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Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  • Category: Life

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “money often costs too much” This could not be more true, especially when it comes to gambling. Approximately 4.2 billion people have gambled at one time or another and more than 1.6 billion people gamble multiple times throughout the year. Although the idea of easy money is more than pleasing to anyone, there are many defects to this horrible addiction. Gambling does more damage than good. Besides the fact that this brain disease makes an individual lose money, it gives them economic stress and even goes as far as making this commit suicide. In addition to hurting the individual, this addiction also has a huge impact on the person’s family, friends, job and community.

To gamble is to play games in chance for money. This risky action in hope for a desired result started in 2300 bc in Ancient China. Tiles were found that were earthed and seem to be used as a game of chance. ‘Book of Songs’ suggest that the tiles were formed in a lottery like game. Ancient China was also where the first playing cards were found. The first gambling house was in Italy, roulette originated in Paris and Poker began in the 17th century Persia. The first gambling machine was made in New York 1891 and made gambling more practical.

Problem Gambling is when this activity becomes more than just a simple pass time. This is when gambling behavior causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. Pathological gambling, also known as compulsive gambling or gambling addiction, is when one has persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behavior. These are the results when one has loss of control over gambling.

Personal Effects of Gambling

The thing that attracts people the most about gambling is the idea of easy money but often do not think about the harmful effects it has. This section discusses this addiction affects the individual economically, physically and mentally which supports that gambling does more harm than good to an individual.

When a person is losing their money while playing, they feel the necessity to keep playing to win all the money that they have lost back or hopefully even more. Players often need to stop before they’d like because of their lack of money. The International Gaming and Wagering Business Casinos now allows players to access as much cash as they desire by using credit card cash advance services. This worsens the problem as this results in, not just money loss, but also leaves them with a huge debt that they need to pay back. Gambling also affects the individual’s job because they become so preoccupied finding the time and money to carry on their addiction. An average gambler reports job loss and those who do not lose their job, report a loss a productivity because of lateness, non attendance and preoccupation due to gambling. Rescue Missions across the United States 20% of homeless people reported a gambling problem. As you can see by the given information, gambling causes people to lose their jobs , have financial credit issues and even become homelessness.

Three different types of studies reported that the increase of suicides were associated with various forms of gambling. Phillips 1997 demonstrated that Las Vegas, known for its many famous and popular casinos, had the highest rates of suicide in the country counting visitors and residents; between 35 and 60 per year. Gamblers who attended Gamblers Anonymous in America confessed that 13% of them had attempted suicide. As shown by the many studies conducted across the nation, gambling also increases an individual’s chance to commit and even attempt suicide.

In most cases, an individual is initially depressed when they start gambling. Problem gambling is associated with mental health, therefore the individual tends to suffer from greater health illnesses than the rest of the community. These illnesses include: depressive moods, insomnia, anxiety, headaches and stomach problems. As you can see, gambling affects an individual’s mental health, causing them to get many harmful mental illnesses and affects more than just themselves.

Approximately ten million people in the United States have a gambling problem. This addiction arises when a person continues to gamble even though it leaves harmful effects on their finances, relationships and well being. A person who battles gambling issues often hide their problems out of shame and want for secrecy. Since the problem gambler feels this way, this delays their time for receiving treatment or help, which leads to a delayed recovery. Therefore this addiction is not cured fast enough because the gambler feels ashamed of their situation and would prefers to keep their battle a secret rather than open up with someone to help them get out of that crisis.


Gambling does more harm to the gambler’s family emotionally than it does to anyone else. They are the ones that have to deal with all the side effects that gambling has to the individual. Financial burdens brunt all family members and strained relationships which makes the process problematic for even distant family members, friends and co-workers. Individuals in the family get abused, verbally and physically, because the gambler takes out their anger and frustration on them.

Gambling problems disturbs intimate partners and other family members too which includes children, parents, sibling and grandparents. Gambling losses leads to the individual committing violent acts towards their family members as a result from stress, anger and financial crisis within the home. A domestic violence counselor in Mississippi attested that there was a 300% increase in the number of requests in domestic abuse intervention post the arrival of casinos in that area. A meaningful amount of woman reported that gambling contributed to the abuse they received. This information suggests that stress and strain of living within a problem gambling family member results in high risks in family violence since members have to deal with stress and anger that the problem gambler faces.

A family living with gamblers are uncovered to high levels of anger, conflict and also low levels of clear and effective communication. Intimate partners often result to excessive drinking, smoking, over/under eating, and get health problems that include headaches and hypertension. Children often react by running away, alcohol and tobacco abuse, over eating and lower academic or employment performance. Their health effects include asthma, allergies and chronic headaches.

