Businesses are the driving engine of economic processes in every global aspect hence their allowance to exist according to their strategic benefits. At the same time, these businesses have implications that either demand remediation or cause controversial stances among regulators, citizens, and other concerned entities. Gambling is one business that is causing intense debates whether it should be made illegal or left to work with the forces of demand and supply. The business of gambling involves wagering of valuable things or wagering money on events whose outcome is unknown with the primary intent of winning additional materials, goods, or funds.
As per this argument, gambling should be illegal since its benefits are far outweighed by the negative implications on social, political, and economic structures. Conduction of gambling businesses is increasingly becoming problematic for people and their supporting socio-economic structures justifying the essence of making the business illegal. According to Schüll (2014), gambling is made of three elements: chance, consideration, and prize. These are the elements that are creating a market of addicted people and processes that are encouraging other illegalities within the American context. Therefore, it is important to illegalize gambling so as to maintain businesses with viable benefits to consumers.
Statistics indicate that legal gambling global market has been estimated at approximately 335 billion dollars. In addition, there are other forms of gambling that involve valuables and other elements that are not of money, making it difficult to make an accurate estimation. On the other hand, illegal gambling has been estimated to have a similar or more value to the bids causing concerns about people who raise stakes to gain money from activities with unpredictable outcomes. To win some money, it means more money has to be used by gamblers benefiting the business in the end. In other words, it means that the businesses are the ones that benefit, and their clients get addicted.
Based on arguments from Holdsworth, Nuske, Tiyce, & Hing (2013), gambling is among the fastest growing industries with massive implications on the financial system through fraudulent activities. Legal and illegal gambling is growing fast in the world; in the process, it has generated corrupting effects on governments, regulators, and other monitoring institutions. This can be attributed to the fact that governments are increasingly being addicted to revenue received from gambling businesses in terms of taxes to an extent that their regulation affects revenue flow negatively. Illegal ones have also taken this fact to introduce corruption in order to increase their survival by providing financial benefits to key officials in governments.
The presence of such businesses in strategic locations introduces the risk of problem gambling and addictive tendencies. Legalization makes services available to anyone with disposable income since governments and casinos are portraying the business as harmless entertainment. In the real sense, it can be considered as a victimless crime since more people engage in gambling and in the end become addicted, of which, is more destructive that other kinds of addition. Surprisingly, many businesses want more people to get addicted so that they can keep coming back, spend more money, and generate more revenue for gambling institutions. Although it is not illegal, it is immoral and unethical considering the social implications of addiction.
Another reason for agreeing with Serafina is that gambling is causing massive economic implications on people themselves while benefiting the businesses. An average compulsive gambler is known to have amassed debts totaling to more than 40,000 dollars whose implications are transferred to their immediate associates. Being a gambler affects individual life, family, associates, and friends hence the necessity of ensuring that such occurrences are not allowed to take effect in the current society. Some of the consequences of being addicted are marital disharmony, substance abuse, child abuse, and suicide attempts.
Some other social effects include embezzlement, theft, family neglect, and involvement in organized crime. It is true that some gambling businesses are linked to crime syndicates, and their proceeds are used to fund other illegal activities like the mafia and terrorism. Therefore, considering the legalization of the gambling businesses is a bad social policy since it destroys families, and forces the involved parties to involve themselves in activities that cause harm as the ultimate way to raise their working capital. From another dimension, limiting funding to criminal activity demands that these businesses be criminalized (Walther, Hanewinkel, & Morgenstern, 2013).
Evidence further indicates that all forms of gambling are intend to exploit the poor, people who are desperate to make money, and lack proper understanding of how such businesses work. As explained by Eades (2003), and Prentice and Cotte (2015), money comes by exploiting people who are most vulnerable and in case it happened in illegal venues, people have no way to report or hold the businesses accountable. Whenever such occurrences take place, the long-term implications impact individual careers, mental health issues, crimes, and possible bankruptcy which is detrimental for the society.
In case some entities are reluctant to accept the above argument, the response will involve the provision of information related to negative economic and social outcomes of gambling. Factual evidence in terms of statistics, case studies, and personal confessions will be used to convince opponents that gambling is among the causative agents of crime, poverty, health problems, and breakdown of social structures. In addition, it is appropriate to argue from the standpoint that the stakes business is exploitative, addictive, and encourages compulsive attachment. Rather, alternative solutions to the problem will be issued so that people can use their efforts and time in other productive activities.
- Eades, J. M. (2003). Gambling Addiction: The Problem, the Pain, and the Path to Recovery. Canada: Vine Books.
- Holdsworth, L., Nuske, E., Tiyce, M., & Hing, N. (2013). Impacts of gambling problems on partners: partners’ interpretations. Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, 1-14.
- Prentice, C., & Cotte, J. (2015). Special Issue: Problem gambling, drinking, and smoking. Journal of Business Research, 2045-2222.
- Schüll, N. D. (2014). Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- Walther, B., Hanewinkel, R., & Morgenstern, M. (2013). Short-term effects of a school-based program on gambling prevention in adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 599-605.