Gambling refers to a pre offer, of money or any other material that has substantial value, to the occurrence or failure of an event. The subject of gambling is that the gambler losses the money offered if the outcome of the event is against him or her or gains the money offered if the event outcome favors the gambler.
The outcome of the specific event is normally determinable in a short period of time. The gambler, therefore, takes the risk of either gaining or losing the offered money or material and any other valuable subjected to gambling. This paper seeks to discuss the issue of gambling. The paper will examine the benefits as well as any negative effects of gambling with an aim of arguing for the legalization of gambling in Texas.
Origin of Gambling
The nature of gambling is closely related to ancient religious beliefs that were practiced in the pre historic times. Gambling is for this reason believed to have its origin from religious beliefs. It has been generally pointed out that gambling was developed from a religious practice in which particular religious leaders who were believed to be in communication with gods predicted what would happen to people.
It was believed that these leaders were able to learn from gods or spirits what would happen in future. The religious leaders who had the ability to predict the future used objects which would be thrown from a person’s hand.
The objects were believed to predict the future with respect to either a positive or a negative result depending on what the visitor came to seek. Anciently, an even number of the thrown objects would mean a positive outcome while an odd number of the thrown objects would mean a negative prediction. The outcomes of these religious practices were based on chance even though they were believed to be responses from either gods or some spirits.
The initial observation of the number of thrown objects was later improved to include a study of the pattern formed by the objects. Further developments of the practice led to the issuance of gifts by the person seeking counsel from the religious or spiritual leader. The gifts were meant to appease the gods or the spirits to enhance their yielding of good outcomes through the predictions.
This concept of the ancient religious leaders foretelling the future is what was modified into a game like activity in which people try to predict the outcome of an event with a monetary value attached to their prediction. A positive prediction leads to a person getting the amount put in the game. An outcome contrary to that predicted by a gambler leads to the gambler losing his or her money or commodity subjected to the gambling (Crapsdicecontrol1).
Texas Laws on Gambling
Under the Texas statutes, gambling is defined as a bet over an event that has not yet occurred. A person is therefore said to have gambled if the individual makes or participates in a bet of an activity whose final result is not yet known. The activity could be a competition,such as in games, in which a winner is desired, political contests, or results on intellectual tests. Gambling is illegal under the Texas statute and a person is liable for gambling if the person is either directly or indirectly involved in a gambling process.
Indirect involvement in gambling could include acts such as being an agent in gambling in which an individual is used asa link between gamblers, undertaking to promote or to enhance gambling, providing an avenue or place where gambling is undertaken or even having a tool that is used either for gambling or to promote gambling. Gambling is therefore a criminal offence in Texas under the statutory provisions (Texas statutes 1).
Reasons why People Gamble
There are a number of reasons why people choose to gamble. A person can choose to gamble because gambling brings a sense of “recreation and fun” (Aging 1). The process of gambling brings with itself some sense of adrenaline driven moments as people anticipate in the outcome of a gambling activity.
These moments together with suspense of who is going to be favored by the results of such gambling brings excitement that make the experience fun to some individuals. Like other games, gambling also brings the participating parties together and promotes a sense of unity among these people. It is for this reasonthat it offers an opportunity for people to socialize with one another.
Gambling which is carried out with a partial aim of raising money to support a charity event or a social activity can also yield the fulfillment of helping the unfortunate in a society. A person can therefore engage in a gamble with an understanding that part of the proceeds will be delivered to some social activity somewhere (Aging 1).
Another reason for gambling is to help people escape from the realities that they face at home. People take advantage of the time they use in gambling together with the company that they get atthe gambling places topass time in an environment that is more relaxed. In this view, gambling can be perceived as a relieving exercise that can help people control or reduce stressat least for the moment of the gambling activity and when in the company of other gamblers. Gambling is also a source of income.
When people bet, they submit to the risk of either winning or losing. When they win, the proceeds are more than what was bet. Gambling can therefore be seen as some sort of a faster and easy investment in which one just puts his or her money and wait for fate to determine his or her profit or loss (Aging 1).
