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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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.

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Las Vegas Casinos & Gambling | Vegas.com

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.

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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.

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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.

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Gambling – definition of gambling by The Free Dictionary

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.

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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.

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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.

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Gambling | Britannica.com

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.

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Las Vegas Casinos & Gambling | Vegas.com

Dont Bet on It!: – ensign

So whats wrong with spending a dollar for a chance to win a million? Or slipping a few cents into a slot machine, or cutting the cards, or tossing the dice? Its all right, isnt it, to place a friendly bet on the football game or the horse race?

After all, you deserve a lucky break.

A lot of people are looking for that lucky break. And theyre willing to wager that fortunes favor is just one more gamble away.

Legalized gambling is widely touted as an appropriate form of entertainment and a painless way for governments and organizationseven churchesto increase revenues. A 1982 Gallup poll showed that 82 percent of the American people approve of some form of gambling. (See Gaming Business, Nov. 1982, pp. 57.)

This trend is obvious in many countries around the world. In the United States, for example, gambling of one kind or another is already legal in forty-six of the fifty states; only Hawaii, Indiana, Mississippi, and Utah prohibit itand proposed legislation would shorten even that brief list.

Government-operated lotteries are allowed in twenty-two states and in Washington, D.C., and legislators in other states are currently proposing additional state-run lotteries. Some officials even endorse a national lottery.

Thirty-six states allow pari-mutuel gamblingbetting on such competitions as horse and dog races.

Casino gambling is legal on both sides of the countryin Nevada and in Atlantic City, New Jersey. And in January of this year, Louisianas governor encouraged legislators to legalize casino gambling in New Orleans and on Mississippi River cruise ships.

Should Latter-day Saints be concerned about this trend? Whats wrong with gambling if it is controlled and regulated? Proponents point to many noble benefits, such as a lower tax burden, more money for education and other worthy causes, and a way to fight illegal gambling and organized crime. And it provides a chance, they say, for average people to get rich quick.

If you dont make a fortune, some people reason, at least youll have a good time.

Dont bet on it! According to Latter-day Saint leaders, the stakes in gambling are too high. And the list of losers includes everyone who plays.

Some may object to such strong statements. What could it hurt, really, to do a little harmless gambling now and then? You dont see people quitting their jobs just because they bought a lottery ticket. Why do we need to become involved in opposing it?

In 1972, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, then president of Brigham Young University, examined five reasons. Included in his discussion were such activities as playing cards for money and betting on horses. He also mentioned casino gambling, lotteries, raffles, bingo for money, and dice. (See Ensign, Nov. 1972, p. 47.)

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. (Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Nov. 1972, p. 45.)

The idea of getting gain without earning it is contrary to scriptural admonitions, both ancient and modern. Reward is clearly tied to labor. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, Adam was told. (Gen 3:19.) The labourer is worthy of his hire, said the Savior. (Luke 10:7.) Blessings are for those who work with their talentsnot for the idle. (See Matt. 25:2428.)

Nephi taught his people to be industrious. (See 2 Ne. 5:17.) King Benjamin worked for his own living rather than burdening others. (See Mosiah 2:14.) Mosiah taught that priests and teachers should labor with their own hands for their support. (Mosiah 27:5.)

In our own day, the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith that the Church cannot be built up by those who expect others to support them: He that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer. (D&C 42:42.)

Gambling disregards this divine directive. Those who gamble are seeking to receive what they have not earned.

Even a small payoff is counter to the spirit of the work ethic. The size of the prize is irrelevanteven if the gambler breaks even. The deterioration and damage comes to the person, whether he wins or loses, to get something for nothing, something without effort, something without paying the full price, said President Spencer W. Kimball. (Ensign, May 1975, p. 6.)

In the process, the gamblers view of realityof the relationship between work and chancecan become distorted. Those who work for an honest livingand yet who gamble for that elusive stroke of luckcan misguide themselves into thinking that chance is the governing force in life. President Stephen L Richards said, 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. (Where Is Wisdom? Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1955, p. 55.)

To some extent, this mistaken view of life is also encouraged by sweepstakes and giveaways promoted by some advertisers. Even though the consumer may not have to pay to enter the competition, he is enticed into playing a game of chanceand into believing that life and prosperity are determined by happenstance.

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. (Oaks, p. 46.)

Greed is indeed a strong motivation for most gamblers. How many, when asked why theyve bought lottery tickets, will respond that theyre doing it to pay for education and the care of the elderly?

