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Who Really Wins? An Examination of Gambling in Modern Society

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  1. Introduction
  2. That which compels people to engage in gambling
  3. Addiction to gambling
  4. The cycle of destructive gambling
  5. The wining and loosing phases of gambling
  6. Conclusing
  7. References

Human beings are the most sophisticated animals on earth, capable of raising entire civilizations through their mastery of tools and their uncanny ability to manipulate their environment. This concept of control is enforced from early childhood as stable and predictable lifestyles are depicted as good and idealistic. Although events happen throughout peoples lives which are out of their control, people generally like to believe that they are in command of their lives, and that every outcome is a direct result of their actions. This illusion of control is precisely what the gambling industry exploits, on an absolutely enormous scale. Gambling is becoming increasingly popular in the media with televised poker, internet gambling and movies like the recent James Bond movie ?Casino Royale?. Everybody from teenagers to the elderly can indulge in activities like poker, slot machines, bingo and lottery tickets to satisfy their needs for adventure and risk taking. Despite its popularity in modern society, it is generally acknowledged as a negative pastime due to its addictive demeanor and ability to ruin people's lives.

[...] Therefore compulsive gambling is a result of an intense psychological and physiological dependency to winning, which can be compared to other chemical addictions. When people are responsible, gambling can be an enjoyable and social pastime which can even turn a profit. It is when people lose control and develop the social, economic and psychological problems associated with gambling that it turns it into a deviant and negative pastime. The gambling industry is a huge source of government revenue as Canadians lost a total of 11.3 billion in 2002 alone (Wynne, 2004). [...]

[...] Moreover it should be mentioned that low stakes gambling in a social environment can be entertaining to people of all ages, as long as people play responsibly. However this is not always the case as some people may take it too far and suffer social and economic repercussions. Although gambling can be fun in moderation, this is not always the case as people can become severely addicted and begin to suffer socially and economically. This type of gambling is known as compulsive or pathological gambling and affects approximately the Canadian gambling population (Wynne, 2004). [...]

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