeping these things in business. No way.

    I used to go to casinos for fun. I can’t, in good conscience, go to any anymore. It’s just wrong.

  7. Everyone is responsible for making their own decisions. If someone is stupid they will ruin their lives with alcohol addiction or something else legal. Prohibition is a complete failure. People need not impose their self righteous morality on people trying to make a living how they choose. What is it to you if someone makes money investing, or sports betting. This country is oppressive in its taxes and lack of liberty.

  8. i would like to say that gambling can be an addiction and for the poor vulnerable person this should not be given a choice to try and make his money grow through gambling this game we play with ourselves can damage a whole family not just yourself and take peoples lives the whole gambling process is to let you loss your money its not made for you to win ok you may win once or twice but i know that the money you have given will not add up to the amount you would of spent gambling should be made illegal

  9. Casinos constantly monitor the movements of their customers (gamblers) while inside their facilities and will use any excuse to ban or harass such if they complain. For example, security staff at Rama have arrested people on suspicion of theft for merely bending over to pick up a lost roulette chip or pack of gum.

  10. Your problem is that you are too lazy to spend the 20 years or so needed for success in this,the most demanding of all disciplines.It requires far more dedication than it does for anything else.When surgeons are getting drunk in the Hamptons on Saturday night,baseball bettors are burning the midnight oil working on Sunday’s games.

  11. FOR: LIBERTY gambling is a choice and everyone is free to make a good or bad choice as long as it doesn’t infringe the rights of others

  12. In other words, “some people have a problem with gambling so no one should be allowed to gamble.” When does it stop?

  13. This is ridiculous… all the people that think the government needs to step in so people don’t make bad choices is retarded. The arguments are extremely weak as well.

    Every argument you make against gambling you can make literally against any addictive activity/substance.
    “You can throw away your whole life savings in one night of gambling.” Uhm… what about drinking drunk and killing others and yourself? It can all happen in one night if you don’t control yourself.
    “People will neglect their families and feed their gambling addictions.” Replace gambling addictions with alcohol, drugs, sex addictions and you get the same result.

    Basically it shouldn’t be the government that tell you how to live your life. If you want to do something that doesn’t harm another, go for it. If you aren’t competent to take care of your family, the government should take your kids from you.

  14. To all those saying gambling should be legal because freedom is liberty etc, what utter bullshit. How many things are illegal that by the same definition should be legalised? If your mind isn’t dark enough to consider the possibilities then I’m glad for you, but you are seriously sheltered in your perception. Gambling is doing exactly what drug dealers do, exploiting an addiction. Alcohol and cigarettes are both heavily regulated, the tax on cigarettes is so high in the UK that despite manufacturing the product we are paying over two times what the rest of Europe does, furthermore they can’t even display cigarettes in shops, no advertising is allowed for cigarettes and each packet comes with either a large sign saying ‘smoking kills’ et al or a rather graphic photo of the consequences of smoking. So this is a product that whilst can do great damage in the long term has very little short term affects, it certainly can’t destroy yours and your family’s world in one evening like gambling could. Gambling doesn’t just exploit an addiction, but it’s effects are so sparse and integrated into contemporary society that the full measure of its corruption goes unmissed. Each company somehow manages to play by differing rules, regarding their procedures, payouts etc and the gambling commission are no more than an Urban legend, never actually doing anything to implement or safeguard the ‘industry’, having worked at a bookies for 5 years I never once met anyone outside the company who came to audit or verify that everything was being kept within the letter of the law, and I know working there it wasn’t! We were told our main focus group was males aged 18-30, thus those most impressionable and easily swayed by the lure of something with idealistic propositions.

    There will be thousands of ideas that no-one ever considered allowing to prosper in this world due to them being highly immoral, yet we allow gambling to remain in the heart of society despite it clearly being a burden to anyone who gets involved. At least drugs allow you to escape the reality of life, gambling only serves to heighten the problems, and this is usually the case whether you win or lose.

