12345...1020...


Gambling – Britannica.com

Gambling, the betting or staking of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on the outcome of a game, a contest, or an uncertain event whose result may be determined by chance or accident or have an unexpected result by reason of the bettors miscalculation.

Read More on This Topic

sports: Gambling and sports

One of the most popular forms of gambling is wagering on sports, which taps into the passion of sports fans. A bet placed on a race or a

The outcomes of gambling games may be determined by chance alone, as in the purely random activity of a tossed pair of dice or of the ball on a roulette wheel, or by physical skill, training, or prowess in athletic contests, or by a combination of strategy and chance. The rules by which gambling games are played sometimes serve to confuse the relationship between the components of the game, which depend on skill and chance, so that some players may be able to manipulate the game to serve their own interests. Thus, knowledge of the game is useful for playing poker or betting on horse racing but is of very little use for purchasing lottery tickets or playing slot machines.

A gambler may participate in the game itself while betting on its outcome (card games, craps), or he may be prevented from any active participation in an event in which he has a stake (professional athletics, lotteries). Some games are dull or nearly meaningless without the accompanying betting activity and are rarely played unless wagering occurs (coin tossing, poker, dice games, lotteries). In other games betting is not intrinsically part of the game, and the association is merely conventional and not necessary to the performance of the game itself (horse racing, football pools). Commercial establishments such as casinos and racetracks may organize gambling when a portion of the money wagered by patrons can be easily acquired by participation as a favoured party in the game, by rental of space, or by withdrawing a portion of the betting pool. Some activities of very large scale (horse racing, lotteries) usually require commercial and professional organizations to present and maintain them efficiently.

A rough estimate of the amount of money legally wagered annually in the world is about $10 trillion (illegal gambling may exceed even this figure). In terms of total turnover, lotteries are the leading form of gambling worldwide. State-licensed or state-operated lotteries expanded rapidly in Europe and the United States during the late 20th century and are widely distributed throughout most of the world. Organized football (soccer) pools can be found in nearly all European countries, several South American countries, Australia, and a few African and Asian countries. Most of these countries also offer either state-organized or state-licensed wagering on other sporting events.

Betting on horse racing is a leading form of gambling in English-speaking countries and in France. It also exists in many other countries. Wherever horse racing is popular, it has usually become a major business, with its own newspapers and other periodicals, extensive statistical services, self-styled experts who sell advice on how to bet, and sophisticated communication networks that furnish information to betting centres, bookmakers and their employees, and workers involved with the care and breeding of horses. The same is true, to a smaller extent, of dog racing. The emergence of satellite broadcasting technology has led to the creation of so-called off-track betting facilities, in which bettors watch live telecasts at locations away from the racetrack.

Casinos or gambling houses have existed at least since the 17th century. In the 20th century they became commonplace and assumed almost a uniform character throughout the world. In Europe and South America they are permitted at many or most holiday resorts but not always in cities. In the United States casinos were for many years legal only in Nevada and New Jersey and, by special license, in Puerto Rico, but most other states now allow casino gambling, and betting facilities operate clandestinely throughout the country, often through corruption of political authorities. Roulette is one of the principal gambling games in casinos throughout France and Monaco and is popular throughout the world. Craps is the principal dice game at most American casinos. Slot and video poker machines are a mainstay of casinos in the United States and Europe and also are found in thousands of private clubs, restaurants, and other establishments; they are also common in Australia. Among the card games played at casinos, baccarat, in its popular form chemin de fer, has remained a principal gambling game in Great Britain and in the continental casinos most often patronized by the English at Deauville, Biarritz, and the Riviera resorts. Faro, at one time the principal gambling game in the United States, has become obsolete. Blackjack is the principal card game in American casinos. The French card game trente et quarante (or rouge et noir) is played at Monte-Carlo and a few other continental casinos. Many other games may also be found in some casinosfor example, sic bo, fan-tan, and pai-gow poker in Asia and local games such as boule, banca francesa, and kalooki in Europe.

At the start of the 21st century, poker exploded in popularity, principally through the high visibility of poker tournaments broadcast on television and the proliferation of Internet playing venues. Another growing form of Internet gambling is the so-called betting exchangesInternet Web sites on which players make wagers with one another, with the Web site taking a small cut of each wager in exchange for organizing and handling the transaction.

In a wide sense of the word, stock markets may also be considered a form of gambling, albeit one in which skill and knowledge on the part of the bettors play a considerable part. This also goes for insurance; paying the premium on ones life insurance is, in effect, a bet that one will die within a specified time. If one wins (dies), the win is paid out to ones relatives, and if one loses (survives the specified time), the wager (premium) is kept by the insurance company, which acts as a bookmaker and sets the odds (payout ratios) according to actuarial data. These two forms of gambling are considered beneficial to society, the former acquiring venture capital and the latter spreading statistical risks.

Events or outcomes that are equally probable have an equal chance of occurring in each instance. In games of pure chance, each instance is a completely independent one; that is, each play has the same probability as each of the others of producing a given outcome. Probability statements apply in practice to a long series of events but not to individual ones. The law of large numbers is an expression of the fact that the ratios predicted by probability statements are increasingly accurate as the number of events increases, but the absolute number of outcomes of a particular type departs from expectation with increasing frequency as the number of repetitions increases. It is the ratios that are accurately predictable, not the individual events or precise totals.

The probability of a favourable outcome among all possibilities can be expressed: probability (p) equals the total number of favourable outcomes (f) divided by the total number of possibilities (t), or p = f/t. But this holds only in situations governed by chance alone. In a game of tossing two dice, for example, the total number of possible outcomes is 36 (each of six sides of one die combined with each of six sides of the other), and the number of ways to make, say, a seven is six (made by throwing 1 and 6, 2 and 5, 3 and 4, 4 and 3, 5 and 2, or 6 and 1); therefore, the probability of throwing a seven is 6/36, or 1/6.

In most gambling games it is customary to express the idea of probability in terms of odds against winning. This is simply the ratio of the unfavourable possibilities to the favourable ones. Because the probability of throwing a seven is 1/6, on average one throw in six would be favourable and five would not; the odds against throwing a seven are therefore 5 to 1. The probability of getting heads in a toss of a coin is 1/2; the odds are 1 to 1, called even. Care must be used in interpreting the phrase on average, which applies most accurately to a large number of cases and is not useful in individual instances. A common gamblers fallacy, called the doctrine of the maturity of the chances (or the Monte-Carlo fallacy), falsely assumes that each play in a game of chance is dependent on the others and that a series of outcomes of one sort should be balanced in the short run by the other possibilities. A number of systems have been invented by gamblers largely on the basis of this fallacy; casino operators are happy to encourage the use of such systems and to exploit any gamblers neglect of the strict rules of probability and independent plays. An interesting example of a game where each play is dependent on previous plays, however, is blackjack, where cards already dealt from the dealing shoe affect the composition of the remaining cards; for example, if all of the aces (worth 1 or 11 points) have been dealt, it is no longer possible to achieve a natural (a 21 with two cards). This fact forms the basis for some systems where it is possible to overcome the house advantage.

In some games an advantage may go to the dealer, the banker (the individual who collects and redistributes the stakes), or some other participant. Therefore, not all players have equal chances to win or equal payoffs. This inequality may be corrected by rotating the players among the positions in the game. Commercial gambling operators, however, usually make their profits by regularly occupying an advantaged position as the dealer, or they may charge money for the opportunity to play or subtract a proportion of money from the wagers on each play. In the dice game of crapswhich is among the major casino games offering the gambler the most favourable oddsthe casino returns to winners from 3/5 of 1 percent to 27 percent less than the fair odds, depending on the type of bet made. Depending on the bet, the house advantage (vigorish) for roulette in American casinos varies from about 5.26 to 7.89 percent, and in European casinos it varies from 1.35 to 2.7 percent. The house must always win in the long run. Some casinos also add rules that enhance their profits, especially rules that limit the amounts that may be staked under certain circumstances.

Many gambling games include elements of physical skill or strategy as well as of chance. The game of poker, like most other card games, is a mixture of chance and strategy that also involves a considerable amount of psychology. Betting on horse racing or athletic contests involves the assessment of a contestants physical capacity and the use of other evaluative skills. In order to ensure that chance is allowed to play a major role in determining the outcomes of such games, weights, handicaps, or other correctives may be introduced in certain cases to give the contestants approximately equal opportunities to win, and adjustments may be made in the payoffs so that the probabilities of success and the magnitudes of the payoffs are put in inverse proportion to each other. Pari-mutuel pools in horse-race betting, for example, reflect the chances of various horses to win as anticipated by the players. The individual payoffs are large for those bettors whose winning horses are backed by relatively few bettors and small if the winners are backed by a relatively large proportion of the bettors; the more popular the choice, the lower the individual payoff. The same holds true for betting with bookmakers on athletic contests (illegal in most of the United States but legal in England). Bookmakers ordinarily accept bets on the outcome of what is regarded as an uneven match by requiring the side more likely to win to score more than a simple majority of points; this procedure is known as setting a point spread. In a game of American or Canadian football, for example, the more highly regarded team would have to win by, say, more than 10 points to yield an even payoff to its backers.

Unhappily, these procedures for maintaining the influence of chance can be interfered with; cheating is possible and reasonably easy in most gambling games. Much of the stigma attached to gambling has resulted from the dishonesty of some of its promoters and players, and a large proportion of modern gambling legislation is written to control cheating. More laws have been oriented to efforts by governments to derive tax revenues from gambling than to control cheating, however.

Gambling is one of mankinds oldest activities, as evidenced by writings and equipment found in tombs and other places. It was regulated, which as a rule meant severely curtailed, in the laws of ancient China and Rome as well as in the Jewish Talmud and by Islam and Buddhism, and in ancient Egypt inveterate gamblers could be sentenced to forced labour in the quarries. The origin of gambling is considered to be divinatory: by casting marked sticks and other objects and interpreting the outcome, man sought knowledge of the future and the intentions of the gods. From this it was a very short step to betting on the outcome of the throws. The Bible contains many references to the casting of lots to divide property. One well-known instance is the casting of lots by Roman guards (which in all likelihood meant that they threw knucklebones) for the garment of Jesus during the Crucifixion. This is mentioned in all four of the Gospels and has been used for centuries as a warning example by antigambling crusaders. However, in ancient times casting lots was not considered to be gambling in the modern sense but instead was connected with inevitable destiny, or fate. Anthropologists have also pointed to the fact that gambling is more prevalent in societies where there is a widespread belief in gods and spirits whose benevolence may be sought. The casting of lots, not infrequently dice, has been used in many cultures to dispense justice and point out criminals at trialsin Sweden as late as 1803. The Greek word for justice, dike, comes from a word that means to throw, in the sense of throwing dice.

European history is riddled with edicts, decrees, and encyclicals banning and condemning gambling, which indirectly testify to its popularity in all strata of society. Organized gambling on a larger scale and sanctioned by governments and other authorities in order to raise money began in the 15th century with lotteriesand centuries earlier in China with keno. With the advent of legal gambling houses in the 17th century, mathematicians began to take a serious interest in games with randomizing equipment (such as dice and cards), out of which grew the field of probability theory.

Apart from forerunners in ancient Rome and Greece, organized sanctioned sports betting dates back to the late 18th century. About that time there began a gradual, albeit irregular, shift in the official attitude toward gambling, from considering it a sin to considering it a vice and a human weakness and, finally, to seeing it as a mostly harmless and even entertaining activity. Additionally, the Internet has made many forms of gambling accessible on an unheard-of scale. By the beginning of the 21st century, approximately four out of five people in Western nations gambled at least occasionally. The swelling number of gamblers in the 20th century highlighted the personal and social problem of pathological gambling, in which individuals are unable to control or limit their gambling. During the 1980s and 90s, pathological gambling was recognized by medical authorities in several countries as a cognitive disorder that afflicts slightly more than 1 percent of the population, and various treatment and therapy programs were developed to deal with the problem.

See the article here:

Gambling – Britannica.com

Compulsive gambling – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

Overview

Compulsive gambling, also called gambling disorder, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Gambling means that you’re willing to risk something you value in the hope of getting something of even greater value.

Gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system much like drugs or alcohol can, leading to addiction. If you have a problem with compulsive gambling, you may continually chase bets that lead to losses, hide your behavior, deplete savings, accumulate debt, or even resort to theft or fraud to support your addiction.

Compulsive gambling is a serious condition that can destroy lives. Although treating compulsive gambling can be challenging, many people who struggle with compulsive gambling have found help through professional treatment.

