Sin Week, Day 2: Gambling

I couldn’t choose between gambling and porn (ahem!), so I flipped a coin: it came up “heads”, so today we’re talking about gambling.

As is the case with many of the so-called “sin industries,” gambling seems like one of those things that’s entirely harmless, when enjoyed in moderation. (We did a lot of gambling — playing cars for dimes — at my parent’s house over the holidays.) But gambling, as an activity and as an industry, still has a pretty nasty rep. There seem to be two reasons. One is gambling’s association with other vices, and indeed with organized crime. That association isn’t a necessary one, of course: there’s nothing about gambling itself that says that the Mob (or other dodgy organizations) have to be involved. But historically, some pretty organizations dubious organizations have been involved in running gambling operations. Secondly, gambling has a nasty tendency to ruin the lives of a certain percentage of participants. See, for example, this story about gambling addictions:

Gambling treatment program won’t cure addiction
and…
Pull ‘misleading’ scratch tickets, gambling watchdog group urges

(For a depressing look at what happens to those who win at gambling, check this story: 8 lottery winners who lost their millions)

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