The gambling debate is a hot topic among political circles at the national, state, and local level. Some view gambling as a sin that leads to illegal and morally reprehensible behavior, while others few gambling as the solution to state budget crises.
Many people gamble with their life decisions, but the question is, should they be able to gamble with their money? These are some of the most talked about for and against arguments in the gambling debate.
Why gambling should be banned
Promotes addiction: Other than drugs and alcohol, gambling is one of the most common addictions from which people suffer. A gambling addiction can lead to misspent money, a ruined marriage, strained family relationships, and other questionable activities.
Economic downfalls: While many believe that legalized gambling builds economies, some say that it brings about their downfall. Casinos do not necessarily bring in new revenue. Money spent at casinos is usually money that locals used to spend at their favorite diner, or money that tourists used to spend at the amusement park, but now spend gambling. In essence, it is a redistribution of money that was already being spent.
In addition to simply rearranging money, casinos can create more expenses. Casinos can mean an increase in publicly funded institutions like police forces, which already suffer from strained budgets. Additional police officers would be necessary to maintain and secure the area, not to mention the extra costs of additional social services for problem gamblers and their families.
Why gambling should not be banned
Economic benefits: For many, casinos are seen as luxury destination spots where patrons go to feel like “high rollers”. Casinos are hot tourist attractions, and this means more revenue for the casinos, and in turn, local communities, because of the high taxes that casinos pay.
New gambling facilities also mean the creation of jobs. People have to be hired to design and construct the casino, and staff has to be hired to run the casino. In gambling hot spots like Las Vegas, approximately 60% of Vegas employs have jobs related to gambling and casinos.
Creation of more organized crime: Illegal gambling is already problematic, so banning gambling altogether would do to controlling organized crime what salt does to an open wound. Trying to ban gambling is as impossible as trying to ban alcohol. Gambling houses would be run underground in back alleys and parking lots. Not only would it be untaxed and unregulated, it would be dangerous and lead to increased violence and crime.
Good for the body and mind: Many theories argue that gambling can actually be good for the body and mind, especially in the elderly. When gambling is done in moderation for entertainment purposes, studies have shown that seniors who gamble are happier, less stressed, and their minds are more agile.
In addition, gambling as a form of entertainment can also help people learn to take appropriate risks, and learn how to manage money appropriately.
While gambling can be a crippling addiction for many people, the vast majority of those who gamble do so with self-control. Gambling is a form of entertainment that has existed since ancient times, and it will continue to exist. Therefore, gambling should not be banned, but regulated and monitored to ensure that gamblers behave appropriately, and to allow local communities and economies reap the economic rewards.