Signs and symptoms of compulsive gambling (gambling disorder) include:

Unlike most casual gamblers who stop when losing or set a loss limit, people with a compulsive gambling problem are compelled to keep playing to recover their money a pattern that becomes increasingly destructive over time.

Some people with a compulsive gambling problem may have remission where they gamble less or not at all for a period of time. However, without treatment, the remission usually isn’t permanent.

Have family members, friends or co-workers expressed concern about your gambling? If so, listen to their worries. Because denial is almost always a feature of compulsive or addictive behavior, it may be difficult for you to realize that you have a problem.

If you recognize your own behavior from the list of signs and symptoms for compulsive gambling, seek professional help.

Exactly what causes someone to gamble compulsively isn’t well-understood. Like many problems, compulsive gambling may result from a combination of biological, genetic and environmental factors.

Although most people who play cards or wager never develop a gambling problem, certain factors are more often associated with compulsive gambling:

Compulsive gambling can have profound and long-lasting consequences for your life, such as:

Although there’s no proven way to prevent a gambling problem, educational programs that target individuals and groups at increased risk may be helpful.

If you have risk factors for compulsive gambling, consider avoiding gambling in any form, people who gamble and places where gambling occurs. Get treatment at the earliest sign of a problem to help prevent gambling from becoming worse.

Oct. 22, 2016

Go here to read the rest:

Compulsive gambling – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

Gambling – definition of gambling by The Free Dictionary

Their laws were gambling laws–how to play the game.Had I been playing for myself, I think I should have left at once, and never have embarked upon gambling at all, for I could feel my heart beginning to beat, and my heart was anything but cold-blooded.The only excesses indulged in by this temperate and exemplary people, appear to be gambling and horseracing.He had looked on at a great deal of gambling in Paris, watching it as if it had been a disease.In a row, against the opposite wall, were the gambling games.Dolokhov, who had reappeared that year in Moscow after his exile and his Persian adventures, and was leading a life of luxury, gambling, and dissipation, associated with his old Petersburg comrade Kuragin and made use of him for his own ends.In fact, I have no intention of going there again, since every one is for gambling, and for nothing but gambling.A FARMER being about to die, and knowing that during his illness his Sons had permitted the vineyard to become overgrown with weeds while they improved the shining hour by gambling with the doctor, said to them:A great portion of their time is passed in revelry, music, dancing, and gambling.He brought back one or two new habits with him, one of which he rather openly practiced–tippling–but concealed another, which was gambling.You were gambling with poor old Monty for his daughter’s picture against a bottle of brandy.Though Frascati’s and the Salon were open at that time in Paris, the mania for play was so widely spread that the public gambling-rooms did not suffice for the general ardour, and gambling went on in private houses as much as if there had been no public means for gratifying the passion.

Read more:

Gambling – definition of gambling by The Free Dictionary

Las Vegas Casinos & Gambling | Vegas.com

Gambling’s what this place is known for. If you come to town and don’t pull an arm, hold some cards or toss some dice, we have to question if you really lived it up at all. And it’s OK. If you’re new to the scene, we have some tips for you.

Bet you didn’t know this. When things got ugly during the Great Depression (mining was petering out, and people were leaving the state like barflies when the lights flicker), Nevada had a brilliant idea. They said: “Dudes. Stay. As of now gambling is legal. And guess what? So is divorce!” With two gems like that, who needed silver? Suddenly and forever after, Las Vegas was the promised land. Still today, you can gamble to your heart’s content. And get divorced (and married) whenever you want too.

See the article here:

Las Vegas Casinos & Gambling | Vegas.com

Gambling addiction: Symptoms, triggers, and treatment

Please accept our privacy terms

We use cookies and similar technologies to improve your browsing experience, personalize content and offers, show targeted ads, analyze traffic, and better understand you. We may share your information with third-party partners for marketing purposes. To learn more and make choices about data use, visit our Advertising Policy and Privacy Policy. By clicking Accept and Continue below, (1) you consent to these activities unless and until you withdraw your consent using our rights request form, and (2) you consent to allow your data to be transferred, processed, and stored in the United States.

Follow this link:

Gambling addiction: Symptoms, triggers, and treatment

Gambling – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opposed to gambling, including lotteries sponsored by governments. Church leaders have encouraged Church members to join with others in opposing the legalization and government sponsorship of any form of gambling.

Gambling is motivated by a desire to get something for nothing. This desire is spiritually destructive. It leads participants away from the Savior’s teachings of love and service and toward the selfishness of the adversary. It undermines the virtues of work and thrift and the desire to give honest effort in all we do.

Those who participate in gambling soon discover the deception in the idea that they can give little or nothing and receive something of value in return. They find that they give up large amounts of money, their own honor, and the respect of family members and friends. Deceived and addicted, they often gamble with funds they should use for other purposes, such as meeting the basic needs of their families. Gamblers sometimes become so enslaved and so desperate to pay gambling debts that they turn to stealing, giving up their own good name.

Original post:

Gambling – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Leviticus 1927: A Law of Performances and Ordinances …

(16-2) Leviticus 19:218. Ye Shall Be Holy: For I the Lord Your God Am Holy

The last chapter examined in some detail the laws of cleanliness and uncleanliness in both their physical and spiritual senses. The closing chapters of Leviticus focus on laws that defined how one under the Mosaic law lived righteously and in a manner pleasing to God. Leviticus ends with essentially the same message with which it began, namely, the all-important admonition that men are to be holy, even as God is holy. The laws that follow this commandment may seem at first to be without logical arrangement or interconnection, but they are unified when one considers them in light of the injunction to be holy given in verse2. Note also the strong relationship to the Ten Commandments in what immediately follows (see vv.312). The fifth commandment (honoring parents) and the fourth commandment (keeping the Sabbath day holy) are joined in verse3, followed immediately by the second commandment (no graven images). In verse11 the eighth commandment (stealing) is joined with the ninth (bearing false witness), and then again is immediately connected to the third commandment (taking Gods name in vain) in verse12. By this means the Lord seems to indicate that what follows the commandment to be holy is directly related to these fundamental principles of righteousness. The specific laws that follow the commandments define principles of righteousness that follow naturally from the Ten Commandments. For example, the commandment is not to steal, but these laws show that the commandment means far more than not robbing a man or burglarizing his home. One can steal through fraud or by withholding wages from a laborer (v.13). The commandment is to honor ones parents, but here the Lord used the word fear (v.3), which connotes a deep respect, reverence, and awe, the same feelings one should have for God Himself. The example of the gossiping talebearer (v.16) shows that there are ways to bear false witness other than under oath in court. And the concluding principle summarizes the whole purpose of the law. If one is truly holy, as God is holy, then he will love his neighbor as himself (see v.18).

Moses the Lawgiver

During His earthly ministry, the Master was asked by a scribe which of all the commandments was the greatest. The Saviors reply is well known: Love God and love your neighbor. Then He said: On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:40; see also vv.3539). Or, to put it another way, those two principles are the foundation for all the writings of the Old Testament. All principles and commandments stem either from the need to love God or to love our neighbor.

Both of the laws cited by Jesus are found in the Old Testament, but not together. The first is found in Deuteronomy 6:5 and the second in Leviticus 19:18. The wording of the second commandment is instructive. The statement that one is to love his neighbor as himself moves the idea of love in this case from a state of emotion to one of will. Love is that emotion which one naturally feels for oneself. Simply expressed, it is a desire one has for his own good. To love or care for oneself is natural and good, but in addition, one must feel this same emotion for others. Each must desire the good of others as well as his own. This desire is not innate but comes through a conscious act of will or agency. The commandment thus implies that one should work both for his own good and the good of others. He should not aggrandize himself at anothers expense. This commandment is at the heart of all social interaction and becomes the standard by which every act can be judged.

Any person who truly understands the implications for daily living that are part of the commandment to love God with all his heart, might, mind, and strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, can function well with no additional laws. One does not need to warn a person who loves God properly about idolatry, for any act of worship not devoted to God would be naturally offensive to him. The prohibitions against stealing, adultery, murder, and so on are not required if a person truly loves his neighbor as himself, for to injure his neighbor in such ways would be unthinkable. But, of course, the vast majority of men fail to understand and keep these two commandments, and so the Lord has revealed many additional laws and rules to show specifically what the commandments require. But truly, all such commandments do nothing more than define and support the two basic principles: all the law and the prophets are summarized in the two great commandments.

The metaphorical use of circumcision is thus explained by the text itself: it denotes the fruit as disqualified or unfit. In [Leviticus 26:41] the same metaphor is used for the heart which is stubborn or not ripe to listen to the Divine admonitions. And in other passages of Scripture it is used with reference to lips [Exodus 6:12, 30] and ears [Jeremiah 6:10] which do not perform their proper functions. (C.D. Ginsburg, in Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, pp.14748.)

Exactly why the fruit produced for the first three years of the tree was to be treated as unfit is not clear, but in this context of laws of righteousness and sanctification, this prohibition could suggest that until the first-fruits of the tree were dedicated to God, just as the firstborn of animals and men were (see Exodus 13:12), the tree was not viewed as sanctified, or set apart, for use by Gods people. Because the ground had been cursed for mans sake when Adam fell (see Genesis 3:17), this law could have served as a simple reminder that until dedicated to God and His purposes, all things remained unfit for use by Gods holy people.

At first, the laws found in these verses may seem to have little application for the modern Saint, and may even seem puzzling as requirements for ancient Israel. What, for example, would the cutting of ones hair and beard have to do with righteousness? But in the cultural surroundings of ancient Israel, these specific prohibitions taught a powerful lesson related to the practices of Israels heathen neighbors.

For example, the Hebrew word nachash, translated as enchantment (v.26), meant to practice divination, and the phrase observe times (v.26) comes from the Hebrew word meaning to observe clouds (Wilson, Old Testament Word Studies, s.v.enchantment, p.144). In the ancient world, sorcerers and necromancers often claimed to read the future through various omens or objects. Their methods included watching the stars (astrology), observing the movements of clouds and certain animals, tying knots, casting lots, tossing arrows into the air and then reading the pattern of how they fell, and so on. (See Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, s.v.magic, divination, and sorcery, pp.56670.) Thus, verse26 forbade any use of the occult to read the future.

Another Bible scholar gave an important insight about why cutting the hair and beard was forbidden.

[Leviticus 19:27] and the following verse evidently refer to customs which must have existed among the Egyptians when the Israelites sojourned in Egypt; and what they were it is now difficult, even with any probability, to conjecture. Herodotus observes that the Arabs shave or cut their hair round, in honour of Bacchus [the god of wine] who, they say, had his hair cut in this way. He says also that the Macians, a people of Libya, cut their hair round, so as to leave a tuft on the top of the head. In this manner the Chinese cut their hair to the present day. This might have been in honour of some idol, and therefore forbidden to the Israelites.

The hair was much used in divination among the ancients, and for purposes of religious superstition among the Greeks; and particularly about the time of the giving of this law, as this is supposed to have been the era of the Trojan war. We learn from Homer that it was customary for parents to dedicate the hair of their children to some god; which, when they came to manhood, they cut off and consecrated to the deity. Achilles, at the funeral of Patroclus, cut off his golden locks which his father had dedicated to the river god Sperchius, and threw them into the flood.

If the hair was rounded, and dedicated for purposes of this kind, it will at once account for the prohibition in this verse. (Clarke, Bible Commentary, 1:575.)

In forbidding the cutting of the flesh and the tattooing of marks in the flesh, the Lord again clearly signaled that Israel was to be different from their heathen neighbors. Wounds were self-inflicted in times of grief for the dead and during worship (see 1Kings 18:28). Also, it was a very ancient and a very general custom to carry marks on the body in honour of the object of their worship. All the castes of the Hindoos bear on their foreheads or elsewhere what are called the sectarian marks, which distinguish them, not only in a civil but also in a religious point of view, from each other.

Most of the barbarous nations lately discovered have their faces, arms, breasts, &c., curiously carved or tatooed, probably for superstitious purposes. Ancient writers abound with accounts of marks made on the face, arms, &c., in honour of different idols; and to this the inspired penman alludes [Revelation 13:1617; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4], where false worshippers are represented as receiving in their hands and in their forehead the marks of the beast. (Clarke, Bible Commentary, 1:575.)

Sacred prostitution was a common practice among heathen worshipers, and often priestesses in the temples to such goddesses of love as Venus or Aphrodite were there only to satisfy and give religious sanction to immoral sexual desires. God strictly forbade these practices.

Familiar spirits (Leviticus 19:31) connoted those who today would be called spiritualists, or spirit mediums. They supposedly had the power to communicate through a seance with departed spirits. The Hebrew word for familiar spirit means ventriloquist, suggesting in the very name itself the fraudulent character of such people (see Wilson, Old Testament Word Studies, s.v.ventriloquist, p.157).

