The roots, significance, value and legislation of gambling

Abstract

In this highly personal account, Reverend Moody traces his exploration for over three decades of many facets of the underlying nature of gambling in society and in human nature. He makes the case that much of the appeal of gambling comes from the excitement of playing with chance, and discusses how different types of gambling — lotteries, wagering, and continuous betting — meet a variety of needs and pose diverse levels of risk to gamblers. He notes distinctions between controlled and uncontrolledgamblers, and the tendency for controlled gamblers to play on the edge and risk loss of control. He notes difficulties in preventing the excesses that can occur to individuals who gamble. He points out the problems with legislatures legalizing gambling for ulterior purposes, such as to raise tax revenue, rather than to cater to the demand for gambling from punters. This can lead to situations where commercial gaming interests are not directed to act in the best interests of the general public because potential problems that may arise with available gambling are ignored or deemphasized. Finally, he points out the tensions amongst various interest groups who deal with gambling and notes those forums which have evolved in recent years that provide greater opportunities for dialogue among the various entities who deal with gambling and public policy issues.

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