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Is Gambling More of a Help or Hindrance to Society? Your Responses

In the article, Gambling's Stratospheric Rise in the U.S. What are the Real Risks?, we concluded by asking you to tell us your thoughts on the positives versus negatives of gambling.

In a nation where so many people gamble, we would not have betted that only ONE person would (sort-of) have positive comments about gambling while every other response made no bones about it that gambling is far more of a hindrance.

Below is just a sampling of those who said it is a hindrance - with a range of interesting reasons why - along with the one somewhat supportive comment about gambling (like Where's Waldo?, can you find it?)

Gambling hurts the individual, the community and the nation.

Gambling is a hindrance to society. I live, work and relax in Las Vegas. The educational system is broke and hiring teachers from out of the country but the casinos had a record year. Global corporations and a few wealthy individuals own the casinos and while they donate a small percentage of their yearly booty to charities - they could care less what happens to the population as long as they continue to gamble. Gambling is more than a stepping stone to financial ruin, it is a major contributor to a self-centered society focused only on money.

[Gambling is] bad news for everyone. I worked in the industry for 25 years and cannot come up with one redeeming factor. I am also the inventor of two casino games, one popular the other not.
-- Richard Lofink, Ivins, Utah

Gambling on the scale it is now is a hindrance to society. A waste of money and money is energy. Excess leads to lack. Moderation in all things is WISE.

The increase in gambling and other less savory pursuits point to one thing of prime importance for the future of society. Fiat currency drops in value until it is worthless paper. We are witnessing now what has come about during the economic/moral decay and collapse of other societies. We must change our economic system to a gold-based one as we had before. Products cost more since the Dollar is worth less!

-- Bart Mather, Rossford, OH

I believe the people that can least afford it are the ones most often compulsive gamblers. I feel the money does not go for what it is intended to go for, or if it does what has been budgeted for projects is pulled back and then just the revenues from the gambling are used so there is no increase in funds---for schools etc. The fact that it is so easy to get to a casino makes it possible for those that maybe would not have been able to travel to Las Vegas or where ever to stay at home and get more and more in debt right here. For some it is an entertainment, many more are borderline compulsive, and since it is so positively looked upon there is less restraint.

I think it is a hindrance to society because it exploits those who can least afford it.

-- Sheboygan Falls, WI

Gambling is immoral, especially when governed by our elected authorities.

Gambling is just another un-Godly activity that our society is being suckered into. It is being accepted by the government and it is a disgrace to our country. How hard will our country have to fall before we wake up!?

-- Janel, USA (of course)

A community needs high moral standards to properly educate its children, not money collected from lottery revenues. I find it sad that money, profit and greed rule supreme in this country. Gambling ruins lives, families and communities.

Gambling could be compared to multi level marketing schemes - only those at the top win.

I am opposed to legalized gambling. I believe that it is aimed at our youth more and more and that it will become an addiction for many more people in the future.

I think it is an expensive waste of money and time. For some people it also leads to addiction. I cannot find anything redeeming in it except it makes the owners a lot of money.

Gambling is fun when you can control your greed. There will always be people that let things get out of hand. Example: the wild life hunters that want to have sport but also put deer meat etc. on the table, but they are frowned down on for owning a gun by law makers, just because there is a problem with guns in the city schools, when gun safes should be used.

-- Mary Peterson

Gambling is a blight on society. Gambling is a waste on society. Instead of gambling, why not just flush your money down the toilet?

I agree with Hawaii. I think legalized gambling undermines our most vulnerable, passes on confusing and unhealthy messages to our children, and causes more social ills than it is worth.

I agree with the Honolulu police department. Another thing that is just as bad are the credit card companies, really just another version of gambling. People are ruining their lives daily and the availability of credit cards is fueling this destruction. President Bush has now signed into law a bill that will now make it harder for people in trouble to declare bankruptcy but the big corporations are still coming out ahead. No one is passing legislation in favor of protecting people against these predators.

-- Michelle Price Louisville, KY


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