    I didn’t even mention the close connection gambling has to crime and criminal organisations who use this as a means to launder their money, something I experienced working in London with Albanian gangsters not even caring what happened to their money as they only needed to have physical proof they could legitimise their current cashflow. This isn’t prohibition, nobody is going to start opening up underground casinos, the majority of gamblers would move on, deal with it and probably be the happier and wealthier for it, and out of all the people I know with an addiction, 99% would welcome such a ban. But the bottom line here is that the government in the UK attempted to block the freedom gambling sites and companies had, instead they simply decided to raise the tax, meaning that betting companies now needed to increase profits, and remember this money only comes from the general public, no items are being sold, no services provided, this is literally people giving money for nothing, so what does it becomes, another way that the government was able to grease its palms? This is the kind of freedom that we should be fighting for? I can go and blow all my money on nothing, destroy my future, get myself in debt, ruin my relationships with family and friends because of a brutal addiction I never wanted, but fuck at least I am doing it in the name of freedom. Fucking double standard ignorance.

  15. Banning Casino is a MUST. Over those past year,quite number of people suicide due to gambling. It’s either you come out with alot of money or broke af. Theres no 100% win rates on gambling,theres no luck.Some people even standing outside of a casino to borrow money to, with a high interest. How the fuck you can do that? Borrow money for people to suicide you mean? Gambling has been legalized by many states, but just because it is does not make it right. Even though gambling is legal, it should not be because of its harmful economic, governmental, and social effects.There are a few different damaging effects that gambling has on the government, but they fall into two categories: the government’s role and illegal activity. The government’s role in gambling is not what it should be. Drugs and gambling are both known to be self-destructive, yet drugs are banned and gambling is legalized?

  16. Gambling is all over our TV stations in the UK and we pay for this crap it should not be allowed. We pay a licence for our channels and it should bring good family TV all night long not this shit and we have to pay for it. Smoking has been banned so why not this.

  17. @saj There is nothing abnormal about a hard-working person having fun when winning at a game. I have a lot of fun playing Yahtzee or Euchre or Cribbage with friends. I would have a lot of fun winning a cribbage tournament if I could. If all the entrants agreed to put five dollars into a pot split between the winners there would still be nothing abnormal with people having fun, and indeed, for those lucky enough to win, there would be material benefit.

  18. This is complete crap. If they own the money and have the will to gamble it, so be it. Should the stock market be illegal as well? That is basically a gamble (although you have the ability to look at information and make educated guesses, it is a gamble putting money down on stock). Also, it is not the government’s job to step in and say what we can and cannot do with our own personal money.

  19. Gambling should be illegal, the government just legalised it for own benefit but it ruins family lives , mental health and prosperity of the addict. In no way its a fun or beneficial to a normal hard working individual.

  20. Thank you Brent and Sam. You guys are the only ones here who are wise enough to get it. We need more people like you in this world to learn from.

