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The Benefits of Gambling

Yes, there really are some benefits of gambling - as long as you're in control.

In the end, it is not the act of gambling itself that is advantageous or harmful to the person. It is the judgement of the person playing, and their individual decision to decide if gambling rules him, or if he rules his gambling. Let this be a lesson to us all!

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Gambling often receives bad attention in the press. In fact, some people cringe at the thought of being labeled as a gambler since the blot would forever hound them. I personally think this: What right does anyone have to judge another person? No right. What right does anyone have to judge whether something you personally do (e.g. gamble) is right or wrong for you? No right. And as we all know, people have very different reasons as to why they gamble.

To balance the bad stories and vibes that the media throws out, let’s look at some gambling benefits:

Employment: In Vegas, a whopping 60 percent of the employment ratio is attributed to the presence of casinos. Imagine what would occur to Las Vegas if all the casinos suddenly ceased operating! (It’s not too hard to look at Atlantic City as a real example of what did happen there!) And there are many thousands of people employed in America and around the world in the casino industry.

Amusement: Gambling is for entertainment, as it was meant to be. Self-discipline of the players is the key to keeping gambling as an amusement, rather than as something harmful. Individuals who play the games decide how often they play, and with what budget. Yes, there are some problem gamblers out there, and most surveys suggest that up to 20% of gamblers are gambling in a harmful fashion – but that also says there are at least 80% of players who gamble responsibly. These are the people who see the entertainment value of gambling: they aren’t blinded by the illusion that striking it big time just once is the key to financial independence.

Problem gamblers can be damaged by gambling. Losing their families, friends, properties, and jobs, and participating in criminal acts and deceit, together show the destruction brought about by gambling for these people. It’s sad – but the accountability of the level of gambling undertaken has to sit with the gambler himself / herself. And problem gamblers are a modest portion of any casino’s players.

Charity Work: Winnings from gaming activities have contributed to financial support of many worthy causes. Lottery profits are often used for this purpose by Governments, to great effect! Additionally, some casino stars (e.g. well known poker-players) may play their chosen games to provide entertainment for observers, and give their winnings or appearance fees to their favourite charity.

Health benefits: Studies have found that people over 65 years of age who gamble regularly seem to have less well-being issues like depression, alcoholism and insolvency. They find gambling to be therapeutic as it exercises their thoughts and keep them alert – and alive. Studies are not conclusive however, because retirees are often just recreational gamblers who find gambling entertaining (and thus don’t go on to develop bad gambling habits leading to problem gambling).

In the end, it is not the act of gambling itself that is advantageous or harmful to the person. It is the judgement of the person playing, and their individual decision to decide if gambling rules him, or if he rules his gambling. Let this be a lesson to us all!

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