Small winnings rarely satisfy. Lean payoffs usually increase the urge to try for higher and higher stakes. The odds are pretty good that the occasional gambler who plays the slot machines just for funto see how long a roll of coins will lastwill keep going until both his initial investment and his earnings have disappeared. Even the $5.6 million winner in the 1982 New York lottery still buys lottery ticketsat $20 a shotto get another piece of the dream. (Newsweek, 2 Sept. 1985, p. 18.)

One reason greed is so devastating is that it leads the gambler to try to get rich at someone elses expense. As President Stephen L Richards said, gambling proceeds upon the assumption that one has to lose for another to gain. (Where Is Wisdom? Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1955, p. 54.)

This is true for everything from the penny-ante poker game, where the loser is out only a few cents, to the horse race, where lifetime savings can be lost by the margin of a few millimeters.

How can activities of this kind be condoned in light of the Saviors commandment to love one another? And how can the loser help but covet what he has lostas well as what he hasnt gained?

Greed and covetousness can be especially damaging to human relationships when friends compete against friends for material gain. When all participants in a game pay an equal amount for a chance at the prize, some losers may resent their lossand feelings of good-will can easily dissipate.

President Brigham Young understood this possibility. When urging the Relief Society against raffling quilts to benefit the poor, he suggested that the sisters contribute the money they would have wagered for the quilt and then donate the quilt to a needy person. In this way, they would prevent jealousy and dissension and still accomplish their charitable purposes. (See Juvenile Instructor, 1 Oct. 1902, p. 593.)

Greed afflicts governments, too. When gambling is legalized, government officials begin to count on its revenues; yet, no matter how much money comes in, the states appetite usually keeps growing. And as the need for more and more painless tax revenue rises, or as profits from state-operated gambling diminish, the government finds itself in the position of aggressively promoting gambling, where it had earlier prohibited or simply tolerated it. Instead of protecting its citizens from being victimized by the lure of gambling, the state mounts massive advertising campaigns to encourage people to participate. Citizens who otherwise may have opposed gambling embrace it because of the governments endorsement.

Gambling, whether it is promoted by the state or by your next-door neighbor, is just not worth the effort.

No amount of money is worth the damage to personal relationships and the loss of integrity that often follow gambling. The odds that youll strike it rich through gamblingespecially playing the lotteryare very slim anyway. In recent U.S. lotteries, for example, odds of winning the jackpot were one in 1.9 million in Massachusetts, one in 3.5 million in New York, and one in 9 million in Ohio. (See The Charlotte Observer, 10 Mar. 1984, p. 9A; Washington Post, 13 May 1984, p. A7; USA Today, 3 Aug. 1984, p. 3A.)

Unfortunately, the majority of the losers cant afford to lose. Newsweek (2 Sept. 1985, p. 16) describes some of the victims:

The poor. A Maryland study found that the poorest one-third of state households bought half of all weekly lottery tickets and 60 percent of daily-game tickets. One churchman calls the lottery the sale of an illusion to poor people who view it as the only possibility for breaking out of the cycle of poverty they live in.

Minorities. Seventy percent of those who buy my tickets are poor, black or Hispanic, says the busiest lottery agent in New York.

The elderly. A seventy-three-year-old man spent $75 of his monthly pension check on ticketsand fought the urge to run home for the $50 he keeps for emergencies. Another elderly man waited five hours in lineonly to collapse when he finally got to the counter, taking a rack of newspapers with him to the floor. His first words after being revived: Can I have my tickets, please?

It is ironic that some of the money the states bring in through lotteries is earmarked to benefit the aged and other lottery victims! Advocates for this tax are silent about the inevitable increase in taxes brought about by social problems incident to gamblingsuch as higher welfare, law enforcement, and prison costs.

State-operated lotteries are a regressive form of taxation; that is, they take a higher percentage from poorer citizens incomes than from middle- and upper-class citizens earnings. A tax by any other name is still a tax, said President Gordon B. Hinckley, except in this case the burden usually falls on the poor who can least afford to pay it. As an editorial in USA Today stated recently: Lotteries arent painlessthe overwhelming majority of players always lose. The game takes bread and money from the poor. And it is one more temptation for the compulsive gamblers who ruin careers and families with their addiction. (USA Today, 26 Aug. 1985.) In this context, it becomes a moral question. (Ensign, Nov. 1985, p. 52.)

Love of neighbor as taught by the Savior leads us to have compassion for our fellowmen, to look out for their interests as we would our own. No activity that exploits others is in keeping with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A third evil of gambling is its tendency to corrupt the participant. (Oaks, p. 46.)

