The arguments against gambling focus on the negative consequences of gambling. These arguments typically highlight the destruction of family life, the increase in crime, and the problems caused by pathological gamblers. But these arguments rarely address the underlying problem: a general misunderstanding of the odds. Many people assume they understand the risks of gambling, but that makes it easy for gambling providers to manipulate customers. In fact, when gambling becomes legal, crime rates increase significantly. Here are some tips for responsible gambling:
The impacts of gambling are measurable on three levels: personal, interpersonal, and societal. Personal impacts of gambling include costs to an individual, but also long-term and societal costs. The societal/community level impacts are mostly monetary. These include changes in value and the economic activity of gambling venues. Economic activities are impacted by gambling, but these costs aren’t always recognized. The health and wellbeing of people living around a problem gambler are also affected. In some cases, these impacts lead to bankruptcy and homelessness.
Ultimately, gambling should be viewed as a luxury, not a source of income. The odds are stacked against you, so it’s best to budget for it as an expense rather than an investment. Similarly, the odds of winning lottery games are set by the number of players. Moreover, horse-racing betting is another example of gambling. As a result of the number of bets, the odds are constantly changing until the race is run.