The Instigator
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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
11 Points

We should Ban Gambling

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/20/2013 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,507 times Debate No: 30430
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)




This is my first debate,, take it easy on me!
ToDAY I will be speaking on three main points .
1.Gambling is addictive and psychologically harmful affecting poor people HUGELY
2.Gambling leads to the disintegration of families
3.Casinos are often used to mask criminal activity
So to my first point, gambling can become psychologically addictive in some people. Whenever a gambler wins a reward it produces brain activation similar to when a cocaine addict receives an infusion of cocaine.
Gambling addiction, in addition to the long term effects it has, can result in financial ruin in just a few short hours.
Research has shown gambling effects poor people hugely. Poor people are more likely to gamble, in the hope of getting rich. In 1999, the National Gambling Impact Commission in the USA found that 80 percent of gambling revenue came from lower-income households. Gambling attracts people with little money who are desperate for a windfall.
Also online gambling has increased the incidence of gambling addiction. Gamblers don"t even need to leave their home, and online gambling sites are available at all hours. This also means that they are gambling in private. They may therefore be less reluctant to wager very large sums they cannot afford.
In fact the majority of online gamblers are highly addicted and are in huge debts. Even in casinos there are less problem gamblers than there are online. Online gambling sites are an easy, simple way of getting addicted to gambling.
The sites can also get around government regulations that limit the dangers of betting. Because they can be legally sited anywhere in the world, they can pick countries with no rules to protect customers.

To my second point, this is gambling leads to the disintegration of families. Gambling can have a devastating effect on families.
The most obvious effect is financial as one partner uses all their money on gambling the other needs to support the whole family.
Research had proved there is a relationship between gambling and various alcohol disorders.
When a problem gambler becomes seriously addicted to gambling it is not only them who get affected. Their family and friends are also immensely impacted due to their stupid actions. So basically every time gambling ruins a gamblers life it is not only ruining their life, but also the lives of the dozens of friends and family who are truly close to the addict.
Also, normally when a friend or family member hears about the addict and how badly gambling has affected them they leave the gambler stranded. At the end of the day, could you blame them? I am sure that they do not what to be emotionally or financially be involved with the gambler.

Thirdly, I would like to make the point that casinos are often used to mask criminal activity.
Casinos are often associated with crime, particularly organized crime. Drug dealers and other criminals operate near casinos " they know that there are a large number of potential clients in the area.
Moreover when a gambler is in debt and wishes to continue gambling due to its addictive nature, he or she often turns to loan sharks .
These loan sharks themselves usually have links to organized crime, in some cases are actually run by organized crime, and use brutal methods to reclaim their money. By banning gambling the opportunities for loan sharks to offer their services is greatly reduced due to a lesser amount of gamblers in debt, as are the opportunities for drug dealers therefore reducing criminal activity in the areas surrounding casinos.
Casinos can therefore be devastating to neighbourhoods. It would of course be wrong to assume all gamblers are criminals, although there is an increased possibility that gamblers in debt could turn to criminality through illegal borrowing.
The opposing side may argue that gambling is a way to earn money and support our economy. In contrast to that, John W. Kindt, a professor of business states that gambling is a multi-billion dollar drag on the economy, not the moneymaking boost it is said to be by supporters of gambling.
Cash merely changes hands from gamblers to casino owners. It creates no products or anything else of value. It actually diverts money away from local businesses. If the estimated $100 billion now spent annually on gambling went into these local businesses, economic models show it would generate more than $300 billion for the nation's slumping economy and create jobs and services according to the survey.


Firstly, I want to point out my opponent is entirely right in saying that gambling is addictive, and when taken to excess it usually by and large creates a larger harm to the poor, and has caused family ills. However, I wish to argue that none of this is relevant to evaluating whether it should be illegal.

There are two types of morality. The first is a private moral sphere which says how we act. For example, my private morality is not to waste time on useless degrees like dance, not to smoke, not to waste time watching Jersey Shore and to donate some money to charity when I can. This morality is part of the private sphere, which does not affect other people to an extent large enough to matter.

There is also the public sphere. This is the morality which we put onto other people: like Do Not Kill, respect agreements, don't steal, 'play by the rules', etc. etc. These are the morals which can ban things. If gambling is something which is more than a preference but an actual moral harm, then it should be banned. We must therefore establish the grounds of whether something should be banned.

Society works on a system of contracts: I want something, so does someone else. I have something they want, they have something I want. So we make a consenting agreement to give each other what we both want. This is a crude example of a contract in work. These contracts are inherently by the nature of society something that cannot be banned, or our entire government falls apart. Moreover, they are the founding principles of governments. The right to self-determination proposed by the USA in the Declaration of Independence: the right "for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another" is the underpinning of contractualism. Thus, if something affirms contractualism, it cannot rationally be banned. The aim of the state, moreover, is to protect the individual and these contracts, and as such the state stopping these contracts is both immoral and illogical.