Clearly, the laws prohibiting such idolatrous practices were designed to set Israel apart from the world and its false worship. And therein is an important lesson for modern Saints. The world has not changed, although the specific practices of evil and debauchery may be different. Today the Lord still directs His people through living prophets to avoid the customs and practices of the world. It should be no surprise, then, that prophets speak out against certain hair styles, fashions in clothing, passing fads, or such practices as sensitivity groups, gambling, couples living together without marriage, and so on.

A meteyard signified such Hebrew measures of length as the reed, the span, and the cubit, while the ephah and the hin were measures of volume. By specifying both kinds of measures, the Lord clearly taught that honesty in all transactions was required. (See Bible Dictionary, s.v.weights and measures.)

This chapter specifies some of the sins so serious that they were worthy of death. (For an explanation of what it means to give ones seed to Molech, see Reading 15-11.) The Lord clearly stated again and again that the purpose of these laws was to separate Israel from other people so that they could be sanctified and become holy unto God (see vv.78, 24, 26).

When the Jaredites were brought to the land of promise, the Lord warned them that if they did not worship the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, they would be swept off (Ether 2:10). Lehis colony was also warned that they would occupy the promised land only on condition of obedience; otherwise, they too would be cut off (1Nephi 2:21; see also v.20). The Israelites were warned that if they were not willing to separate themselves from the world, the land would spue them out (Leviticus 20:22).

Nephi told his brothers that the only reason Israel was given the land and the Canaanites driven out was that the Canaanites had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity (1Nephi 17:35). Because of their extreme wickedness God required Israel to utterly destroy them (Deuteronomy 7:2; for further discussion about why God required the Canaanites to be destroyed, see Reading 19-15). Nephi asked, Do you suppose that our fathers [the Israelites] would have been more choice than they [the Canaanites] if they had been righteous? I say unto you, Nay. (1Nephi 17:34.) The same message was clearly revealed to Israel. The Canaanites were cast out because of their wickedness. Either Israel would remain separated from that wickedness, or they would suffer the same consequence.

In these two chapters are special rules and requirements for the Levitical Priesthood, especially the high priest. Here, for the first time, the title high priest was used (Leviticus 21:10). The Hebrew literally means the Priest, the great one. As the chief priest, he was the representative of Jehovah among the people. As such, he was required to guard against all defilement of his holy office. (The Old Testament high priest was an office in the Aaronic Priesthood, not an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood as it is today. The high priest was the presiding priest, or head, of the Aaronic Priesthood. Today the presiding bishop holds that position.) All members of the priesthood had to marry virgins of their own people. Prostitutes, adulterous women, or even divorced women, were excluded, thus avoiding the least doubt about personal purity. The priests could not marry profane women (non-Israelites; v.7), be defiled by contact with a dead person other than close relatives (see vv.13), or allow a daughter to be a prostitute (see v.9).

In other words, all of Israel was called to a special life of separation and holiness, but the priests who served as Gods authorized representatives to the people had to maintain an even higher level of separation and sanctification. The high priest, who was a symbol or type of Jesus, the great high priest, had to meet a still stricter code (Hebrews 4:14). In addition to meeting the requirements of the regular priesthood for marriage and defilement, he had to be without any physical defects (see Leviticus 21:1621). Such strictness was to remind the people that Christ, the true Mediator between God and His children, was perfect in every respect.

In this chapter the Lord indicated five holy days or feasts that were to be observed by all Israel. These were the Sabbath (see vv.13), the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread (see vv.414), the feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, as it was called in the New Testament (see vv.1523), the day of Atonement (see vv.2632), and the feast of Tabernacles (see vv.3344).

The sabbaths, of course, were weekly; the others are listed in the order in which they occurred. Passover was in late March or early April (corresponding to Easter), and Pentecost followed seven weeks later in May. The day of Atonement, which occurred in late September or early October, was followed five days later by the feast of Tabernacles, or feast of Booths. (For more details on the feasts and festivals, see Enrichment SectionD and the Hebrew calendar in Maps and Charts.)

To afflict the soul means to be humble or submissive to the Lord. The Hebrew term carries with it the idea of discipline. Therefore, on these days, Israelites were to devote themselves completely to the Lord in fasting and prayer.

The offerings specified for the feast days were all voluntary. These were the times to celebrate and freely show ones gratitude to the Lord.

This passage has come to be regarded by many as the substance and summary of the Mosaic law: eye for eye, tooth for tooth (v.20). This misunderstanding is unfortunate because it makes the law appear cold, unbending, and revengeful. This misconception has resulted from a failure to distinguish between the social law and the criminal law. The social law was based on love and concern for ones neighbor (see Leviticus 19:18). The criminal law was not outside that love, but was made to stress absolute justice. Even then, however, three things must be noted about this eye-for-an-eye application:

First, it was intended to be a law of exact justice, not of revenge. Secondly, it was not private vengeance, but public justice. Thirdly, by excluding murder from the crimes for which ransom is permissible (Nu. 35:31f.) it makes it probable that compensation for injuries was often or usually allowed to take the form of a fine. (Guthrie and Motyer, Bible Commentary: Revised, p.164.)

The same law that required just retribution and payment also required a farmer to leave portions of his field unharvested so the poor could glean therein (see Leviticus 19:910; 23:22), demanded that the employer pay his hired labor at nightfall rather than wait even until the next day (see 19:13), commanded men, Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart (19:17), and summarized the ideal by saying, Be ye holy (20:7).

Many today look upon the law of Moses as a primitive, lesser law designed for a spiritually illiterate and immature people. This chapter illustrates the commitment of faith and trust in God that was required of one who truly followed the law. The Israelite was told that once in every seven years he was to trust wholly in God rather than in the fruits of his own labor for sustenance. The land, too, was to have its sabbath rest, and no plowing, sowing, reaping, or harvesting was to take place. Further, once each fifty years the land would have a double rest. The seventh sabbatical year (the forty-ninth year) was to be followed by a jubilee year. God had delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt, forgiven their numerous debts to Him, and given them an inheritance in the land of promise. To demonstrate their love of God and fellow men, Israel was to follow that example during the jubilee year. Slaves or servants were to be freed, the land returned to its original owner, and debts forgiven (see vv.10, 13, 3536).

Modern followers of the higher gospel law would do well to assess their own commitment to God and their own love of neighbor by asking themselves if they could live such a law. Is their faith sufficient to trust in the Lord for three years sustenance as was asked of Israel? (Note vv.1822.)

One Bible scholar suggested two important ideas symbolized in the requirements of the jubilee year:

The jubilee seems to have been typical, 1. Of the great time of release, the Gospel dispensation, when all who believe in Christ Jesus are redeemed from the bondage of sinrepossess the favour and image of God, the only inheritance of the human soul, having all debts cancelled, and the right of inheritance restored. To this the prophet Isaiah seems to allude [Isaiah 26:13], and particularly [61:13]. 2. Of the general resurrection. It is, says Mr.Parkhurst, a lively prefiguration of the grand consummation of time, which will be introduced in like manner by the trump of God [1Corinthians 15:52], when the children and heirs of God shall be delivered from all their forfeitures, and restored to the eternal inheritance allotted to them by their Father; and thenceforth rest from their labours, and be supported in life and happiness by what the field of God shall supply.

It is worthy of remark that the jubilee was not proclaimed till the tenth day of the seventh month, on the very day when the great annual atonement was made for the sins of the people; and does not this prove that the great liberty or redemption from thraldom, published under the Gospel, could not take place till the great Atonement, the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, had been offered up? (Clarke, Bible Commentary, p.1:592.)

Or, as C.D. Ginsburg put it: On the close of the great Day of Atonement, when the Hebrews realised that they had peace of mind, that their heavenly Father had annulled their sins, and that they had become re-united to Him through His forgiving mercy, every Israelite was called upon to proclaim throughout the land, by nine blasts of the cornet, that he too had given the soil rest, that he had freed every encumbered family estate, and that he had given liberty to every slave, who was now to rejoin his kindred. Inasmuch as God has forgiven his debts, he also is to forgive his debtors. (In Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, p.141.)

Leviticus 26 is one of the most powerful chapters in the Old Testament. The Lord put the options facing Israel so clearly that they could not be misunderstood. If Israel was obedient, they would be blessed with the bounties of the earth, safety and security, peace and protection from enemies. Even more important, the Lord promised: My soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. (vv.1112) Those promises could be summarized in one word: Zion. If Israel was obedient, she would achieve a Zion condition.

If Israel refused to hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments (v.14), however, then the blessings would be withdrawn, and sorrow, hunger, war, disease, exile, tragedy, and abandonment would result.

Modern Israel has been given the same options.

In the winter of 197677, the western United States faced a serious drought. A living prophet saw in that and other natural phenomena a warning related to that given in the Old Testament.

Early this year when drouth conditions seemed to be developing in the West, the cold and hardships in the East, with varying weather situations all over the world, we felt to ask the members of the Church to join in fasting and prayer, asking the Lord for moisture where it was so vital and for a cessation of the difficult conditions elsewhere.

Perhaps we may have been unworthy in asking for these greatest blessings, but we do not wish to frantically approach the matter but merely call it to the attention of our Lord and then spend our energy to put our lives in harmony.

One prophet said:

When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:

Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance. (1Kings 8:3536.)

The Lord uses the weather sometimes to discipline his people for the violation of his laws. He said to the children of Israel: [Leviticus 26:36.]

With the great worry and suffering in the East and threats of drouth here in the West and elsewhere, we asked the people to join in a solemn prayer circle for moisture where needed. Quite immediately our prayers were answered, and we were grateful beyond expression. We are still in need and hope that the Lord may see fit to answer our continued prayers in this matter.

Perhaps the day has come when we should take stock of ourselves and see if we are worthy to ask or if we have been breaking the commandments, making ourselves unworthy of receiving the blessings.

The Lord gave strict commandments: Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. (Lev. 19:30.)

Innumerous times we have quoted this, asking our people not to profane the Sabbath; and yet we see numerous cars lined up at merchandise stores on the Sabbath day, and places of amusement crowded, and we wonder.

The Lord makes definite promises. He says:

Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. (Lev. 26:4.)

God does what he promises, and many of us continue to defile the Sabbath day. He then continues:

And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. (Lev. 26:5.)

These promises are dependable.

The Lord warns: [Leviticus 26:1417, 1920.]

The Lord goes further and says:

I will destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate. (Lev. 26:22.)

Can you think how the highways could be made desolate? When fuel and power are limited, when there is none to use, when men will walk instead of ride?

Have you ever thought, my good folks, that the matter of peace is in the hands of the Lord who says:

And I will bring a sword upon you (Lev. 26:25.)

Would that be difficult? Do you read the papers? Are you acquainted with the hatreds in the world? What guarantee have you for permanent peace?

and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. (Lev. 26:25.)

Are there enemies who could and would afflict us? Have you thought of that?

And I will make your cities waste, he says, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation.

Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.

As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest [when it could] in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. (Lev. 26:31, 3435.)

Those are difficult and very serious situations, but they are possible.

And the Lord concludes:

These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the Lord made between him and the children of Israel in Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses. (Lev. 26:46.)

This applies to you and me.

Would this be a good time to deeply concern ourselves with these matters? Is this a time when we should return to our homes, our families, our children? Is this the time we should remember our tithes and our offerings, a time when we should desist from our abortions, our divorces, our Sabbath breaking, our eagerness to make the holy day a holiday?

Is this a time to repent of our sins, our immoralities, our doctrines of devils?

Is this a time for all of us to make holy our marriages, live in joy and happiness, rear our families in righteousness?

Certainly many of us know better than we do. Is this a time to terminate adultery and homosexual and lesbian activities, and return to faith and worthiness? Is this a time to end our heedless pornographies?

Is this the time to set our face firmly against unholy and profane things, and whoredoms, irregularities, and related matters?

Is this the time to enter new life? (SpencerW. Kimball, The Lord Expects His People to Follow the Commandments, Ensign, May 1977, pp.46.)

President SpencerW. Kimball warned that Leviticus applies to Latter-day Saints.

To see how this prophecy was fulfilled, see Jeremiah 25:9, 1112; 29:10; 2Chronicles 36:21.

Special vows were a part of the Mosaic law. In that day it was possible for a man or woman to dedicate a person to the Lord, for example, Jephthahs daughter or the child Samuel (see Judges 11:3031; 1Samuel 1:11). Here the Lord was saying that when a man made such a vow, the persons involved had to be reckoned as the Lords and could not be taken by another. A person could also vow (that is, dedicate to the Lord) his personal property. These laws governed the making of such vows.

