If the casino always wins

Essay by Suckin_Diesel_A+, March 2009

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If the casino always wins, why do people gamble? In this essay I will evaluate legalized gambling and say whether or not I think legalized gambling is a good idea in modern society.

Gambling is a multi-billion pound industry. Worldwide it employs millions of people and many governments such as the USA obtain a large proportion of their income by imposing heavy taxes on the casinos and bookmakers. If gambling was banned in the areas where it is currently legalized, it would result in large job losses and a dip in the economy in that area. You only have to look at areas like Las Vegas and Atlantic City to see the good that legalized gambling brings to an area.

Many good causes receive grants from lotteries and other charitable forms of gambling. Over 240,000 grants have been awarded by the national lottery so far, totaling over £19 billion! These have benefited all sorts of groups from schools and underprivileged groups to Olympic athletes and charities.

Without money from the national lottery many projects such as the millennium dome and the Eden project would not have been possible.

On the other hand gambling can also be prohibitively expensive. Many people become addicted and end up broke because of their habit. Casinos make huge profits with minimal investment and take huge amounts of money off people on low incomes, who are proven to be the most susceptible to gambling addictions, and redistribute it to the wealthy executives on the boards of the multi-national gambling conglomerates. Profits are also reinvested into the casino trying to make it even more enticing and trap more people in the downward spiral of gambling addiction

A positive point is that many people can find gambling extremely enjoyable and entertaining without becoming addicted. It is a relaxing pastime where you also have a chance to win some money. Gambling also relieves stress and provides people with something to do while they are on holiday, which leads me on to my next point.

Gambling attracts millions of tourists a year to areas such as Nevada and New Jersey which would otherwise get practically no tourism. The money that the tourists bring means that other services such as hotels and restaurants spring up around the casinos. In fact 55% of American tourists say they enjoy casinos because of the food, shows, concerts etc and not because of the gambling aspect.

A negative point about legalized gambling is the fact that it is associated with crime. Many casinos are corrupt and owned by illegal organizations such as the Mafia and the Triads. These groups use the casinos as a means to launder stolen or counterfeit money and also plow the profits into unlawful industries such as guns and drug trafficking. Also there is the fact that many gambling addicts steal and commit crime to fund their habit. Casinos are also associated with drugs and alcohol. These can be extremely damaging addictions on their own but they are compounded and made even worse by gambling.