Gambling With the Future
In the last year Americans have wagered $482 billion dollars in the United States. Over eighty-five percent of this wagering took place in casinos that are now legal in twenty-seven states. In the past decade there has been incredible growth in the gambling industry. Twenty years ago if a person wanted to gamble they had to travel to Nevada. Nowadays, there are only six states in which no form of legalized gambling exists.
Proponents of the gambling industry feel that this is a good thing and that it is helping the national economy. But we should consider the countries morality. There are many opponents of gambling that feel it is hurting families and society. Indeed, there needs to be a limit set on the growth of the gambling industry. Although this industry does have some merit, they don t outweigh the costs to society. Defenders of the gambling industry insist that gambling is good clean fun and that if so many people enjoy something that it can t be wrong. In fact, they are quick to point out that fun is not the only issue; in addition, these new casinos have created thousands of jobs. Furthermore, not only have casinos created new jobs, but there has been an increase in tax revenue for the cities that have casinos. Honestly, the increase in tax revenues has helped to rebuild some rundown inner cities and river front areas. These people argue that there is little to worry about gambling because most people only lose a small amount of money and will have a fun time losing it.
As for the truth on the gambling industry, the opponents are alert in focussing on the problems it contains. Most of the jobs created are low paying and offer little opportunity for the worker to progress. Furthermore, the creations of these casino jobs have taken away jobs from other areas of the economy. For a good example, restaurants near casinos are being forced out of business by the cheep buffets offer to draw people in. Many people argue that casinos have not created any significant increases in the number of jobs. Some analysis s point to a four percent growth in areas with legalized gambling which is nearly the same as the rest of the nation. Additionally, it seems that most of the business for these new casinos is coming from the surrounding areas bringing in few tourists. Consequently, there is no real growth and all this does is move the money around in the same economy.
If you think about it, many of the people that are spending their money gambling are the ones that can least afford to lose it. For example, the lottery is most heavily advertised in poor neighborhoods where it is advertised as a way out of poverty. I feel that gambling is like a tax on the poor. Those making under ten thousand a year are spending more money in proportion to their income than any other group. These people who can least afford it, are spending money on a dream. The proliferation of casinos and legalized gambling promotes the dream of striking rich rather than the tried and true methods of achievement; education, and hard work.
Proponents may argue that gambling is fun, but with this fun comes many problems in the society. Wherever there is a large amount of money and alcohol, there is going to be crime. Indeed, wherever casinos move into areas, so do criminals. Crime rate has been noted to rise significantly in areas with gambling. The rise in crime causes cities to hire more police officers and build jails. This is not the only problem gambling can pose on society. Gambling can take a heavy toll on the family. There are many people who can spend a small amount of money gambling and then quit, but there are a substantial number of people that can t control their gambling. To these people gambling is an addiction and can be compared to alcoholism. There have been numerous cases of divorces, separations, loss of jobs, bankruptcy, and even suicide.
Gambling does not seem so fun when the big picture is considered. I believe the gambling industry should not be allowed to expand across the nation any further. Even though casinos have created various low paying jobs, the cost to society is greater than the benefits. I personally have seen what gambling can do to a person and their family. Finally, nobody knows what kind of lasting impact gambling will have on society. The way I see it, one thing is for sure; a little fun is not worth all the problems that gambling causes.