Gambling began as an interest in good fortune and mysterious happenings that people couldn’t explain, as well as from games where betting was an integral component (card games, dice games, lotteries).
Psychiatrists define pathological gambling as an impulse control disorder with significant negative repercussions for individuals’ personal, social and financial well-being. Pathological gamblers display many risk factors associated with pathological gambling such as:
Gamblers are individuals who risk something of value on an activity or event with uncertain outcomes, such as horse races and card games. Gambling also includes coin tossing or poker as activities which involve chance.
Gambling was a widespread activity during colonial and early American history. Gambling helped fund both Jamestown as an original European settlement as well as Harvard and Princeton universities; riverboat gambling and saloon gaming also popular among Americans moving westward.
Recent understanding of pathological gambling has evolved over time; most experts now view it as a mental disorder similar to alcoholism. This change was supported by changes to the DSM (American Psychiatric Association, 1980). The most noteworthy changes include an updated definition for gambling as a social, recreational and pathological behavior progression model.
Gambling has long been considered an activity associated with sin; as societies evolved and accepted gambling more freely, its acceptability grew further. Now the gambling industry boasts multi-billion dollar revenues generated from video games, skin betting, daily fantasy sports and esports activities.
Regular participants of any form of gambling are more likely to exhibit problem behaviors such as impulsive spending and compulsive gambling, in addition to engaging in illegal activities like lying and stealing for financial gain – these individuals are known as “personality gamblers” (Dow Schull, 2013).
Gambling was cast aside by evangelical Christians as part of an emerging conservative moral ethos in the late 1700s, leading to an outlawing of gambling in several western racetracks and casinos as well as laws against it in southern states.
Gambling in many jurisdictions is highly regulated. Laws regulating this activity often reflect religious, moral, and societal values; within the US economy itself gambling remains one of the most restricted markets; yet worldwide growth of this form of entertainment continues apace.
Gambling market regulatory structures are intricate and dynamic, but few efforts have been taken to map their development systematically. This study employs critical frame analysis to examine how different political perspectives shape gambling regulation.
Individual-frame approaches were found to predominate among most of the 25 reviewed legislative texts, while system-frame approaches were mostly absent. Most jurisdictions recognized harm from gambling resulting in symptoms (cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal), financial hardships, gambling-related crime, or harm caused to significant others.
While gambling is an enjoyable global pastime, its legality varies by jurisdiction. Some governments prohibit or regulate it through taxes and licensing systems while other governments approve of gambling as long as taxes and licensing fees are collected and operators benefit from government involvement and have links with organized crime.
Prior to currency being created, people would engage in gambling using food and land as collateral. Once money became readily available, gambling became even more prevalent, becoming an enjoyable pastime until more controlled forms like casinos became prevalent.
Alvin Chau, the Macau casino tycoon who was arrested after illegally arranging trips for high rollers from China into Macau where gambling is legal, highlights the risks associated with gambling. For his crimes he was fined more than $8 Million.
Gambling is an activity in which something of value is gambled for a chance to gain more. Gambling has been part of human nature and many cultures for millennia; its appeal stems from being both thrilling and risky; yet, depending on local customs, traditions, religion or morality it can also be considered dangerous.
In the 19th century, many evangelical Christian leaders condemned gambling as sinful and harmful to society. At this time of social upheaval and increased morality awareness, understanding gambling’s history and how it has shaped public attitudes today is critical to ensure ethical gambling operations.