A 1984 study of prisoners in New Jersey indicated that 30 percent of male and female inmates showed clear signs of addiction to gambling and had experienced marital, family, employment, and financial problems related to this addiction. Over 40 percent admitted committing illegal activities in order to gamble or pay gambling debts. (Henry R. Lesieur, Ph.D., and Robert Klein, M.H.S., Prisoners, Gambling and Crime, paper presented to the 1985 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Meetings, Las Vegas, Nevada, 31 March4 April 1985.)

Signs of gambling problems are also evident in the U.S. on the high school level. A 1984 study showed that more than 86 percent of New Jerseys high school students had gambled during the previous year; that number, which reflects Atlantic Citys legalization of casino gambling, is twenty-six percentage points higher than the 1974 figure for the entire U.S. adult population. Furthermore, 5.7 percent of New Jerseys high school students showed clear signs of pathological gambling. The percentage of gambling-related problems among the students is high: 11 percent said that gambling had harmed their family relationships; 15 percent had lied about gambling wins and losses; and 10 percent had committed crimes in order to pay for gambling. (Henry R. Lesieur, Ph.D., and Robert Klein, M.H.S., Pathological Gambling among High School Students, paper presented to the 6th National Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 912 December 1984.)

Even small-time gambling can weaken ones commitment to responsibility. What starts out as a fling can end up in tragedy when luck eludes an addicted gambler. A boy attempts suicide after squandering $6,000 on a slippery jackpot. A woman embezzles $38,000 and loses it all on the lottery. A high government official is tried for federal racketeering after prosecutors show he lost $2 million in casinos over three years.

Debtsand desperationsoar along with an unappeased appetite for one more shot at that lucky break. Reputations and lives suffer.

And all too often, one addiction can lead to another: alcoholism, drug abuse, dishonesty, immorality. The gambling spirit has proved a veritable demon of destruction to thousands, said President Joseph F. Smith. (Improvement Era, Dec. 1908, p. 144.)

Some insist that legalized gambling would stifle illegal gambling. Others, such as James E. Ritchie, former director of the Presidential Commission on the Review of the National Policy toward Gambling, say one stimulates the other. (See this and other evaluations in Larry Braidfoot, Gambling: A Deadly Game, Nashville, Tenn.: Broadman Press, 1985, pp. 8588.)

Some say legalized gambling would debilitate organized crime. Others, such as FBI Director William H. Webster, disagree: I pointed out at the time that Atlantic City was going into casinos that we knew of no situation in which legalized gambling was in place where we did not eventually have organized crime. I really dont see how one can expect to run legalized gambling anywhere without serious problems. Gambling is still the largest source of revenue for organized crime. (The American Legion Magazine, Jan. 1985, p. 14.)

A fourth disadvantage 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. (Oaks, p. 46.)

John Marcher, a character in a short novel by Henry James, lives every day of his life with the constant anticipation that something truly momentous is just about to happen to himsome terrible, extraordinary destiny is to be his. As this passion consumes him, he turns down love and other opportunities for a normal life, waiting for the inevitable. In the end, he comes to the horrifying realization that his wasted lifetime was, itself, his tragedy. (See The Beast in the Jungle, Kentfield, California: Allen Press, 1963.)

Similarly, some who are infected with a passion for gambling are sure that its only a matter of time until the inevitable happens. Yet, as the dimes and dollars slip through their fingers, time dissipates as well. And, like misspent money, it is irretrievable.

Those who spend their time gambling, said President Joseph F. Smith, are wasting hours and days of precious time in [a] useless and unprofitable way. Yet those same people when approached, declare they have no time to spend as teachers in the Sabbath schools, and no time to attend either Sunday schools or meetings. Their church duties are neglected for lack of time, yet they spend hours, day after day, at cards. (Improvement Era, Aug. 1903, 6:779.) Similar judgment could be made of those who neglect family and work responsibilities in favor of gambling.

What we become is determined, in large measure, by how we spend our time. Tell me what amusements you like best and whether your amusements have become a ruling passion in your life and I will tell you what you are, said President Joseph F. Smith. (Juvenile Instructor, 1 Sept. 1903, p. 529.)

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. (Oaks, p. 46.)

Indeed, said Elder Oaks, gamblings most far-reaching and evil influence may be that it dulls the spiritual sensitivities of those who participate in it. Without the companionship of the Lords 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. (Ensign, Nov. 1972, p. 46.)

One Latter-day Saint woman became so consumed by an appetite for playing cards, said Elder Robert L. Simpson, that she eventually gave up her calling in the Relief Society and her friendship with those with whom she had faithfully served. Sisters in the ward continuing their lives of charity and compassionate service are now termed by her as narrow-minded, as hypocritical and do-gooders, but in reality, the only thing that changed was this woman. (In Conference Report, Apr. 1969, p. 86.)

