Definition of gambling
The term gambling involves the act of wagering/betting of either valuable assets or money with the anticipation that the uncertain outcomes will enable the wager to continue winning more valuable items. Gambling involves two or more parties who voluntarily bet their valuable assets; commonly referred as skates, with the anticipation that one party will emerge the win. In most instances, gambling may take many hours, but the outcome of wager is realized after a short period.
The term gambling is often confused with gamming, despite both terms having different contextual meanings. The word gamming is used when the government has legalized gambling. This infers that wagers have the legal provision of engaging in a gambling activity without fear of being arrested or being condemned. Most countries have legalized gambling thus making it lawful. In order to control gambling, states have constituted gambling bodies which carry their obligation effectively.
History of gambling
Gambling is not a new phenomenon in the American history since it has existed for many decades. The history of gambling can be grouped in three main waves namely: The first wave (1600s-1800s), the second wave (mid 1800s and beginning of 1900s) and the third wave (mid 1930s to now).
The First Wave 1600s-1800s: Puritans and English settlers were the first people to propose the idea of gambling. Puritan settlers’ allowed individuals to own dices, cards and engage in singing; an idea that fuelled gambling. During this time, gambling remained a recreational activity undertaken by rulers.
The Second Wave (Mid 1800s and beginning of 1900s): This period was characterised with widespread of western frontier and expansion of the mining industry. Most miners and settlers engaged in gambling with the aim of becoming rich. This trend spread to other parts of the region where gambling thrived. Early 1900s marked a turning point in the gambling industry as federal government imposed gambling laws. The legal provisions stipulated clearly how gambling industry should operate for the benefit of the country.
The Third Wave (Mid 1930s to today): During this period, gambling remained a lawful activity under the provisions of the law. Economic recession experienced in 1929 compelled the government to legalize gambling as well as tax the industry. The government also legalized gambling so that to eliminate criminals who had dominated the industry. Legalization of gambling fuelled establishment of casinos, horse racing and other lottery games.
Following the emergence of computers coupled with technology advancement, gambling industry has developed and attained high echelons. This move expanded gambling sphere by introducing electronic gambling, table games, casino gaming and sports betting. As a result of this, the government recognize gambling industry as one of the sectors that contribute a substantive amount of money in tax form. Gambling help in improving the living standards of people and facilitate economic development in the region. The recent report released by World Bank (2009) affirm that gambling industry constitute more than $340 billion of the total government revenue. Although gambling contributes in national development, it has affected morality. Many criminals misuse the term gambling to carry out their heinous and inhumane activities. In a similar vein, most gambling casinos hire strippers to lure clients; an idea that fuel promiscuity behaviour in the society. However, despite these drawbacks, gambling remains a moral issue worthy consideration.