Second, Gambling has grown into a major industry over the pas few years; the centre for addiction and mental health stated in their Gambling Policy framework in 2011 “Government-operated gambling has steadily expanded in Ontario in the past two decades, revenues reaching $4. 7 billion in 2009. ” (2). This shows that Gambling has grown to become a major industry in today’s economy and by doing so it has helped society in several different aspects, the growth of the gambling industry has lead to an increase in revenue for the government, thus resulting in more social benefits towards the public.
Finally, The gambling industry has lead to many job opportunities in north America, offering a beacon of hope to those in need of jobs during a recession. In modern society, freedom is not only supported but also cherished, people should be given the freedom to live their lives as they please, weather they choose to live their lives in a healthy way or not that is up to them. However, they must be given the right to live as they please. In the United States, groups such as the KKK are protected under the first amendment, which protects their freedom of speech, no matter how ludicrous it may be, they have the right to say as they please.
The same should be applied to life. People should have the choice to live their lives as they please without being watched over by the government. Since gambling does require participants to be of legal age, we know that the people gambling are adults. These grown ups should be able to have control over their own lives, its their responsibility to understand the chances they are taking when gambling. Some may argue that certain people can’t control their gambling problems and have gotten too addicted to gambling and that casinos take advantage of these people.
These claims are supported by some statistics given in the centre for addiction and mental health, which states, “it is estimated that between 30% and 40% of Ontario’s gambling revenues come from the 3% of the population with gambling problems” (2). This statistic shows that the gambling industry does heavily depend of the people addicted to the game. I would respond by expressing two points. First, the people with gambling problems of which they cannot control are a minority, in Jonathan Wolff’s “Ethics and public policy A Philosophical inquiry”, the author states that “between 0. and 0. 8 of the UK adult population could be classified as problem gambles” (59). Furthermore, in the centre for addiction and mental health’s Gambling Policy framework in 2011 that “just over 3% of the province’s population experiences moderate to severe gambling problems. ”(57). These numbers do not justify having to discipline an entire industry that would affect hundreds of thousands of people that work in it and making their living off jobs in that industry.
Second, increasing government regulations on casinos and lotteries will not stop these problem gamblers from gambling. Jonathan Wolff states “in the late 1950s there were towns about 25 percent of the adult population gambled illegally on a regular basis. ”(55). Taking this point into perspective, it could be inferred that if the government increases the regulations on legal casinos and lotteries that would make it harder for people with an addiction to gamble, these people will find other ways to feed their addiction.
This is a severe problem because when these people begin to gamble illegally they will put their money into other illegal activities, which could include drugs, weapons or violence. In fact, many large gangs could use this opportunity to fund their illegal activities, which would lead to more trouble in society; another point to be made towards this issue would be that of money, not only would these gamblers be putting their lives at risk when gambling illegally and dealing with gangs, but they could also be keeping this money out of the government’s hand which could go government programs to help the less fortunate.
This brings me to my next point and that is that gambling has become a major source of revenue for the government. Government regulated gambling has grown into a massive industry which generates a significant amount of revenue each year of which most ends up in the government as funding for many different organizations. in the paper named “Gambling: Its Pleasure and costs” by Lorne Tepperman it states that “The industry group’s report ... says 57 per cent of gambling revenue - $8. 7 billion- supported government services and charities. (9). Tepperman also states that gambling is the “most financially significant” (9) segment in entertainment and that it contributes “$15. 3 billion a year to the economy, according to the Canadian Gaming Association. ” (9). Ronald Pavalko also states in his paper titled “gambling and public policy” “State revenues from casino taxes totaled nearly $3. 5 billion. ” (336). The reality is that today, we are in a recession we can’t afford to decrease that revenue by implementing harsh restrictions on gambling.
It is argued that even though gambling is a major source of revenue for the government, it is also a source of misery for people with gambling addictions. The centre for Addiction and Mental health states that “For these individuals, a range of harms may occur, resulting in heavy social, economic, and health costs such as crime, dysfunctional relationships, and bankruptcy. ” (2). However, the solution to this problem is not adding restrictions to gambling but is actually using the money made from gambling towards a better cause.
