Should You Gamble

Say you have $100 to lose; how should you bet? Should you place 100 bets, each for $1, or just do one $100 bet? A group of mathematicians wrote an interesting paper, 'How to Gamble If You Must.' If you don't want to see a lot of formulas, I'll spare you some time and give you their conclusion. Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Procter & Gamble’s fiscal 2021 sales and earnings indicates a rise of 4.6% and 8.6%, respectively, from the year-ago reported numbers.

Billions of people love to gamble. For some, it’s the thrill of the chase – the possibility of winning. For others, it’s entertainment or a way to escape the day-to-day grind.

If you asked them, they’d tell you they’re not doing anything wrong. That gambling is no different or no more a waste of money than going to a movie, concert or nice dinner out.

But then there are people who disagree. That, for one reason or another, think there’s something wrong with gambling.

We thought it’d be interesting to explore the other side of the coin. So, the following are 6 arguments we’ve seen people make against gambling.

1. Religion

This is the biggest argument on our list. Do a Google search for ‘arguments against gambling’ and you’ll see what I mean.

There are different reasons why religious people are against gambling. But they all stem from different verses you’ll find in the Bible.

For example:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.
Hebrews 13:5

You shouldn’t try to gain material things when all your basic needs are met.

Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.
Proverbs 28:19

God wants you to work (for what you have). Gambling is a way to make money without working, which is fueled by greed, selfishness and laziness.

For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD hateth.
Psalm 10:3

And yet another passage that condemns greed and overabundance.

The bottom line – the Bible teaches you to be selfless and not to covet (materialistic) things. And that you can save both time and money by not gambling – which you can use instead to better yourself and those around you.

But is gambling truly a sin? That depends on who you ask, how they interpret the Bible’s lessons, and whether or not they follow everything the Bible teaches.

Not surprising, some say gambling is a sin. No two ways about it; no ifs, ands or butts.

But then there are others who believe only compulsive gambling is a sin; it’s sinful to be addicted to gambling. But it’s not a sin to gamble in moderation.

“Bible-believing Christians would consider compulsive gambling a sin. That is, gambling is sinful for those who are addicted to it. Compulsive gamblers sin by wasting time. Gambling is for them such an addiction, that most or all of their spare time is spent gambling in one form or another and weekends and vacations which should be spent with family are taken up with trips to cities that have casinos. The more focus on gambling an addicted person becomes the less time he spends with his family and the less productive he becomes in his job.” (Excerpt from nolotto.faithweb.com)

2. Gambling Leads to Addiction

Another argument against gambling is that it leads to developing a gambling addiction. Statistics show that 80 percent of American adults gamble annually. What’s scary about that is they also show that every 3-5 gamblers (out of 100) struggle with a gambling problem.

Even scarier yet, statistics shows that as many as 750,000 young adults (14-21) have a gambling addiction. Different types of dealers. The risk of developing an addiction more than doubles for young adults, with people between the ages of 20 and 30 having the highest risk.

Gambling addiction – like most addictions – is destructive. It tears families apart and often leads to suicide, substance abuse, bankruptcy, crime and more.

3. It’s a Waste of Money

Here’s what Dave Ramsey (a financial expert) says about gambling in a casino:

“I don’t really have a moral problem with it, but I don’t understand the concept. Call me crazy, but I do not get a thrill from losing money I’ve worked hard to earn. That’s not my idea of entertainment.”

He goes on to say he thinks people who say they gamble for fun or recreation are delusional – that they believe they’ll actually beat the house and win – that they’re an exception to the rule.

And what about the lucky few who actually win? Well, Dave says:

“You may see a news story once in a while about someone winning big money in a casino, but that rarely happens. Think, too, about how much money those people had flushed down the toilet previously while gambling. There’s a really good chance they didn’t really ‘win’ anything. In most cases, they probably just recouped a small portion of their previous, substantial losses.”

Mark Ford (serial entrepreneur, author, real estate investor) shares similar, yet different sentiments to Dave Ramsey. Ford says he doesn’t gamble because it’s too much like work; he gets no pleasure from it; and because it’s so clear to him he’d lose money.

He goes on to say you could spend the same amount of effort into nearly any other endeavor and you’re likely to walk away richer, not poorer, as a result.

“Concentration. Focus. Calculations. Long hours. It all seems like work to me. The only difference is that in Las Vegas the odds are stacked against you.

In any other field of endeavor, you could take the same people and put them to work doing virtually these same things –concentrating, figuring, calculating, and executing –and you’d have– almost certainly– a viable business.

Not in Las Vegas. Over the long haul, gambling makes you poorer. Spend the same time and effort in almost any other endeavor, and you’re likely to get richer.

So why is it that so many people like to gamble and don’t like to work?”

