How Ethical is Gambling on Slot Machines?

In the United Kingdom right now there is an epidemic of gambling that has created a new breed of gambling addict and has caused all kinds of problems within local communities. Something similar is happening in Australia and in several other countries. These things have something in common. Firstly, gambling is legal there, and secondly, the problems are all created by slot machines.

If you listen to the economists than legalized gambling is the way to go. They say that it brings in a lot of money for local communities and is able to generate millions in tax. All of that is true. But the issue that the American people have with gambling is not about the money. It’s about the damage that it can do to society. Countries like the UK and Australia have ignored this damage for many years, and they are now suffering as a result.

Yet, there are still many people calling for the legalization of gambling in the United States, perhaps not realizing just what damage it can do.

The Pros of Slot Machines

Slot machines are considered the pinnacle of gambling, both offline and online. They generate the most money for the casinos, which means they earn the most in tax. What’s more, because they are placed in big, glitzy casinos, they also generate extra money via tourism.

In Great Britain, a country with a population that is less than a third of the United States, gambling is worth around $15 billion. That’s a vast sum of money for a small country. What’s more, $3 billion of that goes into helping local charities. And when you consider how much money is pumped into the economy by the big casinos, by the online gambling industry and by the tourists that flock there to gamble, this becomes an industry worth in excess of $20 billion.

Canada generates a little less than this, but its benefits are the same. There is a vast sum of money and it is continuous funneled into the country’s coffers. But if we use the positives from gambling in Canada then we also need to consider the negatives, and that’s when things get ugly.

The Cons of Slot Machines

Slot machines are safe, there is no disrupting that. They are fair, and the ones you play both offline and online are not out to rip you off. However, they are developed in such a way that people just can’t stop playing once they start. They use sounds and graphics as triggers; they are filled with “near wins” and promises of jackpots. All of this creates an experience that is incredibly easy to get addicted to, and that’s exactly what is happening all over the world.

In terms of severity, gambling addiction in Canada has nothing on gambling addiction in Australia or the United Kingdom, but it’s still a huge problem.

Gambling is a $13 billion industry in Canada, but it is believed that much more money is lost through problem gambling. People lose their jobs, their marriage breaks down. People develop addictions and become a drain on the health service. They kill themselves and cause all kinds of turmoil.

There are many ways that gambling can have a negative impact on an economy and in most cases the loss is greater than the profit.

That is the reason why gambling is still mostly illegal in the United States and it is why it will likely continue to be so. But there are moves to change things. The big gambling companies want to bring their new, addictive slot machines to every town and every city. They have already placed them in major casinos and they can be found in Indian gambling territory nationwide. But they are trying to spread them, and when that happens then the epidemic of addiction will spread with them.

This is much more than a simple issue is. It’s about holding the integrity of American society together, and that’s something that we all need to play a part in.

The Christian Post