They who gamble, who walk with chance, suffer degeneration of character, said Elder John A. Widtsoe; 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. (Improvement Era, Apr. 1940, p. 225.)

The greed and selfishness associated with gambling are incompatible with the spirit of charity: Let thy bowels be full of charity towards all men, said the Lord.

The sapping of spiritual sensitivity that may occur is incompatible with the spirit of virtue: Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, He commanded.

The blessings promised to the charitable and virtuous are infinitely greater than any premium gambling may offer: Then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever. (D&C 121:4546.)

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Dont Bet on It!: – ensign

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.

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The Evils of Gambling – ensign – lds.org

Gambling – Mormon Newsroom

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Roman Soldiers Gambling

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Roman Soldiers Gambling

Gambling Addiction – Signs, Symptoms & Treatment for …

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Do you, or does someone you love enjoy playing lotto, buying lottery tickets or visiting the casino on a regular basis?Has your desire to gamble ever resulted in your spending money that you really didnt have to spend, getting in trouble or had negative effects on your relationships with friends or loved ones?Frequent gambling could be a sign of a gambling addiction.

It is estimated that gambling addiction affects somewhere between two to five percent of all American adults in some way.Many different risk factors can lead to a compulsive gambling addiction that is both difficult to cope with and equally difficult to overcome.

Gambling addiction can lead to job loss, family problems, loss of material possessions such as a house or car, health problems, problems with the law and much more.

Fortunately, there is help and treatment has been derived from many different methods of counseling and therapy to assist those who have a compulsive gambling problem with overcoming their desire to gamble and learning how to control their behaviors.

A simple desire to scratch a ticket, play a slot or visit a casino is not necessarily a sign of gambling addiction but when this desire is so compulsive that you just cant stop thinking about it until you take action, there may be a problem in your life. Gambling addiction is characterized by a compulsive desire to gamble that is marked with an inability to control behaviors when gambling.Those who suffer from gambling addiction will continue to gamble (either daily or possibly just on a binge) despite negative financial, legal and social consequences.

Many people who are addicted to gambling will do things that they never would have done if it werent for their addiction such as stealing money from friends or family members or taking part in illegal activities in an effort to get more money either to gamble or to pay debts. Despite a desire to quit, many compulsive gamblers are unable to control their actions without help.The impulsive behaviors often get them into trouble and can lead to serious consequences.

Often referred to as a hidden illness gambling addiction has no obvious physical signs or symptoms that can be quickly or easily spotted.Problem gamblers often go unnoticed for many years before the signs of the addiction finally become evident even to close friends and family members. In fact, because many gambling addicts are able to control their behaviors the majority of the time, it could be very difficult to spot a gambling addiction unless you physically go with the gambler into a situation in which they are actually gambling, then you may quickly realize that they are out of control.

Although the signs of gambling addiction are often difficult for others to spot, if you like to gamble, theres a good chance that you will be able to recognize the symptoms of gambling addiction in yourself early on, well before others will even notice.

Fact:Compulsive gambling leads to emotional problems, relationship problems and could lead to legal problems in addition to the financial implications. Even if you have the money to spend, gambling too much can become problematic as your social life suffers from your spending too much time on gambling.

Fact:Gambling in excess, either daily or during a binge, can be problematic.Even if you dont gamble often, the gambling can still cause problems financially, legally or socially.

Fact:Gambling addicts often place blame on their loved ones in an effort to take the blame off of themselves but this doesnt necessarily mean that the partner has anything to do with their problem.

Not all gambling is problematic.Responsible gambling is possible and many gaming venues take part in responsible gaming policies that are intended to provide gamblers with an ethical means of having fun without the dangers and risks associated with gambling addiction.

The devastation that gambling addiction can wreak on the life of those who suffer from this illness as well as those around him make this a very dangerous disorder to be reckoned with.Compulsive gambling accounts for as much as five billion dollars spent annually in the United States alone.Many of the people who are addicted to gambling find themselves accruing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

Gambling addiction affects each individual in a different way and each gambler will have unique needs for recovery.The type of treatment that works for one individual will not necessarily work for another. Probably the greatest hurdle in treatment for gambling addiction is to realize and admit that you have a problem and need help.Because gambling is called the hidden addiction it can be very, very difficult to attest to your wrongdoing, and admit that you have a gambling problem.This is especially true when a gambling addiction has resulted in extreme financial hardship, broken relationships and certain legal problems along the way.