4. Millennials Want Control

Another argument stems from stats that show millennials (people born from 1980-2000) gamble far less than previous generations. An interesting fact is how Las Vegas and The Strip visitation is increasingly being driven by millennials, yet gaming accounts for less than 37% of the revenue generated on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Motley Fool gives several reasons (guesses) why:

  • Millennials find (current) slot machines boring.
  • They want to be engaged and empowered – they want some control over the outcome.
  • They prefer night clubs to casino gambling.
  • They’re more interesting in online gaming, poker and daily fantasy sports.
  • They want skill based games.
  • They demand fairness.
  • They want to be more social.
  • They want experiences.

The common denominator here is that millennials want more control over their outcome. They want games where skill can overcome luck – and that’s just not possible when every casino game favors the house.

And why do all casino games favor the house?

5. Casino Games are Rigged

Did you know that every casino game favors the house? It might be by as little as half a percent (.5%), but the point is, casino games are rigged against you. This is called the house edge.

“My advice is don’t waste your time and money on that stuff. One way or another, the house always wins. That’s how they’re able to build those giant, billion-dollar places called casinos”. – Dave Ramsey

In the same article referenced above (#4), the Motley Fool says that millennials wanting more skill-based games (control) isn’t the (only) problem.

In Las Vegas specifically, the house edge – or the hold percentage – has increased over the last few decades. In other words, the games were already rigged against you – but now they’re even more unfair. You can find better value gambling somewhere other than Las Vegas (at local casinos, for example).

“…the underlying assumption is that if millennials weren’t spending their money partying in Las Vegas, they would be spending it gambling in Las Vegas (either that, or millennials apparently should be gambling more to match what they’re spending on bottle service)”.

“This is 100% wrong – the reality is that if millennials weren’t spending their money partying in Las Vegas, they wouldn’t be coming to Las Vegas at all”. – The Motley Fool

The Motley Fool goes on to say that, while gambling has matured, so has the audience. Millennials have grown up using the internet – they have access to (gambling) information that past generations didn’t have access to.

“(Millennials) are more knowledgeable and generally less stupid about gambling than any generation to come before us. We are far less likely to believe, for example, that the Martingale system is valid”. – The Motley Fool

The bottom line – the internet has made us wiser about gambling. Most people now realize that casino games are (legally) rigged against us. Between this and the worsening house edge, people choose to gamble far less, if at all (evident by the decreasing gaming numbers in Las Vegas).

6. Underage Gambling

Another problem people have with gambling is the affects gambling has on kids and young adults.

This is a very real concern. Earlier (#2) we shared a stat that says nearly 750,000 young adults have developed a gaming addiction, and that they’re nearly twice as likely to do compared to adults aged 30+.

Most casinos say you need to be 18 or 21 (depending on if they serve alcohol) to gamble.

Never mind the stats that show that even adults 18-30 are twice as likely to develop a gambling addiction. What about those who are younger than 18/21, but manage to obtain a fake ID?

Want an example? What about poker pro Phil Ivey – you can’t read a bio about him without it being mentioned he used a fake ID to play poker in Atlantic City in his early days.

This problem isn’t limited to brick/mortar casinos, either. Poker pro Tom Dwan started playing online at 17. He’s not the only one, either. It’s easier for kids/teenagers to gamble online since many casinos (especially offshore) don’t check your ID until you’re ready to make your first cash out.

Next to addiction and religious reasons, underage gambling is the strongest argument people make against gambling. The prevention of underage gambling is a cornerstone of all state (online) gambling laws, as well as a big criticism of others.

Conclusion

These are the biggest and most common arguments against gambling today.

It’s not hard to poke holes or make strong cases against any of these points. But that shouldn’t be our focus.

Instead, I think it’s a much better idea to understand why people are against it. For one, it’s easier to empathize with others – to see where they’re coming from.

But it can also help us improve the gambling industry – to talk about it and figure out what we can do to make the industry safer and more enjoyable for those who choose to participate. That, I think, is the best action of all.

Gamble

Home > Online Casinos > Casino Articles > 7 Reasons to Quit Gambling

Gambling has long served as a popular form of entertainment. And it can be a healthy way to experience thrills as long as you don't go overboard.

But some gamblers deal with problems as a result of their hobby, whether they end up being financial, emotional, or social.

If you're currently a gambler, then you should consider quitting before you experience any of these problems. And if you need some motivation to quit gambling, here are seven reasons.

1. The Casino Always Has an Edge

Outside of card counting and player vs player poker games like Texas Hold'em, the casino always holds an advantage over players.

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The trick, though, is that these edges are so slim that you may not even notice until you've been playing for hours and your bankroll is gone.

Here's an example:

You're a good blackjack player who's worked the house edge down to 1.0%. If you're betting $25 per hand and playing 80 hands per hour, you'll theoretically lose $20 an hour.

The 1.0% house edge doesn't seem like much in the short term. But when you're theoretically losing $20 per hour, this really adds up.

Things only get worse when you play slots because they move at a quicker pace than table games. Each spin is decided within seconds, meaning you'll make hundreds of spins per hour.

If a slot machine has an 8% house edge and you bet $400 within an hour, that's $32 in theoretical losses. This is a lot if you're just a casual player who's passing the time with slots.

