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Negative Effects Of Gambling

Essay by   •  January 1, 2011  •  1,338 Words (6 Pages)  •  2,556 Views

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well this is my rough draft without a concluding paragraph..

GAMBLING MONEY = GAMBLING LIFE

One that has ever scratched a lottery ticket, bet on a sporting event, or possibly even played poker with a couple of buddies in exchange for valuables is considered a gambler. Once this gambler started to win, he wanted to participate in more of these activities due to the victorious feeling or possibly thinking he had "good luck". Little does this gambler know that as time exceeds, his habits will soon worsen. Gambling was derived during the Revolutionary War when the states subsidized lotteries to help finance their armies, but gambling has recently become an issue among many. Today, many people gamble for fun and to experience a challenge, but they do not realize the negative effects that gambling has on the individual, the society, and the economy.

There are many ways to identify an individual as a compulsive gambler. The symptoms start off with the gambler always being preoccupied with gambling trying to escape problems or relieve depression. After the gambler has lost a lot of money, he continues to gamble to try to reclaim the money lost by gambling. Soon, the gambler is simply addicted to gambling itself. He gambles larger amounts of money to feel excited or satisfied. When the gambler neglects his responsibilities and becomes impatient with his family, a chain reaction of rough events begins to occur. (Grohol 1)

Once the addict is obsessed with gambling, the behavior of the addict begins to alter significantly. He may stop doing things he or she previously enjoyed to gamble more. His sleeping patterns change due to the late nights spent in casinos. The gambler becomes less concerned about his physical appearance and self-care. Gambling also becomes a huge factor in the spending habits of the gambler. He spends less money on other things so that he will have more money to gamble. On the occasion that the gambler is low on money, he cheats and steals to obtain money. (Signs of Gambling Problems for Financial Counsellors [sic] 2)

This is when many financial problems arise. Financial problems, such as the loss of life savings and/or a home, inability to pay creditors, or possible bankruptcy are results of compulsive gambling (Gambling 1). Problem gamblers usually rely on others to provide money to them to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling (Grohol 1). Gamblers are usually not capable of repaying these debts because they turn to gambling to regain this money; they are in debt up to their knees very quickly (Bryner and Jordan 1). The average debt incurred by a male pathological gambler in the U.S. is between $55,000 and $90,000 (Articles and Reports on Gambling 6). Up to 28 percent of males in treatment in Gamblers Anonymous have declared bankruptcy. Losses such as these place enormous stress on the gambler and his family, work, and emotional life (Torr 85).

Sometimes these gamblers that are deeply in debt cannot handle the burden and have serious thoughts about committing suicide. A study of addicted gamblers revealed that between 20 and 30 percent of the respondents made actual suicide attempts (Gambling Basics 3). The suicide rate for pathological gamblers is twenty times higher than for non-gamblers. One in five gamblers commit suicide. Of the bettors that do not commit suicide, 65 percent of them commit crimes to support their habit (Articles and Reports on Gambling 6). In 2004, about one-third of the arrestees linked to compulsive gambling had committed robbery, but 13 percent assaulted someone for money (Gambling and Crime 1).

The gambler's troubles not only have an affect him, but they have a great affect on his family as well. The children of the gambler are greatly affected by their parent's ways. Their grades in school begin to decline. The children may also lose their friends if the friend becomes aware of the parent's poor habits. This will lower the children's self-esteem which could also cause them to turn to alcohol at a very early age. Gambling also creates tensions between the gambler and the spouse. Trust is lost between the two, and depression and hopelessness become common in the household. There are times the spouse is too humiliated to be around her very own family and friends. The spouse begins to feel lonesome after withdrawing herself out of society. When confronting the gambler in the family about money or gambling, the spouse is often verbally or physically attacked.

Occasionally the spouse of the gambler will not discuss the topic of gambling in fear of the gambler's reaction (Gambling and Family 2). When the gambler and the spouse are not able to iron out their problems and the spouse refuses to stick around any longer, the spouse files for divorce. The average divorce rate for problem gamblers is nearly

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