Treatment for gambling addiction takes many forms and most people who seek help for a gambling addiction participate in Gamblers Anonymous (GA).In addition to the social support that is found in the Gamblers Anonymous programs, psychotherapy, and especially cognitive behavioral therapy, have proven to be effective at helping those who are addicted to gambling to change their behaviors and take on more positive actions to cope with stress or other potential triggers that would typically lead them to gamble.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for gambling addiction focuses on changing the poor behaviors of a problem gambler into positive thoughts and behaviors.The idea here is to rewire the gamblers brain into a new way of thinking about their gambling addiction and their desire to gamble.

During treatment, you will learn many ways to cope with cravings or your desire to gamble.It is completely normal to feel the urge to gamble, especially if you are recovering from a gambling addiction, but it can be difficult to cope with such desires in a positive way.Throughout your struggles with gambling addiction and recovery there will likely be many times that you want to gamble and struggle to make the right choice not to follow through with your desires.The following methods can help you to cope with potential triggers without relapsing:

If you or someone you love needs treatment for a gambling problem, its important that you seek a treatment approach that will be most appropriate for your individual needs.Finding the right type of treatment for your needs and the right help for a gambling addiction will ensure that you have the greatest chance of recovery.Most of the time, gambling addiction treatment takes place either through social support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous and outpatient therapy or in an inpatient facility.

If your gambling addiction has lead to severe financial, legal or social problems then you may require inpatient treatment for your condition.This type of help for gambling addiction includes around-the-clock supervision in a hospital like setting where the patient will stay while undergoing treatment. The intense therapy, counseling and supervision provided by inpatient treatment centers significantly reduce the risk of relapse while in treatment.

Compulsive gamblers often need the support of friends, family members and additional peers in order to help them stop gambling.Gamblers Anonymous groups can provide peer and social support for those in recovery or for those who wish they could stop gambling.For many, these groups provide a foundation for a successful and long term recovery from addiction to gambling.

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Gambling Addiction – Signs, Symptoms & Treatment for …

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.

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Gambling – definition of gambling by The Free Dictionary

Gambling | Define Gambling at Dictionary.com

[gam-bling]

SynonymsExamplesWord Origin

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[gam-buhl]

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Dictionary.com UnabridgedBased on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2018

I was not with him on the 29th when he was gambling and then drove home and actually got the DUI.

She was gambling on a coin toss where somehow heads, you win would have been politically more advantageous than tails, I lose.

Is gambling culture more desirable than gay culture and counterculture?

But the other side of the coin would be, inevitably, the flowering of crime and corruption around the gambling business.

By joining a private equity firm, the former Florida governor and 2016 hopeful is gambling with his reputation.

It’s Bill that’s spent the money on his cussed booze and gambling.

The gambling houses can do it, and so keep on breaking the law.

My brother should have supported them, but all his money went on the race course, gambling.

This modified form of gambling is especially dangerous to the young.

There was only one passion which he did not concealthe passion for gambling.

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C18: probably variant of game 1

Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

1726 (implied in gambling), from a dialectal survival of Middle English gammlen, variant of gamenen “to play, jest, be merry,” from Old English gamenian “to play, joke, pun,” from gamen (see game). Or possibly gamble is from a derivative of gamel “to play games” (1590s), itself likely a frequentative from game. Originally regarded as a slang word. The intrusive -b- may be from confusion with gambol. Related: Gambled; gambling.

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“risky venture,” 1823, from gamble (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010 Douglas Harper

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Gambling | Define Gambling at Dictionary.com

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.

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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.

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Problem gambling – Wikipedia

urge to continuously gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop

Problem gambling (or ludomania, but usually referred to as “gambling addiction” or “compulsive gambling”) is an urge to gamble continuously despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. Problem gambling is often defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler’s behaviour. Severe problem gambling may be diagnosed as clinical pathological gambling if the gambler meets certain criteria. Pathological gambling is a common disorder that is associated with both social and family costs.

The DSM-5 has re-classified the condition as an addictive disorder, with sufferers exhibiting many similarities to those who have substance addictions.The term gambling addiction has long been used in the recovery movement.[1] Pathological gambling was long considered by the American Psychiatric Association to be an impulse control disorder rather than an addiction.[2] However, data suggest a closer relationship between pathological gambling and substance use disorders than exists between PG and obsessive-compulsive disorder, largely because the behaviors in problem gambling and most primary substance use disorders (i.e. those not resulting from a desire to “self-medicate” for another condition such as depression) seek to activate the brain’s reward mechanisms while the behaviors characterizing obsessive-compulsive disorder are prompted by overactive and misplaced signals from the brain’s fear mechanisms.[3]

Problem gambling is an addictive behavior with a high comorbidity with alcohol problems. A common feature shared by people who suffer from gambling addiction is impulsivity.

