There is no worse feeling than losing. Regardless of what you are doing in your life it is never fun to reflect on an experience and to think about how it cost you. Gambling is an excellent example of a something that sounds good on paper, but rarely pays out for its players. Gambling is bound to have negative effects on your life no matter how you look at it.
Although I am not an avid gambler, I have made a few bets in my time, and I have lost almost every time. I know many people like to believe they are great blackjack or poker players, but at the end of the day much of the game comes down to luck. This is the main problem with gambling; it’s an odds game. No matter what you think you are able to do to increase your chances of winning a hand of cards ultimately comes down to whatever the dealer throws down on the table. This is why I often avoid gambling. It is a loser’s game.
The first time that I legally bought a scratch off ticket was a few months after turning 18 while vacationing in California. My buddies and I had just stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast before departing on our way back to Arizona. My order came out to $7.77. In my eyes I saw this as some sort of lucky omen. I knew I had to buy a scratch-off ticket when we stopped at the gas station. Upon arriving at the gas station, I walked up to the cashier and purchased two $5 scratchers. I proceeded back to the car eagerly awaiting the results. I began scratching the first one quickly realizing that it was a losing ticket. No matter I thought that’s why I bought two tickets. I then began to scratch the second ticket. The first row was a loss. The second row was a loss. The third was a loss. Would you like to guess what the fourth row was? I sat there in the passenger’s seat staring down at the wasted $10 sitting there in my hands. I remember that gut-wrenching feeling of defeat as I threw away the losing tickets. I wasn’t really mad about losing the $10; I was mad at myself for believing I would win before even buying the tickets.
This is the biggest problem with gambling. “Over the long haul, gambling makes you poorer. Spend the same time and effort in almost any other endeavor, and you’re likely to get richer. So why is it that so many people like to gamble and don’t like to work? We All Want To Keep Dreaming The Dream. Is it the allure of big money? As a friend of mine said, How else does the average schmo get a chance to make a zillion dollars? That may be the problem. To the average schmo, working hard (and smart) is not a good way to make a fortune. Gambling is somehow better.” (Ford). Mark Ford explains it well when describing this modern phenomenon. Too many people are beginning to bet big on the dream of hitting the jackpot, because they have become addicted to the rush they get when they win big rather than work hard towards a goal.
On top of killing the motivation of the modern blue collar worker, gambling addiction has also been shown to cause a shocking rise in suicide. “Gambling is big business to the provinces and territories that run lotteries, casinos and VLTs -- worth $6 billion in 2001. While most Canadians simply gamble for fun, studies show that between three and five per cent -- up to 1.5 million people -- develop moderate to severe gambling problems… In Alberta last year, gambling was listed in the files of 48 suicides out of 418 counted so far; in 2001, in 46 of 482 cases; and in 2000, in 54 of 430 suicides.” (Statistics Linked to Gambling). With shocking statistics like these it is evident to see the lasting impact gambling addictions can play on not just the individuals affected by their addiction but their friends and families as well.
If there is one thing that I want you to take away from this as the reader, it’s that gambling is not the solution to your problems. Sure the idea of buying a $5 ticket and winning a couple hundred thousand dollars sounds nice, but dreams don’t always come true. Invest in yourself and you will go much farther in life than you may expect. Keep in mind that gambling doesn’t just affect you but also your loved ones. Remember that in the next you are willing to blow a couple hundred dollars at the casino instead of treating your family to a nice weekend, and I am sure that you will make the right decision. Besides life isn’t about money it’s about the memories that you create while here on Earth. Stay focused on your goals and the rest will come naturally.
Ford, Mark Morgan. "Why I Don't Gamble - And Why You Shouldn't Either - Early To Rise." Early To Rise. N.p., 11 Sept. 2000. Web. 17 June 2016.
"Statistics Link Gambling, Suicide in Increasing Number of Cases: Final Edition." Guardian 2003. Web.