2. You'll Fall for the Gambler's Fallacy

The most frequent reason why people blow their casino bankrolls is the gambler's fallacy, or belief that past results will influence future results.

The gambler's fallacy is especially prevalent in games with even money bets like baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette.

Consider this example:

You lose four blackjack hands in a row. Given that you should have won at least one of these hands based on probability, you triple your next bet because you're 'due' for a win.

Are you any more likely to win this next hand? No, because your odds are the same as they were on the previous three hands.

This is where many players go wrong, though, in thinking that they can use past results to dictate a proper betting strategy. This is even more dangerous when you increase your bets because you think that you're due for a win.

3. Gambling Can Be Addicting

One reason why people enjoy gambling is because it activates dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that affects your brain's reward and pleasure centers.

Win or lose, you feel rewarded every time that you're playing slots and table games.

What's dangerous is that the more you gamble, the longer it takes for you to feel the same rewards that you got when first playing.

This is where addiction sets in and, when coupled with the casino's long term edge, will cause your finances to take a hit.

Not everybody gets to this point with gambling. But if you quit now, then you don't have to worry about becoming addicted.

4. Gambling Affects Your Mood

Gambling has more highs and lows than just about any other activity.

You feel great when you're winning and are a pleasure to be around. But when you're losing, you may feel irrational and get angry with others.

This isn't logical thinking when you refer back to the point about the house having a long term advantage. After all, if you don't want to lose then don't gamble in the first place.

Some gamblers don't think logically, though, and it affects their moods after a losing streak. This is when you start acting like a jerk to others because you had a bad session.

Should You Gamble

Even worse is when your mood is affected at the table and you make poor decisions with your bankroll and / or through strategy. Sometimes referred to as tilt, this psychological state has devastating consequences that you won't realize until after the damage is already done.

If you don't want to suffer through these wild mood swings, then spend your time on more rewarding activities like exercising or hanging out with friends.

5. Casino Visitors Are Robbery Targets

Whether or not casinos increase crime in surrounding neighborhoods is a debatable topic filled with mixed research. But one undeniable fact is that casinos visitors can be targets of robbers.

Criminals know that gamblers have money on them when they visit land based casinos. And this has led to plenty of robberies outside of casinos or even inside of them.

Poker pro Scott Montgomery was once held at knifepoint in a Bellagio bathroom and forced to hand over $2,000.

In some cases robbers stalk casinos looking for big winners. Although these winners can ask for an escort out of the casino, this doesn't stop criminals from following them to their hotel or home afterward.

If any of this terrifies you, then stop gambling so that you avoid being a robbery target. Or at the very least, stay home and gamble from the safety of your mobile device or PC.

6. Gambling Can Waste Lots of Time

If you gamble at land based casinos, chances are that you'll spend hours on slot machines and / or table games. Even if you play short sessions on your smartphone throughout the day, all of these sessions can add up to hours by the end of the week.

In the end, gambling is a huge drain on your time. And when you consider that gambling offers no reward beyond entertainment, you may come to regret all the time you've spent on it.

What's worse is if you pour hours into learning strategy and / or becoming an advantage player. The idea of beating the house as a blackjack card counter may sound appealing; but it becomes less exciting after hours and hours spent learning how to count cards.

I can think of many other fun and rewarding activities that cost little or no money, including biking, hanging out with friends, having a party, playing sports, visiting a waterpark or walking your dog.

If you're somebody who likes to take gambling trips, you should ask yourself if you can have just as much fun on the trip without gambling. By cutting out the gambling, you'll have more money for other activities on the trip.

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7. Gambling Can Cause Social Problems

Earlier I discussed how gambling can affect your mood and make you more irritable. One consequence of this is that you'll start having social problems with friends and family members.

This problem is only hastened if you have an addiction that takes precedence over spending time with others. You may obsess about the next time that you can play and win back your losses while tuning out conversations with your friends / family.

Your personality will change too if you feel depression and anxiety over losses. This attitude change coupled with losses can lead to serious problems in your relationship / marriage.

Yet another downside is that you may only identify with other gamblers and ignore other people. While it's nice to make new friends, you don't want your entire circle to be filled with gambling addicts.

Conclusion

A major problem with gambling is that almost every player is destined to lose.

At times it may seem like you can overcome the house edge through good strategy and bankroll management. But unless you're an advantage player or poker pro, you'll eventually lose thanks to the casino's long term edge.

Unfortunately, many players don't consider the reality because they're caught up in the gambler's fallacy. They believe that as long as they can keep playing, they'll win back their losses and have a chance to earn a profit.

As if this isn't bad enough, gambling also takes your time and can cause social problems with your friends and family. These problems are magnified when you're stuck in a losing streak and obsessing over how you can get back on the winning track.

I encourage you to think about the 7 problems that I covered above and strongly think about if you're experiencing any of them. If so, then it's time for you to quit gambling.