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Why Is Gambling More Popular?: Ante Up

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Forge Your Wealth is meant for education and entertainment and should not be used for financial advice.

While the missus and I have been traveling during the holidays, my wife has pointed out the number of casino billboards on the highway. She asked what it is with casinos popping up everywhere. Even gambling in sports is on the rise. I wish this was where it stopped. Gambling is becoming a common “feature” in video games, even in children’s games. Pokemon, one of the most popular games ever had some gambling. Many people were angry because the game was teaching children how to gamble (ignoring teaching children about animal fighting). Luckily, the gambling was entirely a simulation. Instead of taking the hint and not doubling down on simulated gambling, video game developers thought the perfect way to solve this issue was having gamers pay real money to simulate gambling. That’s not simulation of gambling, that IS gambling. Why is gambling becoming more popular?

My Opinion On Gambling

This post is mostly for education and entertainment purposes. I am not trying to insult people or to make a political stand point. I just want to illustrate how this industry has spread so far that we have to worry about children spending money for gambling and how to avoid it. Gambling is a barrier to producing wealth. So are many other things, that alone is not a reason to make anything illegal. That being said, I certainly do not think adults should do this, much less children if they want to forge their wealth.

Why More Gambling Is Allowed

I hardly even need to mention why gambling is allowed, money. But it is more complicated than that. There was a time that Nevada was the only place you could gamble, but later on other states allowed gambling. Politicians realized that their people were vacationing at Nevada and other states that allowed gambling. Saying that the gamble-less states became green with envy is an understatement. Suddenly, many states started legalizing gambling to at least some degree. Over half of all states have some form of legalized gambling and 18 have commercial casinos as of 2013. The reason why gambling is more popular is because the money pot for gaming is becoming larger and states now want to ante up to take a part of the pot.

Some politicians argue that casinos bring in revenue and create jobs. There is much debate over this. Casinos may produce unskilled jobs. However, they also produce areas where non-game businesses cannot flourish well. It does not matter which is true, ultimately casinos bring in revenue, and politicians and business owners like revenue.

Gambling Is The Perfect Business Model To Make Money

The idea of any business is that the customer pays for a product/service and the business provides the product/service. What is the product/service a customer pays a casino for? Essentially the thrill of the gamble. If you were to start a casino, you just need to provide a place for people to put money, flashing lights, and the potential for money output. Some people even make social events out of these. I know more people who gamble in sports than invest in stocks. And one of those activities is illegal in Pennsylvania (not Delaware nor New Jersey though).

Gambling is exciting because of the risk taken. It feels good to know that you could put a few dollars into something with the chance it will turn into more in a few deals or a lever pull. Let’s face it, you probably had a dopamine rush just looking at the picture of the falling poker chips and bright lights I had put with the title. Putting money in the stock market or into a business just does not mimic the same level of excitement.

Casinos and other gambling “firms” claim that what they provide is entertainment and that there is no difference between people paying for a seat at a poker table and a seat at the movie theater. They even claim that other forms of entertainment provide no true value while theirs does (although not very often). That’s exactly the point, gambling is entertainment. And unlike most other forms of entertainment, it produces only low paying jobs, because this form of entertainment does not really require skills. Sure, casinos and other gambling firms may use tactics to make their customers spend more, but what business doesn’t? And other businesses have to give a product/service. Simply put, setting up gambling is a simple way to make money, and more people are trying to take advantage of that.

Final Thoughts

It is harder to avoid the hype of gambling. Even children can be easily exposed to it. My word of advice is that if you want to make sure your children do not gamble, the best thing you can do is to raise your child by example. If you enjoy gambling, it is likely your child will pick that up too. Gambling is an addiction, and it is hard to kick. If you have a gambling addiction, you need to seek help in order to forge your wealth.

Author: Papa Foxtrot

Most of my life I was careful with money and learned where I should invest it. I was very lucky to have parents who taught me financial literacy when I was young. Unfortunately, I am very lucky because many people lack the financial literacy I know. The purpose of Forge Your Wealth is to teach people who are just starting out in life how to obtain their wealth or anyone who just realized they may need to learn more to handle their finances. I currently have a PhD in biochemistry, just started a job in industry (will not disclose where exactly for personal and professional reasons) and am currently married to the love of my life. I am one of the lucky few people in America who graduated with no student debts, my wife was not. Over the series of a little over 3 years we paid for our wedding with no debt and paid off her federal student loans.

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