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Is Lottery a Good Idea?

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  • Pages: 5
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  • Category: Addiction

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The first lottery was held in the America by the Virginia Company with the permission of the Crown to raise money to finance the establishment of the Colony in 1612. The lotteries were relatively sophisticated and included instant winners. All the original 13 raised revenue through lotteries. The proceeds were used to establish Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Princeton, and William and Mary. Lottery funds were also used to build churches and libraries. Ben Franklin, John Hancock, and George Washington were all prominent sponsors of specific lotteries for public works projects. Major Forms of Gambling

Casinos – these are places where people can place bets on games. Lotteries – these are drawings in which people buy tickets. In this case a ticket number will be selected randomly whoever matches the tickets will be the winner of the cash prize. Most of the lotteries are held by the States. Poker –According to Encarta World Dictionary is a “card game in which players attempt to acquire a winning combination of cards and bet at every deal” (Encarta). Although, there are some benefits to gambling, it seems that problems arising from gambling may outweigh these benefits. Proponents of gambling argue that state coffers are enlarged because of sale of lottery tickets and taxes from other gambling activities. These funds are used to maintain States infrastructures and then given to education. Because of the following problems associated with gambling, I do not think that gambling is a good idea. Gambling and prostitution

There is always an attraction between Casinos gambling and prostitution. Places like the State of Nevada and New Jersey, where most of their businesses are in the form of Casino Gambling tend to invite prostitution even though it is illegal in US. According to Las Vegas Sun issue of 08.12.05, a two week police raid of the Atlantic City Casino yielded the following result: “136 people were arrested on prostitution-related charges, of the 133 people arrested for prostitution, 78 were captured inside casinos”(Las Vegas Sun). The following report was by New Jersey Newsday issue of 11.19.04: “A former casino worker was charged and he pleaded guilty to being part of a prostitution ring that got women from brothels for casino patrons. This prostitution ring recruited Asian young women and sold them to Casino patrons” Gambling Addiction

Compulsive gambling is a major problem of gambling.
They are unable to control their gambling. Overtime, they spend more time gambling and bet more money. Addiction researchers have discovered some similarities between compulsive gamblers and alcoholic or drug addicts. “Their subjective cravings can be as intense as those of drug abusers; they show tolerance through their need to increase betting; and they experience highs rivaling that of a drug high. “Up to half of pathological gamblers show withdrawal symptoms looking like a mild form of drug withdrawal,” says psychologist Howard Shaffer, who heads the Division on Addictions at Harvard. Yale psychiatrist Marc Potenza, also stated that what goes in the head of a pathological gambler is the same as that of a drug addict.

“A video or a picture of a gambling activity for a pathological gambler triggers the craving to gamble just like in the case of a drug addict”. When one is ‘hooked’ on gambling, they display the same addictive destructive behavior as drug addicts. “Trying to get the next gambling fix had led many to bankruptcy, some even to embezzlement, stealing, selling drugs or prostituting themselves in order to get their hands on some money.” This according to Casino Watch an organization that researches on gambling issues. Compulsive gambler can cause harm to their families. Parents who gamble may not provide enough care for their children. They may take money meant to feed the children to spend on the machines with intention of winning back the lost bet. Some of them may abuse their children physically or emotionally. Gambling and crime

Gambling is often associated with crime. “When gambling restrictions were relaxed, criminals were the first to open up legal gambling establishments”. Even when there were regulations in Nevada, because they were slack, it did not prevent members of organized crime from openly owning and operating casinos. To some degree, Nevada needed the criminals to make gambling viable because no one else had their expertise and experience” as explained by Gabrielle A. and Reuven Brenner in their “Gambling: Shaping an Opinion” article. Gambling will always attract criminals because of the large cash involved. In gambling operations, including card rooms, winners tend to accumulate large sums of cash and this create opportunities for people to skim and also launder the money. Also there are opportunities to commit fraud against dealers because while they are working they do not have time to account for their chips and count the money they have won. Crime does not just happen in the Casinos but also in the Cardclubs.

Information from a report by the Attorney General, as well as a report by the City of San Jose Police Chief.14 “show that there have been robberies and assaults of clients who had left the cardclubs after making money”. The City of San Jose produced a memo showing dramatic increases in crime in the area where a new club opened. Street Crime is another crime associated with gambling. U.S. News and World Report did a comparison of crime rates in cities with gambling versus those that do not. The crime rates were significantly higher in the places that allowed gambling.18 Atlantic City showed a jump in crime when gambling was legalized. “The city went from 50th in the nation in per capita crime to first”(Goodman). Gambling and Poverty, Ethnicity and Race

University of Houston, Center for public statistics showing the percentage of Texas residents who played lottery in 2004 and also 2007 revealed the connection between gambling and poverty. According to the data, more percentages of the poor and uneducated played the most lotteries. This means that state lotteries are funded by the poor who buy the most tickets. It makes poorer, because the probability of them winning these lottery is almost zero. They are spending the money that they do not have to buy these lottery tickets. Economist Philip J. Cook, one of the co-author of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission final reports expresses concern about the “heavy reliance of lotteries on less –educated, lower income people”. This report also added that a “usual large number of lottery outlets are concentrated in poor neighborhoods”. This will make lottery easily available to the poor and drive them to buy these tickets because as Joseph McCrayand Thomas J. Pavlak of the Vinson Institute of Governement Studies at the University of Georgia cited in their survey on relationship between income and lottery participation, “ the common belief among the lower income people that are playing the lottery is their only chance to escape poverty”.

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