Does gambling take the form of a contract? It is two parties, knowing full-well the possible consequences and the probability of those consequences, agreeing with each other to divide wealth according to luck. This is a perfectly valid agreement between individuals. People have free will and should be allowed to spend their money on which ever leisure pursuits they choose. Gamblers know that, overall, they are likely to lose money. They gamble because it is a leisure pursuit that they enjoy. As such, the state intervening in this is inherently wrong and immoral, and this takes prima facie relevance over my opponent's case.

Moreover, the banning of gambling has no reason to lower its use. If illegal, it will simply shift even more into the black market[1], and thus mean that we cannot help those suffering from addiction to gambling. Furthermore, this makes the gambling market more heavily linked to crime, which is exactly a criticism my opponent used to go against it.

Finally, banning gambling is a ridiculous idea in itself. Isn't playing the lottery gambling? Isn't playing the stock market gambling? In each case people are putting money at risk in the hope of a particular outcome. Gambling on horse-racing or games involves knowledge and expertise that can improve your chances of success, just like trading in bonds, shares, currency or derivatives is a bet that your understanding of the economy is better than that of other investors. Furthermore, how do you ban websites giving the service? We cannot do the impossible task of regulating the internet: it simply doesn't work. People who want to gamble can easily get past the hurdles in their way, so stopping it just won't work.

To conclude, the banning of gambling is misguided. On one level, it won't work, and on another leve, it simply isn't wrong. With that, I pass over to my opponent.

1 -;

Debate Round No. 1


adamhall forfeited this round.


Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 2


adamhall forfeited this round.


Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 3 years ago
We're all learning more and more as we use this site about what our true opinions on issues are :)
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
I am sure you'd be in a worse situation if you were playing among the underworld than in larger more transparent organisations, I am sure.

If you pulled that up in a debate, I'd probably be stumped, I have never actually thought of that kind of scenario as a possibilty.

I already concede.

Well played sir.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 3 years ago
I understand it is incredibly difficult when you are a victim of something. It is similar to how those who are victims of violent crime are the most outspoken in harsher punishments.

However, we cannot allow our society, whether it is someone else or ourselves, to be dictated by the unfortunate minority. We must instead, and I am sure we'd agree, take a dispassionate view on the dangers of restricting the autonomy of individuals to gamble. Moreover, there are practical difficulties in gambling being driven underground, where the addicts will not be able to recieve help. I am sure you'd be in a worse situation if you were playing among the underworld than in larger more transparent organisations, I am sure.
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
Yes, obviously you are clearly right, only it's hard to see when you have been the victim of a bad gambling addiction. One can become severely disorientated after a bad beat from a gambling spree....It's my guess that Pro in this debate felt like I have on many occasions, and that is despising gambling altogether and wishing it would be abolished in society...

Only on deeper reflection it also has it's benefits as an enjoyable leisure activity and sport......

That's why Pro never really returned to complete the debate, he was probably actually enjoying himself gambling again.....

Anyway Steven I am still keen to take this debate up with you, perhaps in the future. Thanks for your reply.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 3 years ago
The destructiveness of it on you does not mean we ought to ban it for those who enjoy it. It means we ought to have many safeguards in place, which I advocate strongly, but I do not advocate a ban. I enjoy gambling, for example, but I have no problem with money from it - if anything, I am quite frugal with my money. I see no reason to ban something for those who are capable of gambling.

I am not capable of drinking, for another example. When I drink loads, I am a terrible drunk and cannot control myself with much success. What do I do? I don't drink to the point of being drunk. We need to take responsibility for ourselves, and try to help those who cannot, not blame it on alcohol. We need to take responsibility for gamblers and helping addicted gamblers, not attack gambling.
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
Maybe because the instigator has a problem and would like your experience to help him understand the alternative approaches he is unaware of, I am also of the same opinion as Pro, although I wish gambling was outlawed, it seems highly unlikely, although in some countries this is already the case...

When I saw this debate I also thought of taking you up on this resolution, I've seen you debate and think you are very good at putting a point across and making a good argument for the alternative, such as the debate on paedophiles you took a week ago or so.....

I would like to see gambling outlawed because of the destruction it can cause to people such as myself, I would also like to debate this with a serious contender, such as yourself....But I am not going to instigate anything just yet..simply because I don't feel compelled enough to...But I may be in touch in the future....

That's my best shot at answering your question, whilst at the same time putting my point across.

Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 3 years ago
So... why am I being challenged on this?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by tmar19652 3 years ago
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Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 3 years ago
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