The Social Evils of Gambling

6 05 2013

For years the voters in this state (Ohio) have rejected legislation that permitted gaming. Now it is not only written into our State Constitution, but also designates their exact locations! Our area has a Race Track going up near my daughter’s house and casino’s are popping up everywhere. It is a snow-balling issue that will be hard to stop. I desire people to really think of the direction in which we are headed. I will re-blog this post written a number of years ago.

Pastor Dave

OK, I get it!  Why should the average Joe care about the spiritual evils of gambling based on the Book they deem as out of date or one in which they do not credit as being authoritative?  In fact, they wonder what the fuss is all about and blame Christians as the source of social turbulence.

The reasoning goes something like this. . .

“It’s my money, I will do with it as I please.”

“It’s just harmless entertainment and costs money just as other forms of entertainment.”

“It will help the economy by creating jobs, and share the burden of taxpayers.”

“It will keep disposable income from being spent elsewhere, denying local schools and government from needed funds.”

Are there evils of gambling that should be a concern to the average Joe.  I believe so!

1.   It Exploits Human Weakness.

When we dangle an addictive substance before the general public long enough, there will be a group of people who will get addictive.  Not all, but enough for most gambling enterprises to set aside a certain percentage of profit to provide counseling for compulsive gamblers.  Sometimes it is required by law.  We have raised a voice of righteous indignation against the cancerous effect of secondary cigarette smoke and choose to propitiate the cancerous growth of legalized gambling.  We rightfully teach children the addictive ills of smoking but only have taken disapproval of the growing problem of teenage gambling.  The effects of government exploitation of a human weakness for the sake of tax dollars is unthinkable!

2.      Gambling Costs More Than It Pays.

Gambling will hurt local businesses that depend upon the disposable income of its customers.  Local restaurants and entertainment venues will close due to a casino’s monopoly.  Jobs will be lost as consumer dollars will be spent at gambling enterprises instead of for major appliances, a better home, or an upgraded car.  Under the illusion of “hitting it big,” the unsuspecting average Joe will invest their hope in beating the odds.  Motels will dry up, unable to compete with the discounted rates at casinos, wanting to attract customers.  Gambling increases the rate of suicide, divorces, bankruptcies, unemployment, and welfare roles.  In the end, the only winner is the gambling institution itself, because the “house” never loses.

3.      Gambling Attracts The Criminal Element.

Check the crime rate of a town that houses casinos.  The glamor of gambling will lead to crimes of desperation, prostitution, seedy (under the table) loans, mob involvement, and a  powerful lobby in government with lots of money, which desires to further, increases their earnings.  Outcomes of elections could be swayed as the politician is influenced to dance to the tune of the well financed piper.

4.      Gambling Destroys Financial Security.

It destroys the financial security of families as more money is poured into this harmless entertainment.  Pawn shops will be more frequented by wholesome families needing quick cash to pay bills because of money lost to gambling.  The financial security of a community is jeopardized crime increases, homes are foreclosed, small businesses fold, and “self medication” from financial loss takes its toll with alcohol and drug addiction.  The snake oil promises of gambling benefits are soon vaporized in the face of gambling realities.

5.      Gambling Robs From The Poor And Gives To The Rich.

The ones most likely to be deceived by the fantasy of quick riches are the ones who can’t afford to lose a dime!  As far as percentage goes, the poor lose the greatest share of their income to gambling.  People on fixed incomes will find gambling both entertaining and devastating.  Investing hare earned income into a rich casino perpetuate their riches and paralyzes the investor.

6.      Gambling Turns Government Into Exploiter.

            When gambling was legalized, the whole face of the industry was changed.  It went from being a “vice” to being a “game”.  Consumer loses were considered gain for the state and local government.

Putting aside the natural and spiritual evils of gambling (which is not a good idea), the social evils of gambling need to be seriously considered.  For the sake of its potential victims, we need to be cautious about its influence and expansion.  You really can bet your life!

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