The signification of this verse is well given by the rabbins: When a man was to give the tithe of his sheep or calves to God, he was to shut up the whole flock in one fold, in which there was one narrow door capable of letting out one at a time. The owner, about to give the tenth to the Lord, stood by the door with a rod in his hand, the end of which was dipped in vermilion or red ochre. The mothers of those lambs or calves stood without: the door being opened, the young ones ran out to join themselves to their dams; and as they passed out the owner stood with his rod over them, and counted one, two, three, four, five, &c., and when the tenth came, he touched it with the coloured rod, by which it was distinguished to be the tithe calf, sheep, &c., and whether poor or lean, perfect or blemished, that was received as the legitimate tithe. It seems to be in reference to this custom that the Prophet Ezekiel, speaking to Israel, says: I will cause you to pass under the rod, and will bring you into the bond of the covenantyou shall be once more claimed as the Lords property, and be in all things devoted to his service, being marked or ascertained, by especial providences and manifestations of his kindness, to be his peculiar people. (Clarke, Bible Commentary, 1:604.)

More here:

Leviticus 1927: A Law of Performances and Ordinances …

Gambling – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opposed to gambling, including lotteries sponsored by governments. Church leaders have encouraged Church members to join with others in opposing the legalization and government sponsorship of any form of gambling.

Gambling is motivated by a desire to get something for nothing. This desire is spiritually destructive. It leads participants away from the Savior’s teachings of love and service and toward the selfishness of the adversary. It undermines the virtues of work and thrift and the desire to give honest effort in all we do.

Those who participate in gambling soon discover the deception in the idea that they can give little or nothing and receive something of value in return. They find that they give up large amounts of money, their own honor, and the respect of family members and friends. Deceived and addicted, they often gamble with funds they should use for other purposes, such as meeting the basic needs of their families. Gamblers sometimes become so enslaved and so desperate to pay gambling debts that they turn to stealing, giving up their own good name.

Read more from the original source:

Gambling – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Gambling – Mormon Newsroom

You are leaving the Mormon Newsroom

You are about to access Constant Contacts (http://visitor.constantcontact.com).

You are now leaving a website maintained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We provide the link to this third party’s website solely as a convenience to you. The linked site has its own terms of use, privacy policies, and security practices that differ from those on our website. By referring or linking you to this website, we do not endorse or guarantee this content, products, or services offered. If you would like to stay on the page you are viewing please click Cancel.

View post:

Gambling – Mormon Newsroom

The Evils of Gambling – ensign – lds.org

Montana recently adopted a new constitution that legalizes gambling. Last year the governor of Illinois signed a law legalizing bingo in the state of Illinois, when operated by charitable, religious, and fraternal organizations. New York City, through its legalized Off-Track Betting Corporation, is catering to hundreds of thousands of eager bettorsexecutives, cab drivers, secretaries, and housewives. Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, and Connecticut have all sent representatives to study New York Citys management of what is expected to be a popular and profitable source of local revenue. Last year, after decades of opposition on moral grounds, the Massachusetts legislature gave in to economic pressure by establishing a state lottery, thus making the once-puritanical Bay State the fifth state to enter the lottery business.

Government interest in gambling is spurred by the need to obtain additional sources of tax revenue to finance the increasingly expensive and widespread activities of state and local governments. Individual interest is doubtless stimulated by the additional free time and cash in the hands of our increasingly affluent society. But gamblings basic attraction for the individual has always been the lure of getting something for nothing.

In its simplest form gambling is the act of risking something of value on the outcome of a game or event that may be determined in part or entirely by chance. The attitude of the Church toward gambling is clearly set forth in the following statement by President Heber J. Grant and his counselors in the First Presidency on September 21, 1925:

The Church has been and now is unalterably opposed to gambling in any form whatever. It is opposed to any game of chance, occupation, or so-called business, which takes money from the person who may be possessed of it without giving value received in return. It is opposed to all practices the tendency of which is to encourage the spirit of reckless speculation, and particularly to that which tends to degrade or weaken the high moral standard which members of the Church, and our community at large, have always maintained.

We therefore advise and urge all members of the Church to refrain from participation in any activity which is contrary to the view herein set forth.1

Subsequent statements by leaders of the Church have elaborated on the reasons for this strong position.

Gambling is an old evil, long recognized as such. Some Oriental gambling games have been traced back to 2100 B.C. In ancient Egypt persons convicted of gambling were sent to the quarries. Gambling is denounced in the Hindu code, the Koran, and the Talmudic law. Aristotle denounced gamblers.

Gambling was widespread in the Middle Ages, especially among the nobility. But even those who practiced games of chance were willing to recognize evil in the games, at least for others. Legislation in England and France attempted to counteract the detrimental effects of gambling on servants, because it induced them to idleness or caused them to neglect archery practice, thus endangering national security.

One of the most popular forms of gambling was the lottery, which was permitted among working-class people and was common in the English-speaking world in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Queen Elizabeth proclaimed the first state lottery in England in 1576. In 1660 a lottery was even held to ransom Englishmen held in slavery in Tunis, Algiers, and on Turkish galleys. Lotteries were so widespread in the United States in the early 1800s that there were almost two hundred lottery offices in the state of New York alone. In 1832 the gross sale of lottery tickets was over $60 million, which was five times the total national budget of the U.S. government.

It has been suggested that lotteries were a popular way to finance large projects because there were few reliable banks during this period. Therefore, no regular means were available for obtaining huge sums of money except by aggregating a large number of small amounts from citizens of limited means.

Whatever the merit of that suggestion, in the first half of the 1800s there was a public revulsion against the lottery. By 1850 many state constitutions had provisions forbidding lotteries and other forms of gambling. In many states these same constitutional provisions stand as barriers to legal gambling today, and they are under attack.

Opposition to lotteries first came in England in 1773, when the city of London petitioned the House of Commons to abolish lotteries because they were hurting the commerce of the kingdom and threatening the welfare and prosperity of the people. In 1808 the Commons appointed a select committee to inquire into the evils attending lotteries. The committee report, which helped to abolish lotteries in England a few years later, is so current that it could have been written last week instead of over 160 years ago.

The committee reported cases in which people living in comfort and respectability had been reduced to poverty and distress; cases of domestic quarrels, assaults, and the ruin of family peace; and cases of fathers deserting their families, mothers neglecting their children, wives robbing their husbands of the earnings of months and years, and people pawning clothes, beds, and wedding rings, in order to indulge in the speculation.

In other cases, the committee reported, children had robbed their parents, servants their masters; suicides had been committed, and almost every crime that can be imagined had been occasioned, either directly or indirectly, through the baneful influence of lotteries.2

In its final report the committee concluded that the foundation of the lottery system was so radically vicious that no method of regulation could be devised that would permit Parliament to adopt it as an efficacious source of revenue and at the same time divest it of all its attendant evils.

At a time when state lotteries are being touted as an attractive way to raise badly needed public funds, it is well to recall that a lottery is the most regressive of all revenue measures. Even more than the unpopular sales tax, its burdens fall most heavily on the poor, who are the principal patrons of this type of gambling.

There can be no doubt that gambling is big business in the United States. Expert estimates of the annual amount of illegal gambling vary from $7 billion to $50 billion a year, with $20 billion being the most popular estimate. That figure amounts to approximately $100 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. The estimated total annual profits amount to about $6 to $7 billion a year. This figure is 50 percent more than the combined 1970 profits of American Telephone and Telegraph, General Motors, IBM, and Standard Oil of New Jersey.

In 1962 United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy called attention to the overwhelming cost of gambling:

the American people are spending more on gambling than on medical care or education; in so doing, they are putting up the money for the corruption of public officials and the vicious activities of the dope peddlers, loan sharks, bootleggers, white slave traders, and slick confidence men. Investigation this past year by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, the Narcotics Bureau, the Post Office Department, and all other federal investigative units has disclosed without any shadow of a doubt that corruption and racketeering, financed largely by gambling, are weakening the vitality and strength of this nation.3

Today there are many proposals to legalize gambling. Some urge this as a way to obtain new tax revenues, citing the examples of Spain, Norway, Sweden, France, Australia, and twenty other governments whose national lotteries provide significant revenues to state treasuries. Others propose to legalize gambling because they contend that this would weaken organized crime by drying up one of its principal sources of financial support. It is also urged that legalized gambling would reduce the amount of graft and illegal payoffs to public officials.

Still others want to legalize gambling because they feel that it is impossible to enforce laws against it. According to this line of argument, the only effect of laws against gambling is to raise the price of gambling and therefore increase the profits of those of the criminal element who conduct the illegal enterprise.

Closely examined, none of these arguments for legalized gambling is persuasive. When the late Thomas E. Dewey was governor of New York, he answered these arguments, declaring:

The entire history of legalized gambling in this country and abroad shows that it has brought nothing but poverty, crime and corruption, demoralization of moral standards, and ultimately lower living standards and misery for all the people.4

The late J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is quoted as saying: If you think legalizing games of chance starves out the criminals, look at Las Vegas, where the games are legal, yet the hoods still deal themselves in and related vices flourish.

In urging the state of Alaska not to legalize gambling as an economic panacea, Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin gave these additional financial reasons: The idea that gambling would increase revenues is an illusion. Every dollar raised from gambling would mean five dollars spent in higher police costs, higher court costs, higher penitentiary costs, and higher relief costs.5

In addition to all of these reasons, gambling should not be legalized because it is immoral. The law is, of course, too imperfect an instrument to condemn all immoral conduct. Although to hate is immoral, the law cannot efficiently condemn that sin. But gambling is different. Its evils can fairly be measured in the lives of those who are affected by it.

Few would urge that the law promote gambling; yet to legalize gambling would have just that result. The law has an important standard-setting function. A law legalizing gambling would, in the eyes of many, be understood as a formal declaration that this kind of conduct is moral, proper, and expected. Persons now deterred from participating in gambling because they believe it to be illegal and immoral would be encouraged to participate.

Gambling is especially pernicious when it is administered by government or when government relies on it for a substantial source of tax revenues. In times when our governments appetite for taxes seems insatiable, government officials who depend on gambling for a share of the public budget would have a strong temptation to promote gambling and to protect it from opposition.

Those who doubt the force of this argument should consider the history of efforts to impose more stringent government controls on that deadly producttobacco. These efforts are commonly and forcefully resisted on the grounds that the vitally needed health measures would reduce essential tax revenues, disrupt the economics of certain states, and cause much unemployment.

Let us not allow gambling to obtain the same hold on our government and lawful businesses. Government should work to refine the moral sensitivities of its citizens, not pander to their weaknesses.

There are at least five reasons why our Church leaders have urged us to avoid gambling and to fight this evil practice in our communities.

First, gambling weakens the ethics of work, industry, thrift, and servicethe foundation of national prosperityby holding out the seductive lure of something for nothing. By the same token, gambling encourages idleness, with all of its resulting bad effects for society.

President Joseph F. Smith, sixth president of the Church, gave this emphasis to the importance of the ethic of work in the gospel of Jesus Christ:

We do not feel that it is possible for men to be really good and faithful Christian people unless they can also be good, faithful, honest and industrious people. Therefore, we preach the gospel of economy, the gospel of sobriety. We preach that the idler shall not eat the bread of the laborer, and that the idler is not entitled to an inheritance in Zion.6

President Stephen L Richards of the First Presidency (18791959) said that gambling proceeds upon the assumption that one has to lose for another to gain. He then declared that the element of chance in gambling leads those who indulge in it to believe that chance is the controlling and dominant influence in life. And so obsessed do some people become with it that they cannot contemplate or think of any other way in which to increase their means and their income except by taking the chance that gambling affords.7

A second evil of gambling is that it promotes greed and covetousness and inevitably involves and encourages the base practice of overreaching and taking from ones neighbor. A Methodist minister, Lycurgus M. Starkey, Jr., of the St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri, concluded an attack on gambling with words that every Latter-day Saint should recognize as familiar doctrine:

The good Christians love of neighbor will stand against every practice which hinders the growth of the human spirit toward the likeness of Christ or which breaks down the structures of justice in society. The Christian will himself refrain from gambling and from publicly endorsing it in any form, realizing that gambling is detrimental to the purpose of life as revealed in Jesus Christ.8

A third evil of gambling is its tendency to corrupt the participant. We are all familiar with cases in which trusted employees have ruined their lives and brought disgrace and tragedy upon themselves and their families by stealing their employers money. All too often the sordid story is traceable to a desperate attempt to pay gambling debts or to finance further gambling activities.

