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Gambling (a Legislative Issue)


During our lives, we all take risks with such things as our money, property, reputation, confidence and lives. We take these risks by investing in the stock market, getting or not getting insurance, asking someone out on a date, sending out a resume, starting a business, buying a house, taking a trip, and a myriad of other activities that all contain some varying degrees of risk.

We all need to take some risks to have a chance of bettering our lives. In each case, we must compare the possible rewards against the risk of loss. In some of these cases, we may only risk losing a little time or money. In other cases, we may be risking everything that we have or even our lives. When we are not hurting anyone else, we should have the right to take whatever risks that we feel will give us the best shot at bettering our lives.

Gambling is a form of risk taking where someone will risk losing a sum of money in hopes of winning even more money. There are many forms of gambling and many different places where we can gamble. When we think about gambling, we usually think about placing bets or wages on the outcome of events or contests and playing games of chance. These include things such as buying lottery tickets, playing poker, craps or slot machines, betting on the ponies or on the outcome of a sports event, or placing a wager on anything where someone can come up with the odds. Gambling can be done in places such as casinos, racetracks, betting parlors, the office and even from one’s home.

There are some individuals who would never ever gamble with their money, life or practically anything else. On the other hand, there are individuals who will gamble on just about anything and everything. Of course, most individuals fall somewhere in between these two extremes. For most individuals a bet or wager here or there is fun and is no more harmful to them or others than many other forms of entertainment.

Unfortunately, when individuals become addicted to gambling, they may ruin their lives and the lives of others by betting or wagering every dime they have or may borrow or steal from friends, family members or strangers. These individuals can lose all their money and not be able to afford food or rent. This can lead to them and their families becoming homeless.

Gambling Controls

In many cases, gambling is fair and honest, but with vast sums of money at stake there are individuals who will try to fix the outcome in their favor. Individuals who fix the outcome of events, contests and games to profit from gambling and individuals who harm themselves and others by overdoing their gambling give gambling a bad reputation. This is a major reason why many forms of gambling are illegal in many locations.

On the other hand, a lot of money can be made by the individuals who hold the gambling events and by the individuals who win at them. This is the main reason that some forms of gambling are legal in some locations.

Many of us enjoy placing an occasional bet or wager but given the crime and other harm that can be caused by gambling it would be unwise to just simply legalize all forms of gambling. On the other hand, there are many individuals who will always find a way to gamble and will resort to doing it illegally. Therefore, it would be better to make enough forms of gambling legal to satisfy our gambling urges, but make sure it is done in a controlled manner. With the proper controls, it should be possible to let us enjoy a little gambling while eliminating most of its harmful aspects.

The first thing we want is for us to gamble only with what we can afford to lose. One way to do this might be to create a gambling debit card that could only be issued to and used by authorized adults. The card holders would be allowed to have only one card to which they could make weekly, monthly or yearly deposits. These deposits would be limited to some percent of what an individual earned during the appropriate period. Money spent on gambling could only come from these cards and overdrafts would not be allowed. Winnings could be added back to the card or placed into a regular bank account.

We also want to prevent individuals from fixing an event, contest or game. Since it usually costs a fair amount of money to fix an outcome, we could reduce the incentive to do so by reducing the amount that could be won. The best way to do this would be to limit the amount that could be bet or wagered on any given outcome.

Since some things are easier to fix than others, we could place a lower limit on things that would be easier to fix and higher limits on things that are harder to fix. For instance, a boxing match might be easy to fix, since you just need to get one boxer to throw the match. A football game might be a bit harder to fix, since you would have many more individuals involved.

For each event, contest and game there would need to be some additional controls to ensure fairness and to prevent cheating. For instance, slot machines would need to be tested to ensure they would give the proper payout and could not be tampered with. In addition, all gambling machines should be made to work only with the new gambling debit cards.

Legal Gambling

With the appropriate controls in place, gambling could be made legal. Since some of us are not interested or are even against gambling, gambling would be limited to places like casinos and betting parlors that had been licensed. These places and all equipment would be required to be subject to random inspections to ensure that all controls and safeguards are in place and complied with.

With these changes in place, those individuals who make or try to make a living by gambling would find it much more difficult. I do not think this is much of a problem, because, for the most part, these professional gamblers are not making any real contribution to society. It would be better if they found a different line of work and only gambled for fun. The exception might be in some games like poker where some of us enjoy watching. In these cases, these games could be handled more like golf or bowling tournaments instead of gambling.

There are also many instances where some of us make private bets and wagers or play games for money. Anything over a few bucks would be handled through an appropriate licensed gambling establishment. Poker games could be played at poker parlors where the table and chips could be rented. Office betting pools could be run through an authorized web site that, for a small fee or cut, would keep track of the picks and determine the winner. Participants would be required to use their gambling debit cards and the gambling establishments would handle any problems.

With the ability for us to gamble legally, there should be much less reason for us to go to an illegal gambling establishment or bookie. With fewer clients, illegal gambling could decline to a point where it might virtually disappear. Of course, there may still be some individuals, for one reason or another, who want to gamble more than they would be allowed under the law, which could mean putting an undue burden on society. Therefore, the penalties for participating in illegal gambling should be greatly increased.

Next Section

Prostitution - Legalize Prostitution in a way that protects people from desease and crime.

Last Updated:
Tuesday, December 26, 2023
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