In a recent Pew poll, less than one-third of Americans thought gambling was immoral. But, over 70% felt that legalized gambling led people to spend more money than they can afford. This same sentiment existed in 1989, when only 62% felt this way about gambling. Regardless of the reasons for people’s addiction to gambling, it’s clear that they continue to engage in it. The question is: Are these attitudes changing? Or are Americans becoming more accustomed to gambling?
Regardless of the motivations behind your addiction, there are ways to reduce your gambling problem. First, you must understand what causes it in the first place. You may have a natural urge to gamble. But if you don’t understand the reason, it’s time to step away from the casino. And if you can’t stop yourself from gambling, you’ve got to find a different hobby. But don’t lose hope; there is help for gambling addiction.
Today, there are more than one thousand casinos in the United States. This number continues to grow as more states legalize casino gambling. Most states have some form of casino gambling. While larger cities and metropolitan areas are not defined by casino gambling, the Las Vegas Valley is home to the highest concentration. Atlantic City and the Chicago region follow in the revenue ranking. But before these cities embraced the legalization of gambling, they were only legal in Atlantic City and Nevada.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the United States had forty-five states. Some of the territories of Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona had already gained statehood. During this time, Nevada had already outlawed casino gambling. New York, Maryland, and New Jersey followed suit. By 1910, isolated card clubs were legal. Nonetheless, there were still no states that had legalized casino gambling. The legalization of gambling at racetracks was not approved by all.
Nowadays, gambling has reached a whole new level. It has evolved into a global industry that has changed the world’s economy. It is estimated that more than $10 trillion is wagered each year legally, but the amount that goes unregulated may exceed this figure. Many countries offer state-licensed lotteries as part of their gambling activities. For example, organized football pools are legal in nearly all European countries, Australia, and a handful of African and Asian nations.
The history of gambling dates back to the 1700s. Gambling was widespread in Europe during that time. During this time, sports like bear and bull baiting, wrestling matches, and footraces were popular. During this time, the precursors of modern casino games developed, including the roulette wheel. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) is credited with inventing the roulette wheel. As the popularity of gambling increased, many religious leaders opposed it.
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, one in five people who struggle with gambling attempt suicide. This is the highest suicide rate of any addiction. Although the statistics are not precise, they do highlight the tragic side of this addiction. In Michigan, a police officer killed himself while gambling in a casino. In London, an accountant jumped to his death from a skyscraper. In Las Vegas, a student killed himself after losing financial aid.