Recently Americans went crazy and millions of people spent billions of dollars trying to win the jackpot of $600million on the lottery and the news media claimed that three winning tickets were sold. Who would not be happy to hear that some poor despised family suffering from unemployment and poor housing managed to get hold of some serious money? Or who could begrudge the unfortunate family, living at wits end suffering horrendously and in a desperate effort bought a winning ticket? We do ourselves great harm if we allow exceptions, however laudable, to obscure the massive evils, and there are many, associated with gambling.
Gambling used to be something that some people do; usually in secret to try to earn a few dollars to supplement their meager income. Rich people have always used gambling either to fleece the public or as recreational activity but the situation today is very different.
Gambling has come out of the closet and is now respectable across the whole world with the masses gambling on everything from horse racing to football games, from dog racing to boxing matches, from athletic competitions to basketball matches, from cricket matches to general elections outcome, from intensity of storms to whom will win some television competition.
Over the last few years the masses have become intoxicated with a new form of gambling which is just as corrosive of public morals as any other but it seems to have gained universal appeal – lotteries. It seems lotteries have replaced bingo as the populace choice in gambling and all across the world people are squandering their hard earned money in their efforts to win the jackpot and in the process the lottery companies and concerns are making huge fortunes.
We now see governments doing it to raise funds, corporations being set up as sister organizations to exploit this revenue stream, Non-Governmental Organizations are getting in on the act, as well as sporting organizations and many other fund-raising entities.
Gambling has become so much a part of our “world culture” that people see it as a harmless, routine activity of no great moment not realizing the tremendous harm it is doing to undermine the values and norms of society.
Just look at what gambling is and what it does (gambling of one sort or another is legitimate activity in most countries) and it is obvious why some in the secular world delights in making the entire world a gambling population.
1) Gambling is based entirely on chance and is geared to creating losers, for the many must lose for the odd one to win, and since most gamblers are the poor it farther, along with destitution, degrades their dignity and self esteem.
2) Gambling is addictive and has the capacity to turn hard working, responsible people into gambling addicts by weakening their desire to earn their way in life by honest toil and may end up destroying their work ethic.
3) Gambling is exploitative for it makes poor the many and takes by stealth from them for the benefit of a few and often does so under the pretext that it is rendering a service or a benefit.
4) Gambling has always been associated with crime, organized and otherwise, and wherever it has been established and grows so too does crime.
5) Gambling is a naked thirst to get money not earned and from talking to gambling addicts it is extremely clear that at the root of their gambling lies covetousness.
6) Gambling is pretentious, hypocritical and clinically depressing for it traps people into a mindset that wealth is just around the corner, just spend a little more to get the jackpot, don’t give up you are almost there; and all the time your finances are sucked away never to return.
7) Gambling is a deadly trap that sucks many into its embrace and the records show that it has the capacity and often does destroy marriages, relationships, careers and reputations.
8) Gambling at its extreme is known to cause people to commit suicide; many do so to avoid legal sanction for fraud to feed their gambling addiction. Some not wishing to face the consequences for loss of entrusted funds, thereby making it a powerful influence in the destruction of men and women.
In all these gambling situations are many, many wrecked lives standing in woeful testimony to the destructive power of gambling. Many gamblers, so racked with guilt at their unaffordable losses, resort to alcoholism and sometimes to ending their own lives. To every headline screaming from the morning papers declaring a stockbroker who jumped off a tall building because his gamble on the stock market failed, to every high roller who blows his brains out because he cannot face his family that he has just bankrupted, they are many all cross the world who depart quietly into insanity and hopelessness or an untimely grave all thanks to gambling.
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