* Ethical Problems of Gambling
* Michele Gioxaris
* SOC 120
* Instructor Gerczyk
* February 13, 2012
Ethical Problems of Gambling
Gambling can become a serious addiction and just as serious as alcohol or drug abuse. Some find gambling to be a distraction taking them away from the problems of their everyday life. Many examples of gambling are sports betting and casinos, which are illegal in most states, horse betting, card playing, playing the lottery and now there are websites for betting online. According to Little (2011), “The ability to fund the activity through online bank transactions and credit cards contributes to addictive online gambling” (para. 3). For those that have an addiction to gambling, online games and websites, makes it harder for them to resist the urge to gamble as well as making it easier for them to gamble, since they can now do it in the privacy of their home. All of these examples can prove problematic. The whole idea of gambling can lead to an array of problems for the individual and their loved ones by causing ethical and moral problems for all involved. With gambling there can be an extensive amount of debt, loss of employment, lying, stealing, mental anguish, not only for the participant of the gambling, but for their families as well. These actions and their consequences can sometimes rip families apart. Gambling can also cause numerous ethical problems for society as a whole. Gambling can be a magnet for crime, ruin work ethic, and attract prostitution. Price J. (2006) stated “Crime predictably rises three to four years following the opening of a casino as problem and pathological gamblers begin to deplete their resources” (p. 1). With a person’s serious addiction to gambling, they will use any means necessary to feed their addiction. Some will commit assault, rob, and may even go as far as murder to get the money they need to fulfill their needs. With the building of casinos and even illegal gambling, crime rates in those areas seem to escalate. In an article entitled “Calculating Consequences: The Utilitarian Approach to Ethics”, the authors point out that utilitarianism requires that we assign values to the harms and benefits as a result of our actions and compare them with the harm and benefits that might result if we choose different actions. Andre, C. and Velasquez, M. (n.d.). Many gamblers justify their acts of deception through utilitarianism. They think only about their own happiness and not how gambling is destroying the lives of their family members. They look only to the good that a major win can accomplish and do not weigh the harm their actions are causing.
The principle of ethical utilitarianism was founded by James Bentham. In utilitarianism one must decide that if an action is correct, it will promote happiness for all involved. An action is found to be incorrect when it does not bring happiness to anyone. Utilitarianism focuses more on the consequences of the action as opposed to the motives of the agent. It places the focus of right and wrong solely on the outcomes of the action, not on the acts per say. It takes into consideration the interests of others, before the interest of the individual performing the action. When a person practices ethical egoism, it could be said that what they want is right and anything that interferes with what they want is considered wrong. For some this may seem selfish. As stated by Mosser, K. (2010) "Selfishness," for the egoist, is simply used to recognize that people act, or should act, in their own self–interest. The egoist thinks being selfish can be a good thing (Section 1.8, Paragraph 22). Ethical egoism is based on self interest. According to Regis, E (1980) an ethical egoist would view that a person’s behavior and actions should be solely based on the interest of their own. Everyone should look after their own interests. I feel that an ethical...
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