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    Let’s start with a definition. What is gambling? Gambling is betting on something that may or may not happen down the road. Once we gamble, we take a risk, choose an uncertain outcome, and bet on it. Gamblers bet on casino games, horse racing, and sports where the result can not be predicted with certainty. Some individuals will bet on anything. Remember the Seinfeld episode where Kramer bet on the arrival and enquiry departure times of airplanes at a whole new York City airport?

    How is gambling not the same as buying stocks and bonds? Stocks and bonds are thought about investments and not gambles because we can reasonably expect to come out ahead within the long term. They can be risky but not in the same sense as gambling.

    How is gambling distinctive from buying insurance? Once we buy coverage, we are betting on an issue that may or might not happen later on. We do not want to take the risk which it shall happen, so we pay somebody else (the insurance company) to take the risk for us. As we buy homeowner’s coverage, by way of example, we have been betting our house will burn down and also the coverage company is betting it won’t. (Of-course we hope we won’t win this bet.) This is not gambling since the risk may be calculated. The coverage company uses all kinds of statistics to analyze the probability of our house burning down and fixes the premium we shall pay accordingly.

    Individuals have gambled since ancient times. In contrast, society never approved of it because it was labeled an effort to get money without working for it. Society believed that serious effort should pave the way to financial success. It was not until the late 1960s that states (except for Nevada which had legalized all forms of gambling earlier) started to run lotteries to raise money for worthwhile causes.

    So why do we gamble even though we have been unlikely to win in the long run? We gamble for the excitement of the uncertain outcome. Some gamble to try to make their financial dreams come true. A lot of people gamble for entertainment or enjoyment, such as a night out with friends at the casino or a bingo game for a charitable organization or possibly a lottery ticket. Some think they may beat the odds and make a living out of gambling. There are people who gamble given that they simply love the challenge. They look at gambling as a game of skill or problem-solving and they are sure also they can win. Some like the environment or even the thrill of a possible big win, or perhaps the adrenaline rush of going for a chance. Casinos allow us to socialize and pass some time. There are actually no clocks in a casino; we lose track of time; we forget all our troubles. It’s like a therapy session! If we are timid, we will go to a casino and boldly take chances.

    Occasional gambling could possibly be a relaxing form of entertainment but be careful not to get addicted. Addiction may lead to obsession. You might lose control and become so fanatical that one can ruin you life or suffer other catastrophic consequences. So if you gamble, make sure you set limits and keep to the limits you have set.

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