  21. @Good times good &co – it’s incredible how disgusting and inconsidering your comments are! It is equivalent to saying to a person with mental illness ‘sorry but I can think clearly, you should too’!! You should be ashamed of yourselves. Not everyone has same capabilities and same applies when dealing with gambling addiction. Gambling ruins families. Full stop. And as such should be banned. Not only that but children as young as 14 are getting into it since it’s easily accessible and not regulated at all. But you say that is ‘freedom’. What a poor judgement. It’s just so sad! You say (or one of your followers) ‘you gamble but are in control’ I say sorry There is no such a thing as staling little or stealing a lot, either way one is a thief. Same applies to you. You clearly are a Gambler! So maybe from that stance I can understand your fierce defending of casinos. I don’t gamble at all, but have found myself here because someone very dear to me is on a road to self destruction because of it. So I am trying to find slightest way to help and reading your comment and similar to yours upset me so much! You say ‘you never put your family in financial hardship and that it is your ‘hobby’., well again sorry but every loss is a loss and over a period of time think of the money that totals as lost (yes sure you will say it’s your money, which is fair enough.,) and most importantly think of all the time wasted away from your family yet you call yourself a great father. You surely are setting a great example to your children. There is so many healthy hobbies out there, sorry gambling not being one of them. Please get a reality check and understand that gambling is not a hobby and stop giving wrong info to young man and women out there who might think they will ‘gamble a bit as a hobby’ but will find themselves on a road to total destruction. There should be clear warnings and regulations at least in place but instead we see it advertised on the TV and by people like yourself. The word ‘hobby’ clearly has a wrong meaning in your dictionary and it’s disturbing considering the consequences. In a ‘freedom’ society that you preach soon you will be listing taking drugs as a hobby. You are boasting what a great family man and father you are but are ignorant enough to acknowledge that most of those guys who as you say ‘don’t have control’ are brilliant fathers too, and were fantastic young man, sons, grandsons, neighbours one day back in time., until they came across recreational ‘hobby’ like yours. They in fact still are brilliant man and it is heartbreaking watching them fighting the demon within themselves because they know what they are doing is wrong and is hurting themselves and others. They so desperately wan’t to change but for some reason they can’t. It is scientifically proven that gambling provides brain stimuli as same as drugs do, so what point are you fighting here? Apart from you American freedom! These machines are Designed to make you LOSE money! Are they not? So again what point are trying to fight here? You might win at some times but ultimately No one beats them! Why don’t you or anyone else set up any business that is based on deception. Would it be able to operate for a long time before government shuts it down., similarly why are casinos and gambling shops (especially slot machines) able to be in business and thrive without anyones intervention yet they are ‘set’ for one to lose money on it. They are not there for ‘recreational use’! They are there to drive people into desperation. It usually starts as fun and no harm but ends up destroying families so be careful mr Big Ego! Gambling has few stages! Gone are the days when gambling involved playing card games with few friends , nowadays gambling has whole another dimension. Lastly @Brent thank you for your wise words and points put across. Very smart indeed

  22. True we are free Americans and we can make our own choices. We have taken that liberty to a whole new level in this country. Our motto should be its all about me and I could care less about anyone else. That is a harsh statement but the truth hurts. It’s not about taking liberties away from those who can sped a couple of bucks at the casino and go home. The question is how do we feel about the person who loses everything they have they end up in a divorce and can’t pay child support. Guess who is going to have to feed that child now? Yep it’s the good ole tax payer that would be you. Now he has lost it all now he decides he needs to start stealing to fuel his gambling habit. That means the crime rate just went up that means we will need more police to keep those like him/her from stealing us blind. Guess who’s going to pay for those extra police officers? Yep right on back to the tax payers. So stay in your its all about me bubble and see how society will kick you in the teeth. By the way if gambling comes hot and heavy check into being a politician I’m quite sure they will be beyond well paid to keep gaming alive and well.

  23. This is article is way off. If gambling corrupts governments, then they’re going to be corrupted by other things. If governments become addicted to gambling revenue, that’s a wonderful argument for less government.

    Gambling addicts probably cost a good deal of money, but that’s easily solved too. Don’t give them benefits. Personal responsibility is something no one cares about anymore. People want rules against everything; a bunch of gov people to force the rules; a bunch of gov people and money to treat people who break the rules; and a bunch of gov people and money for welfare for people who have addiction problems. I don’t get it.

  24. The libertarian viewpoint serves to reward people with leadership ability disproportionately from those who are led. In both communist and libertarian philosophies, the common factor of variable nature is completely unaccounted for. Its viewpoint is tantamount to saying that of bee colonies all worker bees could one day be queen. Human nature is not egalitarian and therefore the more noble amongst us must lay down a strong hand against the tyranny of exploitation and subjugation. Libertarianism opens the door to exploitation. The good news is that the Randroids of the world are not endowed with any physical strength advantage over their peers. In this regard, they are nothing but lip flappers self absorbed by their distorted view of logic. Ayn Rand never lifted a finger of hard work in her jewish princess life. She was completely disconnected from reality as are her followers.