Research by governments in Australia led to a universal definition for that country which appears to be the only research-based definition not to use diagnostic criteria: “Problem gambling is characterized by many difficulties in limiting money and/or time spent on gambling which leads to adverse consequences for the gambler, others, or for the community.”[8] The University of Maryland Medical Center defines pathological gambling as “being unable to resist impulses to gamble, which can lead to severe personal or social consequences”.[9]

Most other definitions of problem gambling can usually be simplified to any gambling that causes harm to the gambler or someone else in any way; however, these definitions are usually coupled with descriptions of the type of harm or the use of diagnostic criteria.[citation needed] The DSM-V has since reclassified pathological gambling as “gambling disorder” and has listed the disorder under substance-related and addictive disorders rather than impulse-control disorders. This is due to the symptomatology of the disorder resembling an addiction not dissimilar to that of substance-abuse.[10] In order to be diagnosed, an individual must have at least four of the following symptoms in a 12-month period:[11]

According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, evidence indicates that pathological gambling is an addiction similar to chemical addiction.[12] It has been observed that some pathological gamblers have lower levels of norepinephrine than normal gamblers.[13] According to a study conducted by Alec Roy, formerly at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, norepinephrine is secreted under stress, arousal, or thrill, so pathological gamblers gamble to make up for their under-dosage.[14]

According to a report from Harvard Medical School’s division on addictions, there was an experiment constructed where test subjects were presented with situations where they could win, lose, or break even in a casino-like environment. Subjects’ reactions were measured using fMRI, a neuroimaging technique. And according to Hans Breiter, co-director of the Motivation and Emotion Neuroscience Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, “monetary reward in a gambling-like experiment produces brain activation very similar to that observed in a cocaine addict receiving an infusion of cocaine.”[15][16] Studies have compared pathological gamblers to substance addicts, concluding that addicted gamblers display more physical symptoms during withdrawal.[17]

Deficiencies in serotonin might also contribute to compulsive behavior, including a gambling addiction. There are three important points discovered after these antidepressant studies:[18]

A limited study was presented at a conference in Berlin, suggesting opioid release differs in problem gamblers from the general population, but in a very different way from alcoholics or other substance abusers.[19]

The findings in one review indicated the sensitization theory is responsible.[20] Dopamine dysregulation syndrome has been observed in the aforementioned theory in people with regard to such activities as gambling.[21]

Some medical authors suggest that the biomedical model of problem gambling may be unhelpful because it focuses only on individuals. These authors point out that social factors may be a far more important determinant of gambling behaviour than brain chemicals and they suggest that a social model may be more useful in understanding the issue.[22] For example, an apparent increase in problem gambling in the UK may be better understood as a consequence of changes in legislation which came into force in 2007 and enabled casinos, bookmakers, and online betting sites to advertise on TV and radio for the first time and which eased restrictions on the opening of betting shops and online gambling sites.[23]

Pathological gambling is similar to many other impulse control disorders such as kleptomania.[24] According to evidence from both community- and clinic-based studies, individuals who are pathological gamblers are highly likely to exhibit other psychiatric problems concurrently, including substance use disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, or personality disorders.[25]

Pathological gambling shows several similarities with substance abuse. There is a partial overlap in diagnostic criteria; pathological gamblers are also likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs. The “telescoping phenomenon” reflects the rapid development from initial to problematic behavior in women compared with men. This phenomenon was initially described for alcoholism, but it has also been applied to pathological gambling. Also biological data provide a support for a relationship between pathological gambling and substance abuse.[26] A comprehensive UK Gambling Commission study from 2018 has also hinted at the link between gambling addiction and a reduction in physical activity, poor diet and overall well-being. The study links problem gambling to a myriad of issues affecting relationships, and social stability.[27]

A gambler who does not receive treatment for pathological gambling when in his or her desperation phase may contemplate suicide.[28] Problem gambling is often associated with increased suicidal ideation and attempts compared to the general population.[29][30]

Early onset of problem gambling increases the lifetime risk of suicide.[31] However, gambling-related suicide attempts are usually made by older people with problem gambling.[32] Both comorbid substance use[33][34] and comorbid mental disorders increase the risk of suicide in people with problem gambling.[32] A 2010 Australian hospital study found that 17% of suicidal patients admitted to the Alfred Hospital’s emergency department were problem gamblers.[35] In the United States, a report by the National Council on Problem Gambling showed approximately one in five pathological gamblers attempt suicide. The council also said that suicide rates among pathological gamblers were higher than any other addictive disorder.[36]