Another argument in support for gambling is the fact that it is something that a person does at will. In democratic countries like the United States, in which Texas is a state, democracies are upheld and people’s fundamental rights and freedom to make choices and to look for happiness are declared in the constitution.
If the constitution allows people to choose whether or not they should drink, or the religion they want to belong to or even the type of political leaders that they want for their country, the way they want to spend their money and how they want to have fun and be happy in life, then the same constitution ought to give its citizen the freedom to choose whether or not they want to gamble.
It can be argued that when a person goes to gamble, he shall have taken the risk of either winning or losing in the gamble. If one party looses, the other party should not be liable for the loss because both parties must have consented to the terms of gambling before they put their money in the act. It should therefore be viewed as a fair act that violates no right or freedom of any loosing party. It is neither theft nor robbery.
Collins peter argued that gambling has dual effects. There are benefactors in a variety of ways. When one party loses and the other party gains.The proceeds of the gambling are of economic importance to the winning party as well as those individuals who depend on the winning party.
The effects are therefore countered. Both parties are aware of loosing orwinning and would be happy if they won. Similarly, the dependants of gamblers are most likely happy and enjoy the proceeds of gambling when their bread winner is lucky and brings the gambling money home. These same people should therefore understand when the same gambler is one day unlucky and loses his or her money in gambling.
It is the same in either way and it is in addition a source of employment to other people such as the owners of facilities or those employed in the facilities where gambling takes place. A total ban on gambling therefore has a significant effect of lost income to parties that are occasionally involved in gambling (Collins 43).
Collins further argued that gambling should be allowed as a means of fostering social justice in a society. Underthis argument, Collins claimed that people ought to be given opportunity to make their choices as regards to what they want.
A person who feels like joining either the Republican Party or the Democrats should be given the chance to choose where they want to belong, another person who wants to donate his or her income to a social activity such as supporting an orphanage or the elderly or any other disadvantaged member of a society should be given the opportunity.
A donation to a charity is money taken away from the donor’s dependents and the dependents consequently loses claim over such donations. Money lost through gambling is similarly a choice of a person risking money but with the hope of getting more. Gambling is for this reason more beneficial to the gambler’s dependants as compared to charity donations from which absolutely no reward is expected (Collins 43).
Arguments against Gambling
There are, however, arguments against gambling. According to Kasinoonnet, too much of gambling is considered unsafe more so if a person is going beyond his or her financial means in order to gamble (Kasinosonnet 1). It is also argued that gambling results in unsuccessful relationships “interfere with responsibilities at work, and leads to financial catastrophies” (Helpguide 1). Gambling is therefore perceived in this case to be an addictive exercise that can ruin a person together with his or her family (Helpguide 1).
There are significant arguments that gambling is not a safe activity to engage in especially due to its addicting effects. There are possibilities that it can lead to loss of money by a gambler and the side effects of lost money can ruin the gambler together with his or her dependants.
It is however evident that gambling is voluntary and a person only goes into gambling on free will and consent. Gambling also has a variety of benefits such as entertainment and income increment among others. As a voluntary exercise, the people of Texas should be given the freedom to individually make decisions as to whether or otherwise, they want to gamble since there is no difference between gambling and other activities such as charity donations which are legal. Gambling should therefore be legalized in Texas.
Aging. Gambling. Aging Canada, 2005. Web. April 12, 2011.
Collins, Peter. Gambling and the public interest. New York, NY: Greenwood publishing group, 2003. Print.
Crapsdicecontrol. A history of gambling. Craps Dice Control, n.d. Web. April 12, 2011.
Helpguide. Gambling addiction and problem gambling. Help guide Organization, 2011. Web. April 12, 2011.
Kasinosonnet. Advantages and disadvantages of casino gambling. Kasinosonnet, 2011. Web. April 12, 2011.
Texas statutes. Gambling. Gambling law, 2011. Web. April 12, 2011.