  25. Brent, I think we’re fundamentallly different and have a different worldview. I’m simply more libertarian than you. If it’s the will of the people (as evidenced recently by Ohio) then it should be done. If it is not the will of the people then casino’s should be removed from their state.

    I will not impose my morals on anyone and I will always support the people having the liberty to decide what they can / should do with their money. I support individual liberty, you do not.

    I’ve even provided my personal parameters of how I individually gamble responsibly. Why do I gamble? Because I can. Why does anyone do anything? Because they can. Why do I not if the circumstances aren’t correct? Because I have the willpower to say a word that’s been LONG forgotten in our vernacular…….the word “no”. Stop worrying about what I do with my money.

    I must note though, that supporting the prohibition of gambling b/c of it’s “societal malaise” but not supporting the prohibition of alcohol, fast food, candy, etc is an incredible display of hypocracy. If you think gambling should be illegal b/c of it’s effect on society but do not think greasy french fries (which have proven to have a negative health effect) should be, you’re a hypocrite.

    If you don’t like it, DON’T participate. If you can’t “not participate” YOU have a problem with yourself.

    Here’s a clue: Look at the title of the author’s book…..”Gripped by Gambling” by Marilyn Lancelot “The true story of a woman’s journey back from the Hell she created”

    The Hell who created? The Hell SHE created.

    And if that’s an innacurate picture of the book and the author’s struggles, then she chose a stupid name for the book. Assuming it’s accurate, SHE created the problem.

  26. @GoodTimes. Gambling is highly institutionalized in our country. From State lotteries to casinos to the futures markets on WallStreet. When a nation’s culture is groomed to accepting risk ventures based on random speculation, the people are mentally enslaved and geared towards unproductive mindsets. Gambling is slavery of the mind. For the many surface thinkers out there, this concept is baffling but to see the big picture one just has to look at the debt to income ratio of most Americans. Its insane. And why its insane is because we have the sickness of a gambling mindset. Making gambling illegal would be a big step in the right direction towards correcting what very well is a societal malaise. Forget prostitution, forget pornography, forget alcohol, drugs or guns… gambling “IS” the worst preoccupation a society could ever sanction.

  27. How about we ban and make fast food illegal, it’s a tax on the poor (physically and financially) right? lolz, you people crack me up.

    How about we deal individually with people that lack self-control and will-power / the mental strength to control their actions and let the majority of people who understand a night of poker (in context) enjoy their lives? Sounds good to me.

  28. why not meet in the middle? keep gambling legal everywhere unless it rises crime. if it does make it illegal everywhere and no matter what set up laws so that debt the gamblers rack up never affect families that cannot control the gamblers. often gamblers like a family member of mine have huge debts than disapear or die. debts can ruin families and thier view on life. protect families keep crime down and we are all good.

  29. I’m sorry Jessica about you husband and the situation you are in. I will pray for you. But I think that you have to realize that your husband has a serious problem but quite frankly the rest of our rights should not be taken away because of it. I am not being cold are heartless I actually can relate to your situation as a child my father had a huge gambling problem he pissed away all the money in a very successful family realty company. My mother had to make the hard decision to leave him because she knew despite everything good about him a flaw like that is just to much, and is also usually accompanied by other problems like drug addiction. And sure enough he developed a hardcore drug addiction. He has been in and out of jail now and is just on a downward spiral to hell. The last time I saw him I was 9, I haven’t seen him since and really don’t want to until he can fix himself. I’m not saying that is what your husband will become but its the path he is on, he is destroying your family and is setting a horrid example for his children. If this continues then you might just have to make the tough decision to leave… I’m sorry.