Several psychological mechanisms are thought to be implicated in the development and maintenance of problem gambling.[37] First, reward processing seems to be less sensitive with problem gamblers. Second, some individuals use problem gambling as an escape from the problems in their lives (an example of negative reinforcement). Third, personality factors play a role, such as narcissism, risk-seeking, sensation-seeking and impulsivity. Fourth, problem gamblers suffer from a number of cognitive biases, including the illusion of control,[38] unrealistic optimism, overconfidence and the gambler’s fallacy (the incorrect belief that a series of random events tends to self-correct so that the absolute frequencies of each of various outcomes balance each other out). Fifth, problem gamblers represent a chronic state of a behavioral spin process, a gambling spin, as described by the criminal spin theory.[39]

The most common instrument used to screen for “probable pathological gambling” behavior is the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) developed by Lesieur and Blume (1987) at the South Oaks Hospital in New York City.[40] In recent years the use of SOGS has declined due to a number of criticisms, including that it overestimates false positives (Battersby, Tolchard, Thomas & Esterman, 2002).

The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria presented as a checklist is an alternative to SOGS, it focuses on the psychological motivations underpinning problem gambling and was developed by the American Psychiatric Association. It consists of ten diagnostic criteria. One frequently used screening measure based upon the DSM-IV criteria is the National Opinion Research Center DSM Screen for Gambling Problems (NODS). The Canadian Problem Gambling Inventory (CPGI) and the Victorian Gambling Screen (VGS) are newer assessment measures. The Problem Gambling Severity Index, which focuses on the harms associated with problem gambling, is composed of nine items from the longer CPGI.[41] The VGS is also harm based and includes 15 items. The VGS has proven validity and reliability in population studies as well as Adolescents and clinic gamblers.

Most treatment for problem gambling involves counseling, step-based programs, self-help, peer-support, medication, or a combination of these. However, no one treatment is considered to be most efficacious and no medications have been approved for the treatment of pathological gambling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Only one treatment facility[42] has been given a license to officially treat gambling as an addiction, and that was by the State of Virginia.[43]

Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a commonly used treatment for gambling problems. Modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous, GA uses a 12-step model that emphasizes a mutual-support approach. There are three in-patient treatment centers in North America.[44] One form of counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to reduce symptoms and gambling-related urges. This type of therapy focuses on the identification of gambling-related thought processes, mood and cognitive distortions that increase one’s vulnerability to out-of-control gambling. Additionally, CBT approaches frequently utilize skill-building techniques geared toward relapse prevention, assertiveness and gambling refusal, problem solving and reinforcement of gambling-inconsistent activities and interests.[45]

As to behavioral treatment, some recent research supports the use of both activity scheduling and desensitization in the treatment of gambling problems.[46] In general, behavior analytic research in this area is growing [47] There is evidence that the SSRI paroxetine is efficacious in the treatment of pathological gambling.[48] Additionally, for patients suffering from both pathological gambling and a comorbid bipolar spectrum condition, sustained release lithium has shown efficacy in a preliminary trial.[49] The opioid antagonist drug nalmefene has also been trialled quite successfully for the treatment of compulsive gambling.[50]

Other step-based programs are specific to gambling and generic to healing addiction, creating financial health, and improving mental wellness. Commercial alternatives that are designed for clinical intervention, using the best of health science and applied education practices, have been used as patient-centered tools for intervention since 2007. They include measured efficacy and resulting recovery metrics.[medical citation needed]

Motivational interviewing is one of the treatments of compulsive gambling. The motivational interviewing’s basic goal is promoting readiness to change through thinking and resolving mixed feelings. Avoiding aggressive confrontation, argument, labeling, blaming, and direct persuasion, the interviewer supplies empathy and advice to compulsive gamblers who define their own goal. The focus is on promoting freedom of choice and encouraging confidence in the ability to change.[51]

A growing method of treatment is peer support. With the advancement of online gambling, many gamblers experiencing issues use various online peer-support groups to aid their recovery. This protects their anonymity while allowing them to attempt recovery on their own, often without having to disclose their issues to loved ones.[medical citation needed]

Research into self-help for problem gamblers has shown benefits.[52] A study by Wendy Slutske of the University of Missouri concluded one-third of pathological gamblers overcome it by natural recovery.[53]

One of the newest methods for treating problem gambling is the use of anti-addiction drugs. Trials of drugs used for heroin, opium and morphine addicts that reduce the production of dopamine, are currently being tested on gambling addicts. Dopamine is considered a key part of addiction and the hope is to develop a real-time antidote to help curtail the urge to gamble.