As I have previously stated, people addicted to gambling will not be cured from their addiction by regulating legal gambling because they will find other means to feed their addiction. I believe that the best solution to these people’s gambling problem would be using the revenue that they generate for the government in taxes could be used to create social programs for people with serious addictions to gambling that would help them quit.
I believe this solution would be ideal because the minority of people with gambling addictions will be treated in a proper healthy way in order to get over their addiction, the left over revenue could still be used in other social programs and finally, the money and profit that the casinos and lotteries generate will still flow which would result in more jobs, another source of income to the economy and would prevent people from getting fired from their jobs if harsh restrictions were to be applied to gambling agencies.
My final argument for this essay is that of employment. As previously stated, gambling generates a huge amount of revenue for the government, Gambling is a growing industry and with its growth it creates several opportunities for jobs for people in need. Gambling generates many jobs that help the economy grow in this time of need. Gambling generates jobs of all sorts, from the engineers and architects that build and design the casinos, to the people who sell lottery tickets, to those who actually work in casinos.
All of these people generate their income because of the gambling industry. Tepperman states that in Canada gambling accounts for “267,000 full time jobs. ” (6). Pavalko also states in his paper that in only eleven states a total of 370,207 people are employed in casinos, In a country with a current unemployment rate of 8%, the Gambling industry should be seen as a source for solutions to a much more serious problem than an addiction to gambling. Expanding the gambling industry will in return create more job opportunities and help decrease the unemployment rate dramatically.
However, if the government begins to set harsher policies towards gambling and casinos are required to cut costs, the unemployment rate might increase which would create even more social issue, which could result in protests and riots from the workers who have lost their jobs due to the harsh policy towards gambling. Some might argue that Gambling still creates harm towards many people and even though it can create jobs it can also result in many people losing their jobs. I would respond by quoting Lorne Tepperman “A majority of adults gamble responsible; only a small minority of the population experiences gambling related harm. (1). I believe that gambling will create more jobs that it will end and that that is just a minor side effect that could be easily cured by the revenue that gambling will generate for the government, this money could be put back into society and produce new projects that create new job opportunities and these jobs could be offered to those who had lost their previous jobs. In conclusion I would say that I do not believe that the government should regulate gambling because of the reasons that I have stated earlier in this essay.
First, Gambling is a choice and freedom. It a civil right and the government should not be able to decide weather or not you are allowed to gamble or how much you are allowed to gamble. Second, Gambling has grown into a major industry and has become a major source of revenue to the government. Gambling has helped fund many government programs used to help the less fortunate, even though gambling does create certain people who are addicted to it, they are nowhere near as many as the people whom gambling helps.
In this situation the pros drastically outweigh the cons and as previously stated, the revenue generated from gambling could go towards social programs made to help people with gambling addictions, that way these people will eventually cure themselves of their addiction and the hundreds of thousands of people whom depend on gambling a source of income would not be affected, which is what I believe is a win-win situation. This brings me to my final argument, employment.
The gambling industry has created hundreds of thousands of job opportunities to many of those who need it, especially in a recession where millions struggle to find an income support for them and their families. I would say that the government should encourage gambling businesses to grow. However, as Christiane Pouline states in his paper titled “Gambling” that “Decisions on policy pertaining to gambling need to be based on a full accounting of the health, economic and social benefits and costs of gambling. (1208). Which is why the policy towards gambling should be set to help both the gambler and the Casinos. That policy should state that a majority of the profit that is generated from Casinos should go towards social programs that will benefit society; these social programs should include programs made to help gambling addicts with their problems. James Doughney perfectly sums up this policy in his book titled “The poker machine state”.
Doughney says, “Try to do good; but even when you cannot at least do not knowingly cause harm. ” (1). Over the past several years, gambling has grown into the largest sector of the entertainment industry, creating the most amount of revenue to the government. Our society should be scared of this phenomenon and try to regulate it, we should actually take advantage of it and use it to help make the most the most of this opportunity by using the money made from gambling to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.