Government-operated Gambling

Topics: Gambling, Problem gambling, Addiction Pages: 6 (1976 words) Published: March 21, 2013
Over the past few years, government operated gambling has grown into a massive business, there has been much controversy around the topic of weather or not Gambling should be regulated. In this essay I will explain my point of view on this topic and give examples that support my ideas. So, what should the state’s policy towards gambling? I believe that the state should not regulate gambling because of three main reasons. My first reason is people’s rights and freedoms. Second, Gambling has grown into a major industry over the pas few years; the centre for addiction and mental health stated in their Gambling Policy framework in 2011 “Government-operated gambling has steadily expanded in Ontario in the past two decades, revenues reaching $4.7 billion in 2009.” (2). This shows that Gambling has grown to become a major industry in today’s economy and by doing so it has helped society in several different aspects, the growth of the gambling industry has lead to an increase in revenue for the government, thus resulting in more social benefits towards the public. Finally, The gambling industry has lead to many job opportunities in north America, offering a beacon of hope to those in need of jobs during a recession.

In modern society, freedom is not only supported but also cherished, people should be given the freedom to live their lives as they please, weather they choose to live their lives in a healthy way or not that is up to them. However, they must be given the right to live as they please.

In the United States, groups such as the KKK are protected under the first amendment, which protects their freedom of speech, no matter how ludicrous it may be, they have the right to say as they please. The same should be applied to life. People should have the choice to live their lives as they please without being watched over by the government. Since gambling does require participants to be of legal age, we know that the people gambling are adults. These grown ups should be able to have control over their own lives, its their responsibility to understand the chances they are taking when gambling.

Some may argue that certain people can’t control their gambling problems and have gotten too addicted to gambling and that casinos take advantage of these people. These claims are supported by some statistics given in the centre for addiction and mental health, which states, “it is estimated that between 30% and 40% of Ontario’s gambling revenues come from the 3% of the population with gambling problems” (2). This statistic shows that the gambling industry does heavily depend of the people addicted to the game.

I would respond by expressing two points. First, the people with gambling problems of which they cannot control are a minority, in Jonathan Wolff’s “Ethics and public policy A Philosophical inquiry”, the author states that “between 0.6 and 0.8 of the UK adult population could be classified as problem gambles” (59). Furthermore, in the centre for addiction and mental health’s Gambling Policy framework in 2011 that “just over 3% of the province’s population experiences moderate to severe gambling problems.”(57). These numbers do not justify having to discipline an entire industry that would affect hundreds of thousands of people that work in it and making their living off jobs in that industry.

Second, increasing government regulations on casinos and lotteries will not stop these problem gamblers from gambling. Jonathan Wolff states “in the late 1950s there were towns about 25 percent of the adult population gambled illegally on a regular basis.”(55). Taking this point into perspective, it could be inferred that if the government increases the regulations on legal casinos and lotteries that would make it harder for people with an addiction to gamble, these people will find other ways to feed their addiction. This is a severe problem because when these people begin to gamble illegally they will put their money into other...
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