    What I took from all this is that I have a choice. I can be just like my father or I can take the high road. That was my choice, I’m sorry that some people can’t stop themselves from engaging in destructive acts like over-gambling. I say over-gambling for a reason because when done in moderation and fit into a budget it is actually not very harmful. You’re husband needs to rethink his many decisions and realize what he is doing, I’m truly sorry for you and your kids.

  30. I wish it was illegal harrahs philadelphia has done nothing but cause me problems my husband blows everything i have to the point where i cant pay my bills his credit is shot and we are only in our late 20s it affects my children and myself n the “ban” is ridiculous he will not go get himself banned they should allow me to ban him i understand people like to have fun but they should have limitations on how much a person can spend there or something to help people like me because there are alot of spouses out there that are in my predicament and helpless its an addiction just as drugs he will not seek help and i am out of options besides leaving someone who is amazing with every other aspect of our marriage n a wonderful father this is the only true fault he has and my whole life is turned upside down

  31. @Corey. I really call into question your idea of inalienable universal rights or god given rights. There is no such thing as such rights when it comes to how a society determines the rights of others. For instance you might not have the right to drive. Instead you have the privilege to drive. In this regard the society has deemed that you are a threat to others when you get behind the wheel, even though you think you are a good driver and could not hurt anyone. The same goes with gambling. If a society sees gambling as a threat to others based on the history of its effect on societal morale, then they have the “enforceable” right to dictate that no one has this right to gamble. You can argue your utopian universal god given rights till you are blue in the face because unless this so called god or higher power is able to enforce those rights for you, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

  32. Same here, I live near several casinos and I may go there once every 2 or 3 years. I love to play cards but I realized early on that I wasn’t going to make enough profit at a casino to make it worth the risk for me. @ Brent, I absolutely agree that freedom has it’s limits, once you infringe another persons rights to enjoy your freedom, you have become inconsiderate and should be punished. That is my ultimate view on freedom and I think every law should be based on that principle. So just how exactly does a person gambling infringe on another person’s rights?

  33. Well said Corey. I think that I’ve said all I can say, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and mine is that gambling should not be illegal. I don’t gamble myself because its a poor business choice, to much of a risk for me but I like to think that if I ever wanted to go play a few hands that i could make that choice for myself. And i would live with whatever consequences that came because of it. Its as simple as that.

  34. To Corey, you state that you are a firm believer in freedom. “Freedom” is one of those ambiguously abused words that one imparts on others in order to win hearts and minds without having to make any personal sacrifice. I wish to offer you an objective perspective through example. Lets say a group of people get together to co-own a piece of land and it ends at that. They all own the land but there are no rules in place. In other words everyone can do what ever they want. They can defecate where ever they want, they can yell at the top of their lungs all day long, they have absolute “Freedom”. Or… they can set up rules that everyone or the majority agrees and abides by. If someone doesn’t like the rules they as an individual can leave. In this regard this is how society works. If gambling is banned within the boundaries of said society, then the person who objects to this can leave because the majority agree on that rule. It really doesn’t matter how much you want to sugar coat your idealized world of so-called freedom, when the majority rules you either abide to those rules or face the consequences of what the majority decides. This is the closest one will ever get to so called freedom because the alternative is either despotism or anarchy. Both of which are intolerable alternatives for the majority of people.

  35. In my opinion, gambling is no different than investing your money in stock or investing in anything else for that matter. You take a chance and risk your money in hopes of making a profit. As far as the social side effects, that just falls back on the particular individual. If someone constantly loses all their money and can’t control them self, they suffer the consequences. If they have a spouse at home, their spouse may end up leaving because of the stress of being broke all the time, or the spouse can make a choice to stick it out and suffer the consequences as well. If there are children dependent on that person, that is where the government has their chance to step in take whatever action is necessary against that person for failing to provide for their children. By that I don’t mean put them on welfare either, that is something that should be reserved for people with a legitimate reason for not being able to provide for their family, not for people that have no self control on their spending. If they lose their house, job, car, so be it. I’m a firm believer in freedom to make my own decisions and suffer whatever consequences may come from it.

