Gambling is an addictive habit. In many cases it ruins lives because gamblers usually care about nothing but gambling. If it is made unlawful, people might give up the habit or desist from taking it up at all.
Look, I work in a casino and before I took the job, I was saying all the same things as those on here who think gambling should not be illegal. I had the same opinions to justify my employment. But after 4 years of this soul-crushing job that our poor economy has me trapped in due to a lack of other available jobs, I have come to realize just how negative gambling is and have since changed my stance on this issue. Let me tell you, nothing good comes from gambling. Only the dumbest people will gamble and on average, most casino gamblers are arrogant, entitled, greedy, stupid, lazy and selfish. The try to lie to us, they try to cheat the casino and other players and they are just simply very irresponsible. Gambling is not a hobby and no, people do not do it for fun, like they try to claim. To these people, gambling is serious business, not entertainment, because they would rather win their money than work for it and to those ends, they are not even smart enough to invest in low risk stocks and bonds. They would rather put money they don't have, that they most likely got from a credit card cash advance, into a slot machine called "Hee Haw," featuring a picture of a retarded, buck-tooth donkey on the front, than to invest it in something smart like a Roth IRA. And these people actually feel that this is a sound investment, yet they find themselves surprised when they lose, not if but when, and then they get mad about it and start blaming everybody else around them, because after all, blaming other people is easier than taking responsibility for their own actions. And the worst part is, these people do not learn from their mistakes! They just keep doing it and doing and doing it and retain nothing from previous experiences! I see it everyday, people sign up for a comp card and when I ask for photo ID, they open their wallet and there it is, the Foodstamp card or the Welfare card. And then the next thing they ask me is where they can get a cash advance on a credit card. Look, this is bad for society and for the economy, no matter how you slice it. Most gamblers cannot afford to be gambling in the first place and then it costs everybody tax dollars. I don't know if they are on Welfare because of gambling or if they gamble because Welfare pays all their expenses and thus frees up money, but either way, one is the cause of the other and neither is good. Look, gambling is a problem, not "fun," not "entertainment," and not a "hobby." There is no such thing as "responsible gaming." Gambling by its very nature is irresponsible. And if you are religious, its also a sin, because you are trying to take something that is not yours to take. Now granted I know the casinos are wrong too, not just the players, but the casinos would not exist if people didn't go to them. And nobody puts a gun to your head and makes you go to the casino. Both sides of the common argument are wrong, but more so the gamblers because they provide the demand for which the casino exists to exploit. Yes, the argument can be made that casinos benefit the economy, but for every tax dollar made, just think of how many tax dollars it costs to hire additional law enforcement, to fund more Welfare and Foodstamps, and to fund gambling treatment programs. The costs of legalized gambling far outweigh the benefits of it. Gambling is addictive and leads to compulsive gambling problems and unhealthy obsessions, it promotes crime, sin, stupidity, laziness, arrogance, greed, selfishness, entitlement, and neglect of ones family among other horrible things, and in general, can be most accurately described as an economic and moral cancer in our society. Trust me, I work in a casino and deal with this crap everyday. And I am trying so hard to find another job and I have been for over 3 and a half years now. I know that benefiting from gambling is wrong too and it kills me inside to know where my paychecks come from, but I am doing the very best that I can to get out now. I am not perfect, I have my flaws too, I am not trying to pass judgment while I myself do something just as bad - I'm not that hypocritical. But you can trust what I tell about gambling because I see it constantly. I know I would be out of a job, but the greater needs of society outweigh my own, and to those ends, I strongly feel that gambling is bad for society and should be made unlawful. Casinos should be shut down and gambling made illegal again.
I can imagine that people who built casinos in black neighborhoods of big cities did it with the racist intention of keeping blacks subdued and out of white neighborhoods. Now, normally I'm not in favor of banning alcohol. It is a beverage and it's not something that can destroy a whole community. It can destroy some people's lives, however not an entire community. Gambling is something very different. It can destroy an entire community.
Gambling is bad for the society. It ruins peoples life. People only see the glitz and glamour part of gambling. Very few people ever look at the loss they could face. It is hard earned money that you are letting down the drain. As the stake increases, more money goes down the drain. I have to admit I have seen people win millions in Vegas. But, that is not going to happen for everyone. People come to Vegas in cars and many end up in a greyhound or Amtrak after gambling. This explains what gambling is all about. Vegas is a sinner's paradise and gambling is definitely a big part of it. I wish it was made unlawful, but it is not going to happen. If it did happen, that would be the end of Vegas.
The people who make money are the casino operators, state tax system, bankrupcy lawyers, pawn shops and payday loan sharks. The real losers are every bussiness in the communities. The money raised through gambling is way less than the impact on local bussiness. Slot machines are popping up all over the country, inside convience stores, bars resturants etc. We need to stop this trend now.
Gambling is bad for society as a whole and should be unlawful because of the negative impact it places on individuals and family units. Loss of needed monies for basic survival, and the influx of the criminal element that is associated with gambling is a societal issue that uses tremendous amounts of resources unnecessarily.
Gambling can become an obsession that can lead to obsessive compulsive disorder. People who become obsessed with gambling act like drug addicts or alcoholics; they do whatever they can to calm their need to gamble. For that reason it should be unlawful. Gambling doesn't provide anything positive to society.
Even though people always gamble, whether it is legal or not, gambling should be strongly discouraged whenever possible. The people that gamble are usually the ones that do not have the extra money to lose. People can get addicted to gambling and the problem can ruin their lives. There is more disadvantages than advantages to have legalized gambling in an area.
At our school we had someone from British Columbia Responsible Gambling come in and talk to us about gambling addictions. I asked the speaker, "if gambling corporations make money from people gambling, then why should we even attempt to gamble?" This question basically shuts down the reason why we should ever have gambling in society. I also asked, "Do all casinos or gambling places have a front sign that says, "we make money from your gambling"? I truthfully believe if casinos or gambling areas have this sign, if not all people will understand that gambling is nothing but a sham.
It has been proven that when there is gambling activity there is a higher rate of drugs, prostitution, robbery, etc. Gambling hurts everyone. There is nothing good that comes out of gambling. We see how it affects families every day. People spend their rent money gambling it away and they are forced out of their homes because of it. We have woman and children who are homeless because of it. I could go on and on.
I have no idea whether gambling is bad for society and I believe that's an impossibly difficult question to answer. On the one hand, gambling brings some amount of happiness to people and it is possible to gamble responsibly. On the other hand, there is clear potential for abuse and addicts have the ability to destroy their lives. Of course there are many more pros and cons, but we have no way to compare a society where gambling is widespread to an otherwise identical society where gambling does not exist (to all other societies in between). It is, however, clear that to outlaw gambling would to make a huge mistake. On a moralistic view, does the government have the right to deny people access to an activity that they enjoy just because addicts might hurt themselves? People should be responsible for their own mistakes and a government that enforces these kinds of laws is one that is overbearing and authoritarian. It's simply not possible to outlaw gambling. On the practical side, people will gamble whether or not it's legal. Office pools and home poker games are already illegal and people still participate in them. There's potential for abuse here. Should the government regularly bust into offices and private basements? It's simply not practical. Just because something is illegal does not make it impossible or even difficult. Look at the drug war. Buying heroin is extremely illegal, yet people still do. In fact, drug abuse has not declined at all since the beginning of the drug war. A war on gambling would be exactly the same. Instead of using the government to force morals on people, use it to promote awareness and programs to help addicts like gamblers anonymous.
While gambling may be bad for society, making it unlawful would not solve the problem. Gambling, like alcohol, is a highly addictive activity. However, the lessons of the Prohibition era teach us that making gambling illegal would simply move the practice underground and contribute to the criminalization of the practice. Keeping gambling legal prevents a violent criminal underground from developing in the gambling industry.
The statement "gambling is bad for society" deserves some clarification. The act of gambling itself isn't that harmful, but the fact that it has secondary negative effects such as strengthening organized crime makes it indirectly harmful. This leads to an argument you see with many types of "vice" in the form "generally harmless act X should be banned because it increases harmful act/effect Y". In free societies, the correct course is to crack down on Y. If we crack down on the source act directly, you get a result like we have with drugs in the United States. Otherwise law-abiding citizens are locked up rather than given treatment if an addiction is present.
Gambling is simply risking something on a possibly profitable outcome. It is a fundamental human decision making and risk taking strategy and therefore is not bad or criminal. For example, a parent who pays for their child to go to college may be gambling on the possibility that their child will make more money because they are more educated and that outcome would benefit the parent who made the initial risky investment.
I personally do not gamble because I feel that I would be throwing money away, but I do not believe that outlawing gambling will cause it to disappear. There are those who would gamble even if it was illegal, and we know from the past, that this can cause a criminal element to become involved in gambling. I believe that it is better for gambling to be legal with some government oversight. This also has benefits to the public since the states that have legal gambling are able to reap income that can be spent on state programs such as education.
Gambling has been around since there have been at least two people in this world to bet on something or someone. Having legalized gambling keeps it out in the open making it more honest for people to take part in. By educating people about the downside of the sport will keep society appeased. If the goal is to do away with gambling by making it illegal it simply will not work.
There are two major levels of gambling - spending some money to have fun and relax, versus spending so much that you not only harm your life but the life of others. The government should not infringe on your personal rights (the former case) but does have a right to protect its citizens, who might be harmed due to excessive gambling (the latter case). So while a law that limits gambling losses (for example, if you have $x you're only allowed to gamble up to 5% of it, and you're not allowed to use credit), might be good, the actual action of banning gambling infringes on an individual's freedom and would be unconstitutional.
When you gamble, you basically are taking a huge risk. That risk is not always good, but gambling can be a good thing if the money comes and goes in the right directions. I believe it should be limited to everyone and it is a free choice to gamble your profits away, but be very cautious.
Gambling, in itself, isn't really bad for society. It gives some people hope for the future and excitement for the present. The revenue for gambling is often used to fund things which have a definite positive effect on society - like schools, Indian reservations, etc... The problems arise, with gambling, when it becomes an addiction and individuals sacrifice their well being to partake in the activity. Just as with anything else, gambling is best when done in moderation. Also, making gambling illegal will not stop the ugly effects of the activity. Those who are most negatively affected by this activity, will still find ways to do it. The biggest difference will be that they will now be criminalized for doing it. This wouldn't necessarily be a good thing for these individuals, or society as a whole. It would create an additional burden for both.
Gambling isn't necessarily bad for society, as long as it is done in moderation. In Nevada, casinos pay huge taxes on gambling income, and the money will then be used for the benefit of the state. I see gambling as trying to win the lottery: you are not likely to win, but you may win.