The temptations of the gambler are such that persons in responsible positions in government and private industry will not hire or retain as employees those who are known to gamble. In recounting the undesirable side effects of gambling, mention must also be made of the fact that gambling is often accompanied by indulgence in alcohol and other vices.

A fourth disadvantage, one cited by persons not concerned with the moral effects of gambling, is the extraordinary waste of time involved in it. Those who while away their hours gambling frequently do so to the neglect of family and work.

Time wasted in gambling becomes more significant when we reflect that many persons who indulge in gambling become addicted to it. The late Elder Richard L. Evans of the Council of the Twelve (19061971) made this statement:

The spirit of gambling is a progressive thing. Usually it begins modestly; and then, like many other hazardous habits, it often grows beyond control. At best it wastes time and produces nothing. At worst it becomes a ruinous obsession and fosters false living by encouraging the futile belief that we can continually get something for nothing.9

The fifth and final condemnation of gambling follows from other disadvantages already discussed. Whenever we as Latter-day Saints engage in any kind of conduct that is inconsistent with the companionship of the Spirit of the Lord, we pay an enormous price. Left without the sustaining influence of that Spirit, we are vulnerable to temptation, prone to criticize, and subject to being tossed to and fro and buffeted by the forces of the world and the works of the evil one.

There can be no question that gambling dulls the spiritual sensitivities of those who participate in it. In that terrible effect we may identify gamblings most far-reaching and evil influence. Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Council of the Twelve (18721952) gave vivid expression to this thought:

They who gamble, who walk with chance, suffer degeneration of character; they become spiritually flabby; they end as enemies of a wholesome society. A gambling den, however beautifully housed, is the ugliest place on earth. The tense participants live in a silence broken only, over the tables, by the swish of the wings of darkness. There is an ever-present brooding spirit of horror of an unknown evil. It is the devils own home.10

What I have said about gambling should be understood to include playing cards for money, betting on horses and athletic contests (including office pools on the world series), casino gambling in all its forms, lotteries, raffles, bingo for money, and dice.

I further suggest that the same spirit of gambling, the same reckless wagering on the chance turn of events, characterizes some forms of investments. The same evils that attend a throw of the dice for money can attend the person who casually puts his money on a highly speculative stock or commodity investment. I know of no better test in this area than that suggested by President Joseph F. Smith, who remarked:

The element of chance enters very largely into everything we undertake, and it should be remembered that the spirit in which we do things decides very largely whether we are gambling or are entering into legitimate business enterprises.11

One type of gambling that has been vigorously criticized by our leaders is card playing. Cards may, of course, be played without playing for money, but the relationship between card playing and gambling is so close and the practice of card playing itself partakes of so many of the disadvantages of gambling that card playing has come under condemnation regardless of whether or not gambling is involved.

Elder Widtsoe criticized card playing on the grounds that it was habit forming and a waste of time. He declared:

It has been observed through centuries of experience that the habit of card playing becomes fixed upon a person and increases until he feels that a day without a game of cards is incomplete.

After an afternoon or evening at card-playing, nothing has been changed, no new knowledge, thoughts, or visions have come, no new hopes or aspirations have been generated, except for another opportunity to waste precious hours. It leads nowhere; it is a dead-end road. Dull and deadly is a life which does not seek to immerse itself in the rapidly moving stream of new and increasing knowledge and power. Time is required to keep up with the times. We dare not waste time on pastimes that starve the soul.12

Today, with increasingly common and persuasive proposals to legalize gambling, we need a broader resolve. All of us should use our influence as citizens to combat all attempts to use the evils of gambling as a means of accomplishing some supposed social good. We should also heed the counsel of our Church leaders, who are unalterably opposed to gambling in any form whatever and who ever counsel us to keep ourselves clean and unspotted from the sins of the world.

Read the original here:

The Evils of Gambling – ensign – lds.org

The Evils of Gambling – ensign – lds.org

Montana recently adopted a new constitution that legalizes gambling. Last year the governor of Illinois signed a law legalizing bingo in the state of Illinois, when operated by charitable, religious, and fraternal organizations. New York City, through its legalized Off-Track Betting Corporation, is catering to hundreds of thousands of eager bettorsexecutives, cab drivers, secretaries, and housewives. Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, and Connecticut have all sent representatives to study New York Citys management of what is expected to be a popular and profitable source of local revenue. Last year, after decades of opposition on moral grounds, the Massachusetts legislature gave in to economic pressure by establishing a state lottery, thus making the once-puritanical Bay State the fifth state to enter the lottery business.

Government interest in gambling is spurred by the need to obtain additional sources of tax revenue to finance the increasingly expensive and widespread activities of state and local governments. Individual interest is doubtless stimulated by the additional free time and cash in the hands of our increasingly affluent society. But gamblings basic attraction for the individual has always been the lure of getting something for nothing.

In its simplest form gambling is the act of risking something of value on the outcome of a game or event that may be determined in part or entirely by chance. The attitude of the Church toward gambling is clearly set forth in the following statement by President Heber J. Grant and his counselors in the First Presidency on September 21, 1925:

The Church has been and now is unalterably opposed to gambling in any form whatever. It is opposed to any game of chance, occupation, or so-called business, which takes money from the person who may be possessed of it without giving value received in return. It is opposed to all practices the tendency of which is to encourage the spirit of reckless speculation, and particularly to that which tends to degrade or weaken the high moral standard which members of the Church, and our community at large, have always maintained.

We therefore advise and urge all members of the Church to refrain from participation in any activity which is contrary to the view herein set forth.1

Subsequent statements by leaders of the Church have elaborated on the reasons for this strong position.

Gambling is an old evil, long recognized as such. Some Oriental gambling games have been traced back to 2100 B.C. In ancient Egypt persons convicted of gambling were sent to the quarries. Gambling is denounced in the Hindu code, the Koran, and the Talmudic law. Aristotle denounced gamblers.

Gambling was widespread in the Middle Ages, especially among the nobility. But even those who practiced games of chance were willing to recognize evil in the games, at least for others. Legislation in England and France attempted to counteract the detrimental effects of gambling on servants, because it induced them to idleness or caused them to neglect archery practice, thus endangering national security.

One of the most popular forms of gambling was the lottery, which was permitted among working-class people and was common in the English-speaking world in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Queen Elizabeth proclaimed the first state lottery in England in 1576. In 1660 a lottery was even held to ransom Englishmen held in slavery in Tunis, Algiers, and on Turkish galleys. Lotteries were so widespread in the United States in the early 1800s that there were almost two hundred lottery offices in the state of New York alone. In 1832 the gross sale of lottery tickets was over $60 million, which was five times the total national budget of the U.S. government.

It has been suggested that lotteries were a popular way to finance large projects because there were few reliable banks during this period. Therefore, no regular means were available for obtaining huge sums of money except by aggregating a large number of small amounts from citizens of limited means.

Whatever the merit of that suggestion, in the first half of the 1800s there was a public revulsion against the lottery. By 1850 many state constitutions had provisions forbidding lotteries and other forms of gambling. In many states these same constitutional provisions stand as barriers to legal gambling today, and they are under attack.

Opposition to lotteries first came in England in 1773, when the city of London petitioned the House of Commons to abolish lotteries because they were hurting the commerce of the kingdom and threatening the welfare and prosperity of the people. In 1808 the Commons appointed a select committee to inquire into the evils attending lotteries. The committee report, which helped to abolish lotteries in England a few years later, is so current that it could have been written last week instead of over 160 years ago.

The committee reported cases in which people living in comfort and respectability had been reduced to poverty and distress; cases of domestic quarrels, assaults, and the ruin of family peace; and cases of fathers deserting their families, mothers neglecting their children, wives robbing their husbands of the earnings of months and years, and people pawning clothes, beds, and wedding rings, in order to indulge in the speculation.

In other cases, the committee reported, children had robbed their parents, servants their masters; suicides had been committed, and almost every crime that can be imagined had been occasioned, either directly or indirectly, through the baneful influence of lotteries.2

In its final report the committee concluded that the foundation of the lottery system was so radically vicious that no method of regulation could be devised that would permit Parliament to adopt it as an efficacious source of revenue and at the same time divest it of all its attendant evils.

At a time when state lotteries are being touted as an attractive way to raise badly needed public funds, it is well to recall that a lottery is the most regressive of all revenue measures. Even more than the unpopular sales tax, its burdens fall most heavily on the poor, who are the principal patrons of this type of gambling.

There can be no doubt that gambling is big business in the United States. Expert estimates of the annual amount of illegal gambling vary from $7 billion to $50 billion a year, with $20 billion being the most popular estimate. That figure amounts to approximately $100 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. The estimated total annual profits amount to about $6 to $7 billion a year. This figure is 50 percent more than the combined 1970 profits of American Telephone and Telegraph, General Motors, IBM, and Standard Oil of New Jersey.

In 1962 United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy called attention to the overwhelming cost of gambling:

the American people are spending more on gambling than on medical care or education; in so doing, they are putting up the money for the corruption of public officials and the vicious activities of the dope peddlers, loan sharks, bootleggers, white slave traders, and slick confidence men. Investigation this past year by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, the Narcotics Bureau, the Post Office Department, and all other federal investigative units has disclosed without any shadow of a doubt that corruption and racketeering, financed largely by gambling, are weakening the vitality and strength of this nation.3

Today there are many proposals to legalize gambling. Some urge this as a way to obtain new tax revenues, citing the examples of Spain, Norway, Sweden, France, Australia, and twenty other governments whose national lotteries provide significant revenues to state treasuries. Others propose to legalize gambling because they contend that this would weaken organized crime by drying up one of its principal sources of financial support. It is also urged that legalized gambling would reduce the amount of graft and illegal payoffs to public officials.

Still others want to legalize gambling because they feel that it is impossible to enforce laws against it. According to this line of argument, the only effect of laws against gambling is to raise the price of gambling and therefore increase the profits of those of the criminal element who conduct the illegal enterprise.

Closely examined, none of these arguments for legalized gambling is persuasive. When the late Thomas E. Dewey was governor of New York, he answered these arguments, declaring:

The entire history of legalized gambling in this country and abroad shows that it has brought nothing but poverty, crime and corruption, demoralization of moral standards, and ultimately lower living standards and misery for all the people.4

The late J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is quoted as saying: If you think legalizing games of chance starves out the criminals, look at Las Vegas, where the games are legal, yet the hoods still deal themselves in and related vices flourish.

In urging the state of Alaska not to legalize gambling as an economic panacea, Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin gave these additional financial reasons: The idea that gambling would increase revenues is an illusion. Every dollar raised from gambling would mean five dollars spent in higher police costs, higher court costs, higher penitentiary costs, and higher relief costs.5

In addition to all of these reasons, gambling should not be legalized because it is immoral. The law is, of course, too imperfect an instrument to condemn all immoral conduct. Although to hate is immoral, the law cannot efficiently condemn that sin. But gambling is different. Its evils can fairly be measured in the lives of those who are affected by it.

Few would urge that the law promote gambling; yet to legalize gambling would have just that result. The law has an important standard-setting function. A law legalizing gambling would, in the eyes of many, be understood as a formal declaration that this kind of conduct is moral, proper, and expected. Persons now deterred from participating in gambling because they believe it to be illegal and immoral would be encouraged to participate.

Gambling is especially pernicious when it is administered by government or when government relies on it for a substantial source of tax revenues. In times when our governments appetite for taxes seems insatiable, government officials who depend on gambling for a share of the public budget would have a strong temptation to promote gambling and to protect it from opposition.

Those who doubt the force of this argument should consider the history of efforts to impose more stringent government controls on that deadly producttobacco. These efforts are commonly and forcefully resisted on the grounds that the vitally needed health measures would reduce essential tax revenues, disrupt the economics of certain states, and cause much unemployment.

Let us not allow gambling to obtain the same hold on our government and lawful businesses. Government should work to refine the moral sensitivities of its citizens, not pander to their weaknesses.

There are at least five reasons why our Church leaders have urged us to avoid gambling and to fight this evil practice in our communities.

First, gambling weakens the ethics of work, industry, thrift, and servicethe foundation of national prosperityby holding out the seductive lure of something for nothing. By the same token, gambling encourages idleness, with all of its resulting bad effects for society.

