Problem Gambling

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She took one last look out the window as they drove away, the tears streaming down her face. At the age of four, her world had fallen apart. Karina’s life started out as a perfect middle-class family, and soon turned into a broken mess. They had everything, a perfect house in a really nice part of the city, a nice car; everything was wonderful. As Karina got older, she began to notice things weren’t perfect. Her dad was never there. He was always out gambling in one way or another. “As time progressed we lost the car, and other possessions due to my dad’s gambling problem. It’s not only about gambling and the money. When people gamble, they do other stupid things, he had an affair. My parents decided to get a divorce. My dad didn’t argue, in fact he said that for the safety of our family it would probably be better because a lot of people were angry at him for what he owed them. It was all because of gambling and snowballed into a mess that could have been really dangerous for my mom and me had we stayed around. I’m sad that my life played out in that way at such a young age, and it’s very unfortunate. I know that if he wouldn’t have had gambling around none of those things would have taken place and we would probably still be the family that we were, but unfortunately that’s not how it played out.” Although many people think that legalizing gambling will have a great effect on the economy, I think the negative effects are much more evident. People’s views on subjects often have to do with their ethics. Ethics, as defined by Seiler and Beall, are an individual’s system of moral principles. My ethics lead me to believe that gambling is wrong because I was raised to believe that my family is more important than economic wealth. As it is evident in the story above, gambling can have a major negative effect on someone’s life, and so it is too much of a risk to legalize this dangerous game. Three main reasons that gambling should be kept illegal are that gambling creates tension among the family members, gambling increases crime in the society, and the addiction to gambling is too great for many to overcome. The first reason that gambling should be kept illegal is that gambling creates tension among the family members as the money that should be used for the family is being spent on gambling. Even though gambling might, in some cases, bring money into the state and local economies, there are side effects to having a casino down the street. Forshey (1998) states, “The gambling jobs, taxes, and recreational values provided by the industry cannot compensate for the social pain-in the form of bankruptcies, white-collar crime, divorce, a compromised political process, an increase in alcoholism-it inflicts.” The drain of a working person’s money that wager’s his or her paycheck and loses is not compensated with the amount of jobs a casino brings to a community. Gambling is a greedy industry that produces nothing more than empty hopes, empty dreams and empty wallets. Anderson states, “Proponents argue that state lotteries are an effective way to raise taxes painlessly. But the evidence shows that legalized gambling often hurts those who are poor and disadvantaged.” Without casino gambling, many local citizens would spend their money on groceries or clothes, instead of reducing their savings on gambling. As William Thompson states in his article “Gambling: A Controlling Substance,” It [gambling] is a pleasure, like other entertainment, but in that regard, it is an expensive pleasure.” Thompson then continues with this thought: “Politicians must recognize that the benefits of gambling are bounded by market structures. Gambling money does not grow on trees. It comes out of the pockets or real people, who otherwise would have spent it on something else.” All of this evidence shoes that gambling should be kept illegal because it creates tension among the family members as the money that should be...
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