Do you automatically think of gambling and its bad effects?
When you think of this word, what comes to mind?
Maybe the entertainment and glitter of the Las Vegas strip?
Images from gamblers in the movies?
It’s likely that you picture one of the many casinos that have popped up all over America.
Today in America, gambling is common place. Gambling isn’t always associated with bad effects, and the faces of gamblers are not who or what you might think. Do you recognize any of these faces?
- A young women plays poker online once a week.
- High school students play “Texas hold-em” on the weekends.
- A college student regularly places bets on football games with a bookie.
- Members of an exterminating company participate in a weekend football pool that costs $10 per person.
- A man buys a few lottery tickets when purchasing gas at a local convenience store.
- A woman enjoys buying scratchers at the supermarket when she checks out.
- A group of senior citizens living at a retirement community take a bus to one of the local casinos.
- Parents plan a “casino night ” as the post-graduation party.
- A retired person places bets at the dog track.
- A mother and her adult daughters play bingo at a county fair.
- A charity raffles off an all expenses paid vacation in Maui.
- A woman plays video games at a casino.
- A couple saves money during the year in order to take an annual trip to a casino and gamble $1,000 each.
As you can see, gambling is all around us. It has become a part of our daily lives.
With the explosion of Native American casinos in the late 1980s, gambling has now become a fixture in Middle Class America.
The growth in casinos has been accompanied by an increase in problem gambling. But because gambling has become such a normal thing to do, it’s easy to miss the signs of problem gambling. And the faces of those with gambling problems are not who you might think.
Less than one generation ago, gambling was still looked upon as an activity for the very rich or the very poor. And at one time, there was opposition from church and the clergy about the evils of gambling.
And now, when Grandma comes to town, often the first question she asks is, “Where’s the casino?”