Gambling self-exclusion (voluntary exclusion) programs are available in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, France, and other countries. They seem to help some (but not all) problem gamblers to gamble less often.[54]

Some experts maintain that casinos in general arrange for self-exclusion programs as a public relations measure without actually helping many of those with problem gambling issues. A campaign of this type merely “deflects attention away from problematic products and industries,” according to Natasha Dow Schull, a cultural anthropologist at New York University and author of the book Addiction by Design.[55]

There is also a question as to the effectiveness of such programs, which can be difficult to enforce.[56] In the province of Ontario, Canada, for example, the Self-Exclusion program operated by the government’s Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is not effective, according to investigation conducted by the television series, revealed in late 2017. “Gambling addicts … said that while on the … self-exclusion list, they entered OLG properties on a regular basis” in spite of the facial recognition technology in place at the casinos, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. As well, a CBC journalist who tested the system found that he was able to enter Ontario casinos and gamble on four distinct occasions, in spite of having been registered and photographed for the self-exclusion program. An OLG spokesman provided this response when questioned by the CBC: “We provide supports to self-excluders by training our staff, by providing disincentives, by providing facial recognition, by providing our security officers to look for players. No one element is going to be foolproof because it is not designed to be foolproof”.[55]

According to the Productivity Commission’s 2010 final report into gambling, the social cost of problem gambling is close to 4.7 billion dollars a year. Some of the harms resulting from problem gambling include depression, suicide, lower work productivity, job loss, relationship breakdown, crime and bankruptcy.[57] A survey conducted in 2008 found that the most common motivation for fraud was problem gambling, with each incident averaging a loss of $1.1 million.[57] According to Darren R. Christensen. Nicki A. Dowling, Alun C. Jackson and Shane A.Thomas a survey done from 1994-2008 in Tasmania gave results that gambling participation rates have risen rather than fallen over this period.[58]

In Europe, the rate of problem gambling is typically 0.5 to 3 percent.[59] The “British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007”, conducted by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, found approximately 0.6 percent of the adult population had problem gambling issuesthe same percentage as in 1999.[60] The highest prevalence of problem gambling was found among those who participated in spread betting (14.7%), fixed odds betting terminals (11.2%) and betting exchanges (9.8%).[60] In Norway, a December 2007 study showed the amount of present problem gamblers was 0.7 percent.[61]

In the United States, the percentage of pathological gamblers was 0.6 percent, and the percentage of problem gamblers was 2.3 percent in 2008.[62] Studies commissioned by the National Gambling Impact Study Commission Act has shown the prevalence rate ranges from 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent.[63] Nevada has the highest percentage of pathological gambling; a 2002 report estimated 2.2 to 3.6 percent of Nevada residents over the age of 18 could be called problem gamblers. Also, 2.7 to 4.3 percent could be called probable pathological gamblers.[64]

According to a 1997 meta-analysis by Harvard Medical School’s division on addictions, 1.1 percent of the adult population of the United States and Canada could be called pathological gamblers.[65] A 1996 study estimated 1.2 to 1.9 percent of adults in Canada were pathological.[66] In Ontario, a 2006 report showed 2.6 percent of residents experienced “moderate gambling problems” and 0.8 percent had “severe gambling problems”.[67] In Quebec, an estimated 0.8 percent of the adult population were pathological gamblers in 2002.[68] Although most who gamble do so without harm, approximately 6 million American adults are addicted to gambling.[69]

Signs of a gambling problem include:[medical citation needed]

Both casinos and poker machines in pubs and clubs facilitate problem gambling in Australia. The building of new hotels and casinos has been described as “one of the most active construction markets in Australia”; for example, AUD$860 million was allocated to rebuild and expand the Star Complex in Sydney.[70]

A 2010 study, conducted in the Northern Territory by researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) and Southern Cross University (SCU), found that the proximity of a person’s residence to a gambling venue is significant in terms of prevalence. Harmful gambling in the study was prevalent among those living within 100 metres of any gambling venue, and was over 50% higher than among those living ten kilometres from a venue. The study’s data stated:

“Specifically, people who lived 100 metres from their favourite venue visited an estimated average of 3.4 times per month. This compared to an average of 2.8 times per month for people living one kilometre away, and 2.2 times per month for people living ten kilometres away”.[71]

According to the Productivity Commission’s 2016 report into gambling, 0.5% to 1% (80,000 to 160,000)[72] of the Australian adult population suffered with significant problems resulting from gambling. A further 1.4% to 2.1% (230 000 to 350 000) of the Australian adult population experienced moderate risks making them likely to be vulnerable to problem gambling.[73] Estimates show that problem gamblers account for an average of 41% of the total gaming machine spending.[74]

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