President Joseph F. Smith, sixth president of the Church, gave this emphasis to the importance of the ethic of work in the gospel of Jesus Christ:

We do not feel that it is possible for men to be really good and faithful Christian people unless they can also be good, faithful, honest and industrious people. Therefore, we preach the gospel of economy, the gospel of sobriety. We preach that the idler shall not eat the bread of the laborer, and that the idler is not entitled to an inheritance in Zion.6

President Stephen L Richards of the First Presidency (18791959) said that gambling proceeds upon the assumption that one has to lose for another to gain. He then declared that the element of chance in gambling leads those who indulge in it to believe that chance is the controlling and dominant influence in life. And so obsessed do some people become with it that they cannot contemplate or think of any other way in which to increase their means and their income except by taking the chance that gambling affords.7

A second evil of gambling is that it promotes greed and covetousness and inevitably involves and encourages the base practice of overreaching and taking from ones neighbor. A Methodist minister, Lycurgus M. Starkey, Jr., of the St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri, concluded an attack on gambling with words that every Latter-day Saint should recognize as familiar doctrine:

The good Christians love of neighbor will stand against every practice which hinders the growth of the human spirit toward the likeness of Christ or which breaks down the structures of justice in society. The Christian will himself refrain from gambling and from publicly endorsing it in any form, realizing that gambling is detrimental to the purpose of life as revealed in Jesus Christ.8

A third evil of gambling is its tendency to corrupt the participant. We are all familiar with cases in which trusted employees have ruined their lives and brought disgrace and tragedy upon themselves and their families by stealing their employers money. All too often the sordid story is traceable to a desperate attempt to pay gambling debts or to finance further gambling activities.

The temptations of the gambler are such that persons in responsible positions in government and private industry will not hire or retain as employees those who are known to gamble. In recounting the undesirable side effects of gambling, mention must also be made of the fact that gambling is often accompanied by indulgence in alcohol and other vices.

A fourth disadvantage, one cited by persons not concerned with the moral effects of gambling, is the extraordinary waste of time involved in it. Those who while away their hours gambling frequently do so to the neglect of family and work.

Time wasted in gambling becomes more significant when we reflect that many persons who indulge in gambling become addicted to it. The late Elder Richard L. Evans of the Council of the Twelve (19061971) made this statement:

The spirit of gambling is a progressive thing. Usually it begins modestly; and then, like many other hazardous habits, it often grows beyond control. At best it wastes time and produces nothing. At worst it becomes a ruinous obsession and fosters false living by encouraging the futile belief that we can continually get something for nothing.9

The fifth and final condemnation of gambling follows from other disadvantages already discussed. Whenever we as Latter-day Saints engage in any kind of conduct that is inconsistent with the companionship of the Spirit of the Lord, we pay an enormous price. Left without the sustaining influence of that Spirit, we are vulnerable to temptation, prone to criticize, and subject to being tossed to and fro and buffeted by the forces of the world and the works of the evil one.

There can be no question that gambling dulls the spiritual sensitivities of those who participate in it. In that terrible effect we may identify gamblings most far-reaching and evil influence. Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Council of the Twelve (18721952) gave vivid expression to this thought:

They who gamble, who walk with chance, suffer degeneration of character; they become spiritually flabby; they end as enemies of a wholesome society. A gambling den, however beautifully housed, is the ugliest place on earth. The tense participants live in a silence broken only, over the tables, by the swish of the wings of darkness. There is an ever-present brooding spirit of horror of an unknown evil. It is the devils own home.10

What I have said about gambling should be understood to include playing cards for money, betting on horses and athletic contests (including office pools on the world series), casino gambling in all its forms, lotteries, raffles, bingo for money, and dice.

I further suggest that the same spirit of gambling, the same reckless wagering on the chance turn of events, characterizes some forms of investments. The same evils that attend a throw of the dice for money can attend the person who casually puts his money on a highly speculative stock or commodity investment. I know of no better test in this area than that suggested by President Joseph F. Smith, who remarked:

The element of chance enters very largely into everything we undertake, and it should be remembered that the spirit in which we do things decides very largely whether we are gambling or are entering into legitimate business enterprises.11

One type of gambling that has been vigorously criticized by our leaders is card playing. Cards may, of course, be played without playing for money, but the relationship between card playing and gambling is so close and the practice of card playing itself partakes of so many of the disadvantages of gambling that card playing has come under condemnation regardless of whether or not gambling is involved.

Elder Widtsoe criticized card playing on the grounds that it was habit forming and a waste of time. He declared:

It has been observed through centuries of experience that the habit of card playing becomes fixed upon a person and increases until he feels that a day without a game of cards is incomplete.

After an afternoon or evening at card-playing, nothing has been changed, no new knowledge, thoughts, or visions have come, no new hopes or aspirations have been generated, except for another opportunity to waste precious hours. It leads nowhere; it is a dead-end road. Dull and deadly is a life which does not seek to immerse itself in the rapidly moving stream of new and increasing knowledge and power. Time is required to keep up with the times. We dare not waste time on pastimes that starve the soul.12

Today, with increasingly common and persuasive proposals to legalize gambling, we need a broader resolve. All of us should use our influence as citizens to combat all attempts to use the evils of gambling as a means of accomplishing some supposed social good. We should also heed the counsel of our Church leaders, who are unalterably opposed to gambling in any form whatever and who ever counsel us to keep ourselves clean and unspotted from the sins of the world.

View original post here:

The Evils of Gambling – ensign – lds.org

Gambling Is Morally Wrong, Politically Unwise, says …

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Council of the Twelve, speaking at a Ricks College devotional assembly January 6, said gambling is both morally wrong and politically unwise.

He noted that lotteries and other forms of gambling are immoral and said that it is regrettable that governments would tolerate gambling and reprehensible that they would promote it.

Elder Oaks quoted the current First Presidency and earlier Church leaders in emphasizing the Churchs unyielding opposition to gambling in any form. He also quoted journalists, representatives of other religions, and government agencies who warn of the evils of gambling.

Gambling is a game of chance that takes without giving value in return, he said, adding that news coverage of lotteries and other gambling only tells of the winners. All are encouraged to ignore the reality that the winner has been enriched at the expense of a multitude of losers.

A state-sponsored lottery, he said, is sugar-coated with the phony sweetness of a good cause, such as responding to state financial needs, while both moral and financial costs are ignored.

Gambling tends to corrupt its participants, Elder Oaks said. Its philosophy of something for nothing undermines the virtues of work, industry, thrift, and service to others.

Elder Oaks, a onetime state supreme court justice and former president of Brigham Young University, said gamblers commonly deprive themselves, often impoverish their families, and sometimes steal from others to finance their indulgence.

Seemingly innocent state-sponsored lotteries, he said, can ultimately lead to highly visible public gambling with its associated immoral influences of crime, prostitution, and alcohol.

Regarding political objections to gambling, Elder Oaks said, Gambling is bad political policy. A law that permits gambling is hard to justify, and a law that sponsors or promotes gambling is a sure loser.

He cited several reasons gambling is politically unwise, including the fact that gambling undercuts productivity and encourages crime.

The philosophy of something for nothing or sometimes for far less than it is worth is at the root of a multitude of crimes: theft, robbery, looting, embezzlement, fraud, and many other kinds of plunder.

Elder Oaks quoted the editor of Saturday Review who said of New York States legalization of gambling, The first thing that is obvious is that New York State itself has become a predator in a way that the Mafia could never hope to match.

Gambling is also a costly way to raise revenue for public purposes, he said, citing the fact that between sixty to seventy-five cents of every dollar spent on lottery tickets goes to operating expenses and prizes. In contrast, most methods of state taxation cost only one to two cents to bring in each dollar of revenue. Elder Oaks quoted the 2 September 1986 issue of Newsweek: The strongest case against lotteries may simply be that they are inefficient.

Experience has shown, Elder Oaks said, that the effects of gambling impose increased government expenditures for social welfare and law enforcement.

The social effects of gambling have been noted throughout history, he said, citing the experience England had with lotteries in the nineteenth century. A Parliamentary committee described the effects of lotteries in 1808. The committee noted that people who had lived in comfort and respectability were reduced to poverty and distress, domestic quarrels, assaults, and the ruin of family peace; fathers deserting their families, mothers neglecting their children, wives robbing their husbands of the earnings of months and years, and people pawning clothing, beds, and wedding rings in order to indulge in speculation. England abolished lotteries a few years later.

Elder Oaks said advocates of legalized gambling argue that their games will eliminate illegal gambling, but there is no evidence that this has occurred. Instead, legalized gambling wins new participants, which expand the market and the potential revenues of illegal gambling.

He also noted that state lotteries provide only a small percentage of government revenues and that they primarily benefit only businesses such as gambling suppliers and convenience stores.

As should be evident to every thinking person, a high proportion of all legislation has a moral base, he said. That is true of all the criminal law, most of the laws regulating families, businesses, and commercial transactions, many of the laws governing property, and a host of others.

Jesus taught us to give, Elder Oaks said. Satan, the adversary, teaches men to takeforcibly if necessary, deviously if feasible, continuously if possible. Whatever encourages men to take from one another without giving value in return serves the cause of Satan.

Gambling is a game of chance that takes without giving value in return, he added.

Elder Oaks quoted the words of Elder Richard L. Evans, formerly of the Quorum of the Twelve, regarding gambling: At best it wastes time and produces nothing. At worst it becomes a ruinous obsession and fosters false living by encouraging the futile belief that we can continually get something for nothing.

In conclusion, Elder Oaks urged Latter-day Saints to oppose and avoid participation in gambling in every form. If members of our Church do not oppose immoral and pernicious practices, who will? If not now, when? We can make a difference! May God help us to do so.

Go here to read the rest:

Gambling Is Morally Wrong, Politically Unwise, says …

Gambling – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opposed to gambling, including lotteries sponsored by governments. Church leaders have encouraged Church members to join with others in opposing the legalization and government sponsorship of any form of gambling.

Gambling is motivated by a desire to get something for nothing. This desire is spiritually destructive. It leads participants away from the Savior’s teachings of love and service and toward the selfishness of the adversary. It undermines the virtues of work and thrift and the desire to give honest effort in all we do.

Those who participate in gambling soon discover the deception in the idea that they can give little or nothing and receive something of value in return. They find that they give up large amounts of money, their own honor, and the respect of family members and friends. Deceived and addicted, they often gamble with funds they should use for other purposes, such as meeting the basic needs of their families. Gamblers sometimes become so enslaved and so desperate to pay gambling debts that they turn to stealing, giving up their own good name.

Read the rest here:

Gambling – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Gambling | Britannica.com

Gambling, the betting or staking of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on the outcome of a game, a contest, or an uncertain event whose result may be determined by chance or accident or have an unexpected result by reason of the bettors miscalculation.

The outcomes of gambling games may be determined by chance alone, as in the purely random activity of a tossed pair of dice or of the ball on a roulette wheel, or by physical skill, training, or prowess in athletic contests, or by a combination of strategy and chance. The rules by which gambling games are played sometimes serve to confuse the relationship between the components of the game, which depend on skill and chance, so that some players may be able to manipulate the game to serve their own interests. Thus, knowledge of the game is useful for playing poker or betting on horse racing but is of very little use for purchasing lottery tickets or playing slot machines.

A gambler may participate in the game itself while betting on its outcome (card games, craps), or he may be prevented from any active participation in an event in which he has a stake (professional athletics, lotteries). Some games are dull or nearly meaningless without the accompanying betting activity and are rarely played unless wagering occurs (coin tossing, poker, dice games, lotteries). In other games betting is not intrinsically part of the game, and the association is merely conventional and not necessary to the performance of the game itself (horse racing, football pools). Commercial establishments such as casinos and racetracks may organize gambling when a portion of the money wagered by patrons can be easily acquired by participation as a favoured party in the game, by rental of space, or by withdrawing a portion of the betting pool. Some activities of very large scale (horse racing, lotteries) usually require commercial and professional organizations to present and maintain them efficiently.

Read More on This Topic

sports: Gambling and sports

One of the most popular forms of gambling is wagering on sports, which taps into the passion of sports fans. A bet placed on a race or a game allows fans to prove their knowledge of a sport or to show their

A rough estimate of the amount of money legally wagered annually in the world is about $10 trillion (illegal gambling may exceed even this figure). In terms of total turnover, lotteries are the leading form of gambling worldwide. State-licensed or state-operated lotteries expanded rapidly in Europe and the United States during the late 20th century and are widely distributed throughout most of the world. Organized football (soccer) pools can be found in nearly all European countries, several South American countries, Australia, and a few African and Asian countries. Most of these countries also offer either state-organized or state-licensed wagering on other sporting events.

Betting on horse racing is a leading form of gambling in English-speaking countries and in France. It also exists in many other countries. Wherever horse racing is popular, it has usually become a major business, with its own newspapers and other periodicals, extensive statistical services, self-styled experts who sell advice on how to bet, and sophisticated communication networks that furnish information to betting centres, bookmakers and their employees, and workers involved with the care and breeding of horses. The same is true, to a smaller extent, of dog racing. The emergence of satellite broadcasting technology has led to the creation of so-called off-track betting facilities, in which bettors watch live telecasts at locations away from the racetrack.

