Gambling, is it Taboo?

Gambling has always had a certain amount of taboo surrounding the subject, with the word evoking images of seedy backroom, smoky underground poker games and illegal behaviour.

Through more acceptable forms of gambling, and acceptance in general, this view has begun to change, and behaviour that was once frowned upon, whilst maybe not outwardly encouraged, is perfectly acceptable in today’s societies in many countries around the world.

Of course there are still parts of the world where gambling is completely prohibited, but for many nations this is not always the case.

Take for example the lotteries of many countries. For example, the UK’s National Lottery is played twice weekly by millions, with advertisements on the television, in papers and magazines, it has marked a massive change in the way gambling is viewed in the UK. As soon as a rollover jackpot becomes active the queues in stores throughout the country come Wednesday, Friday or Saturday get busier.

The UK’s National Lottery has been running for well over 10 years, and in that time, players have raised £20 billion which have gone towards good causes such as restoration of the Mary Rose – an English Tudor carrack warship built in 1510 and capsized and sank in 1545 during a gun battle off the coast of Portsmouth with the French. Do the historians involved with the restoration project see gambling as Taboo? Without the wealth of lottery grants the project would never have had the money to be as forward as it is.

Couple the success of the National Lottery with the extraordinary growth of online gambling, it is becoming acceptable to gamble, providing a player knows their limits.

Gambling statistics published in the summer of 2007 by the Gambling Commission provide a snapshot of the extent of remote gambling in the UK, which consists of gambling on the PC, mobile phone and interactive TV.

The results indicated that out of 8000 people surveyed, 8.6% said they had participated in at least 1 form or remote gambling in the previous month, figures for the previous year showed a 1.2% rise on the 7.4% in 2006.

The survey also showed those most likely to take part in remote gambling were males between the ages of 18 to 34.

The growth in gambling in the UK is particularly evident within the online poker circuit. Online gambling in the UK has grown immensely in recent years, and this is not surprising with the growth in poker rooms on the Internet. It is very easy for people to create an account and start playing, be it in fake money games or real games for real money.

It is no longer necessary to venture out to a casino in order to try your hand at a game of poker, you can play in the comfort of your own home, at any time and for as long as you like – a factor that has undoubtedly played a part in the growth of the game.

But not everyone sees this as a good thing. Gambling has long been associated with addiction which in turn can lead to social problems and of course financial problems and the 24-7 availability of online gambling means the allure is always there.

Despite these worries, online gambling actually causes far less problems that the more traditional methods of gambling such as arcade slot machines and gambling on horse races in the bookmakers.

Gambling problems have existed for far longer than internet betting has been around, and blaming online gaming for society’s ills will not stop some people gambling irresponsibly.

For those that have a gambling problem, it must be recognised, however, that online gaming is one of the ways they can fuel their addiction, and it is important to be able to recognise the symptoms of addiction to gambling and what to do about it.

Whatever the pros and cons of online gaming, ultimately it boils down to individual responsibility and freedom of choice. Millions enjoy online poker responsibly, and are able to reap the benefits the game has to offer.

Like it or not, gambling, be it in online gaming rooms, at the local bookmakers or at a home poker night, is here to stay. At the end of the day it’s a matter of personal choice, and the flexibility in online gaming looks set to continue attracting players who enjoy the thrill of gaming in their own home.

Innovations like RakeTheRake and poker rakeback are helping players reap more of the benefits and will continue to encourage players to enjoy our fantastic game.

If you think that you do have a problem, or know of someone that has, see advice from Gamblers Anonymous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *