Defined as some form of value(money, material goods, etc.) being wagered on any particular event that has an uncertain outcome, Gambling is performed with the intention of winning any material goods of value(money, in most cases). It is also referred to as “Betting”, and requires three separate elements to take place.
The elements are : Consideration (which is the value of the wagered material), Risk (the uncertainty or chance involved) and then finally the Reward(the value of the prize in question). The term “Gaming”, is used to refer to the gambling activities that have been legalised (for example, Casinos, etc.).
Advantages of Gambling
- Local Economy –
Gambling activities single handedly stimulate the economy of the locations where they are taking place. Gambling attracts a huge population of people to a single location, this boosts the amount of money spent on the different local business centres available. When most players lose their “bets”, the society’s financial power increases.
- Entertainment –
Gambling is used by a large percentage of the global population as their primary form of entertainment. It acts as a brief escape from the mundane, tiring, everyday life. Families have been found using a trip to the Casino as a bonding experience, for all the members of the family.
- Development –
Gambling businesses lead to development of not only the gambling location in itself, but also the surrounding area(s). Hotels, Parking lots, increased security all these follow when a gambling business starts attracting huge crowds. Legal gambling institutions, like Casinos pride themselves in providing a safe environment for willing gamblers.
- Reward –
Arguably the most alluring characteristic of Gambling is the possibility to acquire a reward of extremely high value, in a very short period of time. Gambling gives a person the chance to easily get back, double the wagered amount or maybe even more. People can instantly win unbelievable sums of money, instantly.
- Tax Revenue –
Tax Revenue earned from gambling winning is one of the biggest earners for any government. Not only that, governments also generate a huge amount of revenue from several gambling activities like the government-run lotteries, Scratch off Games, etc. The total amount of revenue generated, can amount to billions of US dollars.
- Employment –
Gambling holds the power to create a host of new employment opportunities. Especially, with the rise of casinos the requirement for new employees in the gambling industry has skyrocketed. The gambling industry employs people even for jobs without any direct relation to gambling and is responsible for the steady jobs of a large percentage of the population.
- Happiness –
Studies carried out to analyse behavioural traits, have shown that Gambling holds the power to positively affect the mood of the person taking part in the activity and induce happiness. People who practiced gambling as a hobby were found to be happier, in comparison to people who turned to hobbies like watching television, etc.
- Skill Improvement –
Gambling actively improves a person’s skill set, like their observation power, ability to identify patterns, ability of information retention, just to name a few. It can be used as a way to exercise the brain by coming up with innovative strategies and tactics that will help in getting a win.
- Socialising –
Gambling is regarded globally as a source of entertainment, and as a result brings large crowds together. Being stuck in such close proximity, socialisation is bound to increase and this results in relaxation. Moreover, several gambling activities require people to play against each other and thus they have to interact.
Disadvantages of Gambling
- Gambling Addiction –
This is arguably the biggest disadvantage of Gambling. Addiction to anything is problematic and gambling even more so owing to the high risk factor in the activity. A person can end up losing all of their lifelong earnings and be left broke. Regular gamblers often completely lose control over their gambling addiction.
- Crime –
Crime has a characteristic of following the trail of money. As a result, any kind of gambling activity attracts crime. Especially with Casinos raking in huge sums of money, crime rates in the nearby regions increase drastically. It is more or less directly proportional to the amount of money involved in the gambling activity or institution.
- Traffic –
Gambling attracts crowds and thus, in turn, traffic. More the number of people gambling, more is the traffic. Now, this becomes a huge inconvenience not only for the people who are on their way to or from the gambling institution, but also for the unsuspecting civilians caught in the middle.
- Mental Health –
People who become addicted to gambling start feeling increasingly lonely and can slowly descend into clinical depression. Disorders OCD and ADHD are quite frequent among such patients. As a result they have also been found to have excessive amounts of suicidal thoughts and have even been found making suicide attempts.
- Relationship Problems –
Compulsive Gambling severely affects all the relationships of the gamblers.They slowly become increasingly distant from their Family and Friends. It can make a person very irritable all the time and this is even reflected in their behaviour with his or her own children. All family members will be feeling a sense of neglect and abandonment.
- Losing Jobs –
Being terminated from jobs, is something that is very common among people who have an addiction to gambling. People become extremely forgetful and everything else in life apart from gambling slowly starts to lose meaning. As a result the addicted person’s performance at the workplace keeps on deteriorating quite rapidly.
- Human Trafficking and drugs –
This is a dark reality associated with gambling activities. Especially gambling institutions like Casinos, see a huge increase in the amount of Human Trafficking along with Drug Trafficking, in the general location where the Casino is built. Despite preventive measures by Governments and the Casinos, these evils still thrive.
There are more than a billion people who gamble every year in the legal gambling Institutions with the global revenue earned from gambling in the hundreds of billions of US Dollars. Drugs, Fraud, Human Trafficking, etc. are all very real and disgusting problems that come with gambling. However, owing to revenue it generates, gambling will arguably never be completely eradicated. So the best thing to do is to monitor it more closely and if you take part in gambling, do so in moderation.