Casinos or gambling houses have existed at least since the 17th century. In the 20th century they became commonplace and assumed almost a uniform character throughout the world. In Europe and South America they are permitted at many or most holiday resorts but not always in cities. In the United States casinos were for many years legal only in Nevada and New Jersey and, by special license, in Puerto Rico, but most other states now allow casino gambling, and betting facilities operate clandestinely throughout the country, often through corruption of political authorities. Roulette is one of the principal gambling games in casinos throughout France and Monaco and is popular throughout the world. Craps is the principal dice game at most American casinos. Slot and video poker machines are a mainstay of casinos in the United States and Europe and also are found in thousands of private clubs, restaurants, and other establishments; they are also common in Australia. Among the card games played at casinos, baccarat, in its popular form chemin de fer, has remained a principal gambling game in Great Britain and in the continental casinos most often patronized by the English at Deauville, Biarritz, and the Riviera resorts. Faro, at one time the principal gambling game in the United States, has become obsolete. Blackjack is the principal card game in American casinos. The French card game trente et quarante (or rouge et noir) is played at Monte-Carlo and a few other continental casinos. Many other games may also be found in some casinosfor example, sic bo, fan-tan, and pai-gow poker in Asia and local games such as boule, banca francesa, and kalooki in Europe.

At the start of the 21st century, poker exploded in popularity, principally through the high visibility of poker tournaments broadcast on television and the proliferation of Internet playing venues. Another growing form of Internet gambling is the so-called betting exchangesInternet Web sites on which players make wagers with one another, with the Web site taking a small cut of each wager in exchange for organizing and handling the transaction.

In a wide sense of the word, stock markets may also be considered a form of gambling, albeit one in which skill and knowledge on the part of the bettors play a considerable part. This also goes for insurance; paying the premium on ones life insurance is, in effect, a bet that one will die within a specified time. If one wins (dies), the win is paid out to ones relatives, and if one loses (survives the specified time), the wager (premium) is kept by the insurance company, which acts as a bookmaker and sets the odds (payout ratios) according to actuarial data. These two forms of gambling are considered beneficial to society, the former acquiring venture capital and the latter spreading statistical risks.

Events or outcomes that are equally probable have an equal chance of occurring in each instance. In games of pure chance, each instance is a completely independent one; that is, each play has the same probability as each of the others of producing a given outcome. Probability statements apply in practice to a long series of events but not to individual ones. The law of large numbers is an expression of the fact that the ratios predicted by probability statements are increasingly accurate as the number of events increases, but the absolute number of outcomes of a particular type departs from expectation with increasing frequency as the number of repetitions increases. It is the ratios that are accurately predictable, not the individual events or precise totals.

The probability of a favourable outcome among all possibilities can be expressed: probability (p) equals the total number of favourable outcomes (f) divided by the total number of possibilities (t), or p = f/t. But this holds only in situations governed by chance alone. In a game of tossing two dice, for example, the total number of possible outcomes is 36 (each of six sides of one die combined with each of six sides of the other), and the number of ways to make, say, a seven is six (made by throwing 1 and 6, 2 and 5, 3 and 4, 4 and 3, 5 and 2, or 6 and 1); therefore, the probability of throwing a seven is 6/36, or 1/6.

In most gambling games it is customary to express the idea of probability in terms of odds against winning. This is simply the ratio of the unfavourable possibilities to the favourable ones. Because the probability of throwing a seven is 1/6, on average one throw in six would be favourable and five would not; the odds against throwing a seven are therefore 5 to 1. The probability of getting heads in a toss of a coin is 1/2; the odds are 1 to 1, called even. Care must be used in interpreting the phrase on average, which applies most accurately to a large number of cases and is not useful in individual instances. A common gamblers fallacy, called the doctrine of the maturity of the chances (or the Monte-Carlo fallacy), falsely assumes that each play in a game of chance is dependent on the others and that a series of outcomes of one sort should be balanced in the short run by the other possibilities. A number of systems have been invented by gamblers largely on the basis of this fallacy; casino operators are happy to encourage the use of such systems and to exploit any gamblers neglect of the strict rules of probability and independent plays. An interesting example of a game where each play is dependent on previous plays, however, is blackjack, where cards already dealt from the dealing shoe affect the composition of the remaining cards; for example, if all of the aces (worth 1 or 11 points) have been dealt, it is no longer possible to achieve a natural (a 21 with two cards). This fact forms the basis for some systems where it is possible to overcome the house advantage.

In some games an advantage may go to the dealer, the banker (the individual who collects and redistributes the stakes), or some other participant. Therefore, not all players have equal chances to win or equal payoffs. This inequality may be corrected by rotating the players among the positions in the game. Commercial gambling operators, however, usually make their profits by regularly occupying an advantaged position as the dealer, or they may charge money for the opportunity to play or subtract a proportion of money from the wagers on each play. In the dice game of crapswhich is among the major casino games offering the gambler the most favourable oddsthe casino returns to winners from 3/5 of 1 percent to 27 percent less than the fair odds, depending on the type of bet made. Depending on the bet, the house advantage (vigorish) for roulette in American casinos varies from about 5.26 to 7.89 percent, and in European casinos it varies from 1.35 to 2.7 percent. The house must always win in the long run. Some casinos also add rules that enhance their profits, especially rules that limit the amounts that may be staked under certain circumstances.

Many gambling games include elements of physical skill or strategy as well as of chance. The game of poker, like most other card games, is a mixture of chance and strategy that also involves a considerable amount of psychology. Betting on horse racing or athletic contests involves the assessment of a contestants physical capacity and the use of other evaluative skills. In order to ensure that chance is allowed to play a major role in determining the outcomes of such games, weights, handicaps, or other correctives may be introduced in certain cases to give the contestants approximately equal opportunities to win, and adjustments may be made in the payoffs so that the probabilities of success and the magnitudes of the payoffs are put in inverse proportion to each other. Pari-mutuel pools in horse-race betting, for example, reflect the chances of various horses to win as anticipated by the players. The individual payoffs are large for those bettors whose winning horses are backed by relatively few bettors and small if the winners are backed by a relatively large proportion of the bettors; the more popular the choice, the lower the individual payoff. The same holds true for betting with bookmakers on athletic contests (illegal in most of the United States but legal in England). Bookmakers ordinarily accept bets on the outcome of what is regarded as an uneven match by requiring the side more likely to win to score more than a simple majority of points; this procedure is known as setting a point spread. In a game of American or Canadian football, for example, the more highly regarded team would have to win by, say, more than 10 points to yield an even payoff to its backers.

Unhappily, these procedures for maintaining the influence of chance can be interfered with; cheating is possible and reasonably easy in most gambling games. Much of the stigma attached to gambling has resulted from the dishonesty of some of its promoters and players, and a large proportion of modern gambling legislation is written to control cheating. More laws have been oriented to efforts by governments to derive tax revenues from gambling than to control cheating, however.

Gambling is one of mankinds oldest activities, as evidenced by writings and equipment found in tombs and other places. It was regulated, which as a rule meant severely curtailed, in the laws of ancient China and Rome as well as in the Jewish Talmud and by Islam and Buddhism, and in ancient Egypt inveterate gamblers could be sentenced to forced labour in the quarries. The origin of gambling is considered to be divinatory: by casting marked sticks and other objects and interpreting the outcome, man sought knowledge of the future and the intentions of the gods. From this it was a very short step to betting on the outcome of the throws. The Bible contains many references to the casting of lots to divide property. One well-known instance is the casting of lots by Roman guards (which in all likelihood meant that they threw knucklebones) for the garment of Jesus during the Crucifixion. This is mentioned in all four of the Gospels and has been used for centuries as a warning example by antigambling crusaders. However, in ancient times casting lots was not considered to be gambling in the modern sense but instead was connected with inevitable destiny, or fate. Anthropologists have also pointed to the fact that gambling is more prevalent in societies where there is a widespread belief in gods and spirits whose benevolence may be sought. The casting of lots, not infrequently dice, has been used in many cultures to dispense justice and point out criminals at trialsin Sweden as late as 1803. The Greek word for justice, dike, comes from a word that means to throw, in the sense of throwing dice.

European history is riddled with edicts, decrees, and encyclicals banning and condemning gambling, which indirectly testify to its popularity in all strata of society. Organized gambling on a larger scale and sanctioned by governments and other authorities in order to raise money began in the 15th century with lotteriesand centuries earlier in China with keno. With the advent of legal gambling houses in the 17th century, mathematicians began to take a serious interest in games with randomizing equipment (such as dice and cards), out of which grew the field of probability theory.

Apart from forerunners in ancient Rome and Greece, organized sanctioned sports betting dates back to the late 18th century. About that time there began a gradual, albeit irregular, shift in the official attitude toward gambling, from considering it a sin to considering it a vice and a human weakness and, finally, to seeing it as a mostly harmless and even entertaining activity. Additionally, the Internet has made many forms of gambling accessible on an unheard-of scale. By the beginning of the 21st century, approximately four out of five people in Western nations gambled at least occasionally. The swelling number of gamblers in the 20th century highlighted the personal and social problem of pathological gambling, in which individuals are unable to control or limit their gambling. During the 1980s and 90s, pathological gambling was recognized by medical authorities in several countries as a cognitive disorder that afflicts slightly more than 1 percent of the population, and various treatment and therapy programs were developed to deal with the problem.

View post:

Gambling | Britannica.com

Gambling – definition of gambling by The Free Dictionary

Their laws were gambling laws–how to play the game.Had I been playing for myself, I think I should have left at once, and never have embarked upon gambling at all, for I could feel my heart beginning to beat, and my heart was anything but cold-blooded.The only excesses indulged in by this temperate and exemplary people, appear to be gambling and horseracing.He had looked on at a great deal of gambling in Paris, watching it as if it had been a disease.In a row, against the opposite wall, were the gambling games.Dolokhov, who had reappeared that year in Moscow after his exile and his Persian adventures, and was leading a life of luxury, gambling, and dissipation, associated with his old Petersburg comrade Kuragin and made use of him for his own ends.In fact, I have no intention of going there again, since every one is for gambling, and for nothing but gambling.A FARMER being about to die, and knowing that during his illness his Sons had permitted the vineyard to become overgrown with weeds while they improved the shining hour by gambling with the doctor, said to them:A great portion of their time is passed in revelry, music, dancing, and gambling.He brought back one or two new habits with him, one of which he rather openly practiced–tippling–but concealed another, which was gambling.You were gambling with poor old Monty for his daughter’s picture against a bottle of brandy.Though Frascati’s and the Salon were open at that time in Paris, the mania for play was so widely spread that the public gambling-rooms did not suffice for the general ardour, and gambling went on in private houses as much as if there had been no public means for gratifying the passion.

Read the original post:

Gambling – definition of gambling by The Free Dictionary

Las Vegas Casinos & Gambling | Vegas.com

Gambling’s what this place is known for. If you come to town and don’t pull an arm, hold some cards or toss some dice, we have to question if you really lived it up at all. And it’s OK. If you’re new to the scene, we have some tips for you.

Bet you didn’t know this. When things got ugly during the Great Depression (mining was petering out, and people were leaving the state like barflies when the lights flicker), Nevada had a brilliant idea. They said: “Dudes. Stay. As of now gambling is legal. And guess what? So is divorce!” With two gems like that, who needed silver? Suddenly and forever after, Las Vegas was the promised land. Still today, you can gamble to your heart’s content. And get divorced (and married) whenever you want too.

See original here:

Las Vegas Casinos & Gambling | Vegas.com

Gambling – definition of gambling by The Free Dictionary

Their laws were gambling laws–how to play the game.Had I been playing for myself, I think I should have left at once, and never have embarked upon gambling at all, for I could feel my heart beginning to beat, and my heart was anything but cold-blooded.The only excesses indulged in by this temperate and exemplary people, appear to be gambling and horseracing.He had looked on at a great deal of gambling in Paris, watching it as if it had been a disease.In a row, against the opposite wall, were the gambling games.Dolokhov, who had reappeared that year in Moscow after his exile and his Persian adventures, and was leading a life of luxury, gambling, and dissipation, associated with his old Petersburg comrade Kuragin and made use of him for his own ends.In fact, I have no intention of going there again, since every one is for gambling, and for nothing but gambling.A FARMER being about to die, and knowing that during his illness his Sons had permitted the vineyard to become overgrown with weeds while they improved the shining hour by gambling with the doctor, said to them:A great portion of their time is passed in revelry, music, dancing, and gambling.He brought back one or two new habits with him, one of which he rather openly practiced–tippling–but concealed another, which was gambling.You were gambling with poor old Monty for his daughter’s picture against a bottle of brandy.Though Frascati’s and the Salon were open at that time in Paris, the mania for play was so widely spread that the public gambling-rooms did not suffice for the general ardour, and gambling went on in private houses as much as if there had been no public means for gratifying the passion.