  36. To Good Times: When gambling (in the monetary sense) becomes addictive it is devastating both to the gambler and those who might depend on them. But overall gambling is the past time of people who are mentally not well and I will explain why. Business works on the principle of human interaction. Without human interaction all business ventures are non-existant. Many a financially successful person has done well when they are working and collaborating with others. The risks can be calculated as a coefficient of time, creativity and effort. Gambling requires no effort and no shared collaborative interactions all the while taking risks that not reasonably ascertained. It is a form of asocial madness when you think about it. When society encourages gambling, it is discouraging certain people from being creative or from collaborating with others towards the goal of a shared tangible wealth. It sets the wrong example and allows for an exploitation of ones mental illness by gambling institutions who are in full understanding that the eventually the house always wins. In fact they rig it so is guaranteed. My friend gambling is highly immoral.

  37. Let me be perfectly clear:

    If you think a prohibition off ALL gambling BECAUSE of the minority of gamblers that have an issue, you’re a loser and pretty much everyone thinks that except the losers with the prohibitionist mindset and want to outlaw it for everyone.

    The problem isn’t gambling (in my instance poker). It’s losers that have no command of their actions and a complete lack of willpower to control themselves.


  38. Voice of Reason: You try to make the case that gambling does not hurt others but only the person gambling. I would disagree with that. If you have a person who is addicted to gambling and they have dependents, they could be indirectly hurting the dependents by depriving them of the finances needed for their survival. For instance a child could be sick and progressively getting worse if only the care giver were to prioritize their budget in helping the child instead of wasting it on gambling. Also you make the case that intercourse with a minor is an act that is hurting others. The legal age of consent is nearly four years higher than the biological end of puberty. One could easily make the case that this is not hurting others when the so called minor is physically and psychologically mature for intimacy. I would be interested to hear how you would argue otherwise. My guess is that you have lost on this account. And my point is that we as a society have the right to create laws that serve the interests of society as a whole.

  39. Gambling is a major issue, and needs to be banned. All you people above need to fuck off and gamble on the toilet. You say American Cit. etc etc. This is bullshit. You are a puppet to society and it;s time people stuck together to help family and friends and stop the ability to easily gamble.

    In Australia there is Gambling Machines and casinos on every corner, and I have unfortunately been addicted to them since 16 years old.

    I hate them, I always lose, I have lost my house and car and family have practicallty disowned me. So deep down I am depressed and I was thinking of slitting my wrists as soon as I write this, I don’t want to put my family through this anymore. So I am saying goodbye to life and my fellow posters. I hope you have a lovely soulful life, and oh. Good luck 😉

  40. I get the feeling that addiction blog is having a hard time arguing for her opinion. Let me step in, she is saying that gambling hurts everyone indirectly. What she is trying to say is that if people had the right to gamble it would cause harm to everyone else because it would cost our government large amounts of money to take care of these people. That’s how I interpret what she is trying to say if it is not then please clarify.

    I would have to say that I disagree with that statement. If gambling was legalized everywhere whatever effect that it would have on us economically would be slight, and any money lost would be repaid in the large amounts of money that the government would get from taxing the hell out of all of the casinos. I am a firm believer that we as human beings should have the right to make our own decisions as long as we are not greatly harming our neighbor. Any harm that gambling would have to ones self is their choice, just like it is someones personal choice to engage in other self destructive acts such as; unprotected sex, tobacco products, alcohol.. etc. People know that these things will harm them but they ether CHOOSE to do it anyway, or have some flaw that causes them to become addicted. That is not the public’s problem, that IS personal. When any of these gets to the points that they directly harm others the government steps in and regulates it example; drunk driving, sex with a minor, and smoking in certain public areas. Gambling does NOT directly hurt others an any damage would be to ones self in witch is a personal choice. Something that is great about this country is that we have a choice! That is what makes us different, and it saddens me to see that over time we are slowly loosing that.

