Individual effects: Is gambling generally harmful to the individual gambler?
| Yes * Gambling is irrational and reckless and should, therefore, be regulated by the government. There may be the possibility of winning a big prize, but the overwhelming likelihood is that a gambler will lose money. This is ensured by the fact that Casinos are profit-minded organizations, and calculate their odds so that they will always make a profit. Because gamblers are always likely to lose and suffer as a result, the activity can be seen in many ways as an irrational engagement.Gambling attracts people with little money who are desperate for a windfall. These are the people who can least afford to lose money. They should be protected from the temptation to gamble.
| NoContention that the general individual losses from gambling are justified by it being a fun and leisurely activity worth "paying" for: Gamblers know that, overall, they are likely to lose money. They gamble because it is a leisure pursuit that they enjoy. There is nothing irrational about this. Some people get an enjoyable thrill from the remote possibility that they might win a huge prize – even if they lose, they enjoy the experience. Some forms of gambling are highly sociable. For example, many people go to bingo halls to spend time with friends. Society accepts people spending (“wasting”?) money on other leisure pursuits with no material benefits (e.g. cinema tickets, watching sport) – gambling should not be any different. It is patronizing to suggest that people, including those on low incomes, should not be able to choose how they spend their money. * Psychological benefits of gambling: Some argue that gambling offers psychological benefits. The psychological benefits may include: 1. A feeling of control (which some describe as God-like). 2. Confidence that extends from feelings of executive control in decision-making. 3. Benefits in the ability to psycho-analyze other peoples thoughts, and placing moneyed interests and incentives behind the results of such psycho-analysis. 4. Total engagement and "peak experience". "It provides the gambler with 'peak experience,' that godlike feeling when all of one's physical and emotional senses are 'go.'" 5. The release from daily tension. 6. Feelings of exercising "'the adventurer within us' - that part of ourselves which lusts for change, the wooing of the unknown, change, danger, all that is new...It is part of what makes us human." 7. Feelings of engaging in a ubiquitous, historical human tradition. 8. Emotions of non-conformity and freedom. One source quoted a gambler who said, "All day long you do what them dumb bastard supervisors tell you. Don't make no difference whether it makes sense or not. Sometimes you just gotta get out of line." * Gambling increases individual efficiency: Studies show that, contrary to popular belief, gambling is by and large beneficial to the gambler and increases rather than decreases his efficiency. It is beneficial in that it stimulates, offers hope, allows decision making, and, in many cases,
| Crime effects: Does gambling cause an increase in various kinds of related criminal activities?
| [Edit]Yes * Casinos are often associated with criminal activity. Drug dealers and prostitutes operate near casinos – they know that there are a large number of potential clients in the area. Casinos can therefore be devastating to neighborhoods.
| [Edit]No * People committing crimes should be prosecuted. The existence of criminals does not make nearby businesses (including casinos) immoral. It is perverse to punish people who just want to gamble (and not take drugs or use prostitutes) by taking away their chance to do so.
| Bad industry? Are casinos an industry with bad merit? Is nothing of value produced by casinos?
| Yes * Casinos don't produce any "product": Many contend that gambling is inappropriate because it does not generate any tangible product. One...
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