More:

Gambling – definition of gambling by The Free Dictionary

Gambling | Britannica.com

Gambling, the betting or staking of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on the outcome of a game, a contest, or an uncertain event whose result may be determined by chance or accident or have an unexpected result by reason of the bettors miscalculation.

The outcomes of gambling games may be determined by chance alone, as in the purely random activity of a tossed pair of dice or of the ball on a roulette wheel, or by physical skill, training, or prowess in athletic contests, or by a combination of strategy and chance. The rules by which gambling games are played sometimes serve to confuse the relationship between the components of the game, which depend on skill and chance, so that some players may be able to manipulate the game to serve their own interests. Thus, knowledge of the game is useful for playing poker or betting on horse racing but is of very little use for purchasing lottery tickets or playing slot machines.

A gambler may participate in the game itself while betting on its outcome (card games, craps), or he may be prevented from any active participation in an event in which he has a stake (professional athletics, lotteries). Some games are dull or nearly meaningless without the accompanying betting activity and are rarely played unless wagering occurs (coin tossing, poker, dice games, lotteries). In other games betting is not intrinsically part of the game, and the association is merely conventional and not necessary to the performance of the game itself (horse racing, football pools). Commercial establishments such as casinos and racetracks may organize gambling when a portion of the money wagered by patrons can be easily acquired by participation as a favoured party in the game, by rental of space, or by withdrawing a portion of the betting pool. Some activities of very large scale (horse racing, lotteries) usually require commercial and professional organizations to present and maintain them efficiently.

Read More on This Topic

sports: Gambling and sports

One of the most popular forms of gambling is wagering on sports, which taps into the passion of sports fans. A bet placed on a race or a game allows fans to prove their knowledge of a sport or to show their

A rough estimate of the amount of money legally wagered annually in the world is about $10 trillion (illegal gambling may exceed even this figure). In terms of total turnover, lotteries are the leading form of gambling worldwide. State-licensed or state-operated lotteries expanded rapidly in Europe and the United States during the late 20th century and are widely distributed throughout most of the world. Organized football (soccer) pools can be found in nearly all European countries, several South American countries, Australia, and a few African and Asian countries. Most of these countries also offer either state-organized or state-licensed wagering on other sporting events.

Betting on horse racing is a leading form of gambling in English-speaking countries and in France. It also exists in many other countries. Wherever horse racing is popular, it has usually become a major business, with its own newspapers and other periodicals, extensive statistical services, self-styled experts who sell advice on how to bet, and sophisticated communication networks that furnish information to betting centres, bookmakers and their employees, and workers involved with the care and breeding of horses. The same is true, to a smaller extent, of dog racing. The emergence of satellite broadcasting technology has led to the creation of so-called off-track betting facilities, in which bettors watch live telecasts at locations away from the racetrack.

Casinos or gambling houses have existed at least since the 17th century. In the 20th century they became commonplace and assumed almost a uniform character throughout the world. In Europe and South America they are permitted at many or most holiday resorts but not always in cities. In the United States casinos were for many years legal only in Nevada and New Jersey and, by special license, in Puerto Rico, but most other states now allow casino gambling, and betting facilities operate clandestinely throughout the country, often through corruption of political authorities. Roulette is one of the principal gambling games in casinos throughout France and Monaco and is popular throughout the world. Craps is the principal dice game at most American casinos. Slot and video poker machines are a mainstay of casinos in the United States and Europe and also are found in thousands of private clubs, restaurants, and other establishments; they are also common in Australia. Among the card games played at casinos, baccarat, in its popular form chemin de fer, has remained a principal gambling game in Great Britain and in the continental casinos most often patronized by the English at Deauville, Biarritz, and the Riviera resorts. Faro, at one time the principal gambling game in the United States, has become obsolete. Blackjack is the principal card game in American casinos. The French card game trente et quarante (or rouge et noir) is played at Monte-Carlo and a few other continental casinos. Many other games may also be found in some casinosfor example, sic bo, fan-tan, and pai-gow poker in Asia and local games such as boule, banca francesa, and kalooki in Europe.

At the start of the 21st century, poker exploded in popularity, principally through the high visibility of poker tournaments broadcast on television and the proliferation of Internet playing venues. Another growing form of Internet gambling is the so-called betting exchangesInternet Web sites on which players make wagers with one another, with the Web site taking a small cut of each wager in exchange for organizing and handling the transaction.

In a wide sense of the word, stock markets may also be considered a form of gambling, albeit one in which skill and knowledge on the part of the bettors play a considerable part. This also goes for insurance; paying the premium on ones life insurance is, in effect, a bet that one will die within a specified time. If one wins (dies), the win is paid out to ones relatives, and if one loses (survives the specified time), the wager (premium) is kept by the insurance company, which acts as a bookmaker and sets the odds (payout ratios) according to actuarial data. These two forms of gambling are considered beneficial to society, the former acquiring venture capital and the latter spreading statistical risks.

Events or outcomes that are equally probable have an equal chance of occurring in each instance. In games of pure chance, each instance is a completely independent one; that is, each play has the same probability as each of the others of producing a given outcome. Probability statements apply in practice to a long series of events but not to individual ones. The law of large numbers is an expression of the fact that the ratios predicted by probability statements are increasingly accurate as the number of events increases, but the absolute number of outcomes of a particular type departs from expectation with increasing frequency as the number of repetitions increases. It is the ratios that are accurately predictable, not the individual events or precise totals.

The probability of a favourable outcome among all possibilities can be expressed: probability (p) equals the total number of favourable outcomes (f) divided by the total number of possibilities (t), or p = f/t. But this holds only in situations governed by chance alone. In a game of tossing two dice, for example, the total number of possible outcomes is 36 (each of six sides of one die combined with each of six sides of the other), and the number of ways to make, say, a seven is six (made by throwing 1 and 6, 2 and 5, 3 and 4, 4 and 3, 5 and 2, or 6 and 1); therefore, the probability of throwing a seven is 6/36, or 1/6.

In most gambling games it is customary to express the idea of probability in terms of odds against winning. This is simply the ratio of the unfavourable possibilities to the favourable ones. Because the probability of throwing a seven is 1/6, on average one throw in six would be favourable and five would not; the odds against throwing a seven are therefore 5 to 1. The probability of getting heads in a toss of a coin is 1/2; the odds are 1 to 1, called even. Care must be used in interpreting the phrase on average, which applies most accurately to a large number of cases and is not useful in individual instances. A common gamblers fallacy, called the doctrine of the maturity of the chances (or the Monte-Carlo fallacy), falsely assumes that each play in a game of chance is dependent on the others and that a series of outcomes of one sort should be balanced in the short run by the other possibilities. A number of systems have been invented by gamblers largely on the basis of this fallacy; casino operators are happy to encourage the use of such systems and to exploit any gamblers neglect of the strict rules of probability and independent plays. An interesting example of a game where each play is dependent on previous plays, however, is blackjack, where cards already dealt from the dealing shoe affect the composition of the remaining cards; for example, if all of the aces (worth 1 or 11 points) have been dealt, it is no longer possible to achieve a natural (a 21 with two cards). This fact forms the basis for some systems where it is possible to overcome the house advantage.

In some games an advantage may go to the dealer, the banker (the individual who collects and redistributes the stakes), or some other participant. Therefore, not all players have equal chances to win or equal payoffs. This inequality may be corrected by rotating the players among the positions in the game. Commercial gambling operators, however, usually make their profits by regularly occupying an advantaged position as the dealer, or they may charge money for the opportunity to play or subtract a proportion of money from the wagers on each play. In the dice game of crapswhich is among the major casino games offering the gambler the most favourable oddsthe casino returns to winners from 3/5 of 1 percent to 27 percent less than the fair odds, depending on the type of bet made. Depending on the bet, the house advantage (vigorish) for roulette in American casinos varies from about 5.26 to 7.89 percent, and in European casinos it varies from 1.35 to 2.7 percent. The house must always win in the long run. Some casinos also add rules that enhance their profits, especially rules that limit the amounts that may be staked under certain circumstances.

Many gambling games include elements of physical skill or strategy as well as of chance. The game of poker, like most other card games, is a mixture of chance and strategy that also involves a considerable amount of psychology. Betting on horse racing or athletic contests involves the assessment of a contestants physical capacity and the use of other evaluative skills. In order to ensure that chance is allowed to play a major role in determining the outcomes of such games, weights, handicaps, or other correctives may be introduced in certain cases to give the contestants approximately equal opportunities to win, and adjustments may be made in the payoffs so that the probabilities of success and the magnitudes of the payoffs are put in inverse proportion to each other. Pari-mutuel pools in horse-race betting, for example, reflect the chances of various horses to win as anticipated by the players. The individual payoffs are large for those bettors whose winning horses are backed by relatively few bettors and small if the winners are backed by a relatively large proportion of the bettors; the more popular the choice, the lower the individual payoff. The same holds true for betting with bookmakers on athletic contests (illegal in most of the United States but legal in England). Bookmakers ordinarily accept bets on the outcome of what is regarded as an uneven match by requiring the side more likely to win to score more than a simple majority of points; this procedure is known as setting a point spread. In a game of American or Canadian football, for example, the more highly regarded team would have to win by, say, more than 10 points to yield an even payoff to its backers.

Unhappily, these procedures for maintaining the influence of chance can be interfered with; cheating is possible and reasonably easy in most gambling games. Much of the stigma attached to gambling has resulted from the dishonesty of some of its promoters and players, and a large proportion of modern gambling legislation is written to control cheating. More laws have been oriented to efforts by governments to derive tax revenues from gambling than to control cheating, however.

Gambling is one of mankinds oldest activities, as evidenced by writings and equipment found in tombs and other places. It was regulated, which as a rule meant severely curtailed, in the laws of ancient China and Rome as well as in the Jewish Talmud and by Islam and Buddhism, and in ancient Egypt inveterate gamblers could be sentenced to forced labour in the quarries. The origin of gambling is considered to be divinatory: by casting marked sticks and other objects and interpreting the outcome, man sought knowledge of the future and the intentions of the gods. From this it was a very short step to betting on the outcome of the throws. The Bible contains many references to the casting of lots to divide property. One well-known instance is the casting of lots by Roman guards (which in all likelihood meant that they threw knucklebones) for the garment of Jesus during the Crucifixion. This is mentioned in all four of the Gospels and has been used for centuries as a warning example by antigambling crusaders. However, in ancient times casting lots was not considered to be gambling in the modern sense but instead was connected with inevitable destiny, or fate. Anthropologists have also pointed to the fact that gambling is more prevalent in societies where there is a widespread belief in gods and spirits whose benevolence may be sought. The casting of lots, not infrequently dice, has been used in many cultures to dispense justice and point out criminals at trialsin Sweden as late as 1803. The Greek word for justice, dike, comes from a word that means to throw, in the sense of throwing dice.

European history is riddled with edicts, decrees, and encyclicals banning and condemning gambling, which indirectly testify to its popularity in all strata of society. Organized gambling on a larger scale and sanctioned by governments and other authorities in order to raise money began in the 15th century with lotteriesand centuries earlier in China with keno. With the advent of legal gambling houses in the 17th century, mathematicians began to take a serious interest in games with randomizing equipment (such as dice and cards), out of which grew the field of probability theory.

Apart from forerunners in ancient Rome and Greece, organized sanctioned sports betting dates back to the late 18th century. About that time there began a gradual, albeit irregular, shift in the official attitude toward gambling, from considering it a sin to considering it a vice and a human weakness and, finally, to seeing it as a mostly harmless and even entertaining activity. Additionally, the Internet has made many forms of gambling accessible on an unheard-of scale. By the beginning of the 21st century, approximately four out of five people in Western nations gambled at least occasionally. The swelling number of gamblers in the 20th century highlighted the personal and social problem of pathological gambling, in which individuals are unable to control or limit their gambling. During the 1980s and 90s, pathological gambling was recognized by medical authorities in several countries as a cognitive disorder that afflicts slightly more than 1 percent of the population, and various treatment and therapy programs were developed to deal with the problem.

View original post here:

Gambling | Britannica.com


12345...1020...