  41. Gambling, most of the time does not represent the daily risks we take in life to survive. In this regard, anyone who practices gambling contribute to a pervasive anti-social way of thinking that ultimately infects our entire way of life. There doesn’t have to be such a thing as a direct consequence to contribute to one’s demise. Gambling is very indirect in its harmful consequences on society. With this justification in mind it is very much up to the people to decide what sorts of practices they wish to have going on their society. For instance we as a society oppose men to have more than one wife. If we made it legal, all the rich men in the world would have a trophy wife for every day in the month because they could afford to give women the material wealth they desire, while the rest of the poorer men are stuck with little if any decent wives. We as a society made polygamy illegal so we are all on the same playing field. We have a right to make that decision.

  42. AD Blog,

    You aren’t answering the questions posed. Please do this.

    1) So, if someone is an alcoholic, then alcohol should be illegal? (In essence, if 1 person MAY have a problem that impacts society, it should be BANNED for ALL?)

    2) Should we make anything that could lead to unhealthy choices illegal?

    3) How did prohibition end up working out?

    I’m thinking that you’re applying your personal experiences in life to all as if all will have the same experience. Or the fact that they COULD is reason enough to justify the prohibitionist / Women’s Temperance type mindset. Perhaps it’s a generational thing….

  43. I think that the point being made here is that gambling does not only impact the individual, but the society in which we live.

  44. You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Should we make anything that could lead to unhealthy choices illegal? I mean I could name a million legal things that people struggle with every day. Sex, porn, alcohol, etc.

    Maybe we should all live in a bubble and let the government tell us what we can and can’t do. They can wipe my butt too because it’s possible I might buy the wrong toilet paper.

  45. Also, I forgot to add, my family is my #1 priority. I would never participate in a hobby if they were not first taken care of.

    Hypothetically, If poker suddenly ceased to exist, I would continue to bowl in league 2 nights per week. That is my other hobby.

    I’m a nerd.

  46. Hi AD Blog.

    I have a strategy that is actually quite useful. Statistically, i’m a winning player. Every paycheck I set aside 100 dollars, 200 per month as i’m paid bi-weekly. The buy in for the 1-3 no limit game I play is 200-500, I sit down with 400. So every 2 months I get to play a session. Usually I play 5-6 hours and whatever I come home with (again, normally a fair profit) goes into savings and it is left there (this is where that “control” part comes in) to build. Example: I sit with 400 but LOSE 200, I will still save 200 dollars but if I win say 200 I will save 600.

    If I lose, my normal budget isn’t interrupted as I still have a 9-5er where I make good money. This savings has, over time, grown as a GREAT emergency fund of cash on hand! I’ve made a commitment to this budget that allows me to pay all bills, and having an allowance to participate in my hobby without fear of “losing it all”.

    If certain individuals cannot exercise this type of discipline, it should NOT be to reason to prohibit for ALL and take a game away from someone like me. I’m not addicted to the game nor feel a “pull” or “lure” or “compulsion” to constantly play, I do not covet my opponents chips or money nor am I responsible for contributing to thier “addiction” / problem gaming, THEY ARE AS INDIVIDUALS just as am I. I just enjoy the strategy of the game and the math and psychology that go into a hand.

    I know you are recovering from poor choices (you’ll prolly say biologically prone)….accept it and own that it was you who made poor choices. Don’t be biased, look at it objectively as I am. Don’t just look at problems INDIVIDUALS have as a problem with the game requiring prohibition, also consider that, i’d say MOST, CAN in fact have an evening of entertainment without the destruction for their life. Gambling isn’t for everyone and THAT’S FINE……..