The World Health Organization reported that eleven percent of offenders of IPV reported a gambling problem. Two studies held by NRC cities have demonstrated that between one fourth and one half of spouses of uncontrollable gamblers have been abused. This evidence shows that spouses/partners related to gamblers have to go through all effets of a gambler’s post loss, which is commonly violence and/or abuse, leads to toxic relationships and health risks.

The kids are the ones that suffer greatly what their gambler parent/s goes through. Children of compulsive gamblers are likely to suffer from abuse, emotional neglect and abandonment when the parent consumes their addiction. Due to the effects that gambling has on the parent, the parent tends to lash out angrily to children and children since parent’s tension. Fifty-six percent of people with gambling problems report physical violence against their kids. There has been multiple cases where gamblers lock their children in their car for them to go gamble; three have died. Four independent studies demonstrated that individuals who had a parent that gambled, were two to ten times more prone to experience gambling problems than other people’s parents who did not. As is evident from the information above, not only do children have to experience all the abuse and/or violence occurring with parents, they also have side effects of their own and influences them to do like gambler.

Since the gambler is already going through turmoil of their addiction, there is always typically a person in the family who steps up to take responsibility which often leads to burnout. The members are often focused on helping the gambler which leads to them to forget to care for themselves. Burnout usually ends up happening in families because they lose himself trying to help the gambler. This means that because of the gambler, individuals in the family have to stop caring for themselves or their own responsibilities and care for the gambler.


Although gambling has its horrible effects, many would still argue that gambling is a good thing and has positive effects, which is true. Some of the beneficial impacts of gambling includes that it helps the community by providing jobs, the money earned helps the government with taxes and also gives people an economic boost.

Even though gambling has its unfavorable consequences, in some cases, it gives people and places an economic boost. A study that looked at the impact of cities that added casinos between 1991 and 1992 showed that the introduction of casinos in that area demonstrated an increase in the growth of property and commercial value. This study shows the possibility that casinos offered the promise of jobs and financial stability for disadvantaged people, who could then move into the community, in attempt to build a new life. As shown, studies have been proven that gambling gives people and places an economic boost.

In a study conducted by the American Gaming Association, the casino industry recorded twenty-two to twenty-five billion dollars in earnings which paid a total of two-point-nine billion dollars in direct taxes. Casinos has also employed almost three hundred thousand people and have paid over seven-point-three billion dollars in wages. Without a doubt, casinos make a lot of money which helps the country, due to them having a large amount of tax back.

The arrival of casinos produced localized benefits to the communities in form of new jobs , increased power and support social facilities like schools and hospitals. The commercial industry has recently advertised multiple strategies aimed at encouraging and understanding responsible gambling behavior, including professional training materials for casino employees and guidelines for advertising. It is easy to see that casinos actually help the community by providing jobs and telling gamblers to gamble responsibly.

As much as one would like to believe that gambling is a good thing, it is impossible to ignore the horrifying downside. More than six billion dollars has been lost every year because of gambling, studies have shown. Addictions also place terrible hardships on prison system, public assistant programs and legal systems. Many gambling aftermaths result in community economic costs. Gambling actually increases job unemployment due to the economic losses it gives a person. This addiction also increases alcohol and drug abuse because the gambler becomes depressed due to their losses (Baraniuk). Majority of studies reported that an increase in the availability of gambling was correlated with an increase of problem gambling rates.


Gambling doesn’t just affect people behind closed doors but also the people outside of it. It is bad enough that gambling already affects the family but it also affects the community they live in. More than six billion dollars has been lost every year because of gambling. Many gambling consequences result in community economic costs which include policing, prosecution, incarceration and probation for gambling related crimes, and unemployment and welfare payments because of gambling relating work problems. This evidently shows that this addiction makes the government spend money and time on the gambler that could be put into more issues occuring.

Multiple studies have shown that pathological gamblers commit more crimes in order to finance their addiction. As access to funds become limited, many resort to illegal activities to pay debt, maintain appearances and to provide more money to gamble with. In the past, gambling has been limited for the reasons that included its negative increase on character and concern about promoting the myth that “lady luck” was more likely to improve one’s situation than hard work, education and perseverance would. Gambling has made people lazy which results in people commiting crimes for easy money.

Sixty-five to eighty-seven percent of gamblers are forced to turn to others to relive desperate financial situation caused by gambling. This causes the domino effect because of a person trying to help a gambler out of a tough economic spot, get themselves put in a bard spot. They found that casino gambling was associated with an increase in bankruptcy in seven out of eight communities. It is easy to see that casinos have been proven through many studies to be significant in bankruptcy communities.


This issue is important because many people want to take the easy way out of things to get easy money, and people need to know that this never ends well. As the research has shown, all gambling does is ruin family dynamics and relationships, ruin an individual’s finances and does not make the community any better. Gambling is a sickness, a disease, an addiction, an insanity and is always a loser in the long run -Anonymous.

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