    It’s called PERSPECTIVE. Some have it and some don’t.

    It’s MY money. I don’t impose on your liberty to not play nor would I persecute you for that choice, that is fine with me, please don’t impose on my liberty to play with MY time and MY money.

    Hope that makes some sense.

  47. Hi Good Times Good Times. I am interested in asking – how long have you gone without playing poker? And if you had to stop today, what would you do?

  48. Michael, I completely agree.

    I too am a poker player and guess what…..i’m NOT addicted. The idea of “a few have problems so let’s PROHIBIT it” is such a strawman argument.

    The writer asks, “Do you think that, for some people, gambling goes beyond choice and become a compulsion?” Probably (and if so it’s a small percentage), but because THEY have problems the solution isn’t to make it illegal for EVERYONE.

    Again, i’m not an idiot. I’m completely in control of myself. Don’t victimize me because of others’ poor choices in life and don’t “protect me from myself”, that is not the role of government.

    Remember that thing called prohibition? It didn’t work.

  49. I do believe that for some people it goes beyond choice. Gambling can give a person a euphoric high on every bet, I completely understand the addictive nature. However, that is a personal problem. If I am able to gamble responcible and John Doe cannot, I should not be punished for his addiction or lack of control. I’m a poker player, I have played in the WSOP main event several times and completely enjoy the sport. In no way would I ever front my rent money for an entry fee. When internet poker gambling sites were tolerated in the states I was on frequently. I really enjoy the sport… however, I know my limit and win or lose I don’t surpass it. Poker is a game of skill, chance is slightly involved, but it is so slight that the house won’t bank their own money and will rake the pot to host the table. Now, when it comes down to it, I don’t need government intrusion in my life. These old over the wire gambling laws need to be removed. I can go to an Indian casino tomorrow, drive 250 miles to Vegas, but I can’t gamble online – the hypocrasy is astronomical…

  50. Gambling can become compulsive. A lot of things can become compulsive. People with OCD are compulsive (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) about all manner of things: hand washing, cleaning, locking doors, counting, etc… The point is to get help, not ban everything that anyone can become addicted to or has a compulsion to do.

    This is why they are trying to ban fast food and sodas – to protect people from themselves. If you have an addiction, seek help, own up to it, and try to take control of your own actions. It’s not always easy, and yes, you may fall off the wagon, but you have to try. Expecting the government to ban it and make everyone else stop doing it because of your addiction is taking the easy way out.

    Not to mention that you could still walk into someone’s house to find a poker game going on in the kitchen. Will you leave, participate, or call the cops?

  51. Hi Michael. Thanks for sharing your opinion about the right to continue gambling as a personal choice. Do you think that, for some people, gambling goes beyond choice and become a compulsion? Or do you think that all gambling is controlled?

  52. Why should gambling be legal… its very simple, LIBERTY. I, as a United States citizen, have individual protection by the United States constitution. I should be allowed to make good and bad choices as I see fit so long as I do not directly harm or infringe the rights of another. Are gambling halls practicing corruptly, I highly doubt it… big casino Las Vegas would have gone under a long time ago. When it comes down to it, don’t concern yourself with my life and how I strive to find liberty and happiness… remember, the American dream is not to find happiness, but the ability to strive and work towards it. You have users and abusers of every addiction and just because some lack the self control that others have does not mean I should be punished or denied my rights…

  53. Hello Always Sick Chick. I think that you have missed the social points in this article about how gambling does NOT only affect those who participate? Although I appreciate your opinion, I think that the main points here are less personal and more social.

  54. So, if someone is an alcoholic, then alcohol should be illegal? By that logic, everything should be banned. I can become addicted to sugar or caffeine, so let’s ban that next. I understand that you are recovering from an addiction, and I understand that from a personal point of view, but you can’t make your problem everyone else’s problem and expect people who indulge responsibly stop because you can’t control yourself.

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