Betting and Gambling: The Last Thing You Need To Hear
Men of action are favoured by the goddess of good luck. The Richest Man in Babylon
I have thought and postponed writing about this issue severally. But it’s coming out as something that is impossible to ignore. How can it be ignored when it is everywhere, almost omnipresent? On television and radio, 50% of the ads are about betting and gambling. When browsing, these ads keep showing up. Whatsapp groups are filled with spammers who claim to be selling fixed matches (I have no idea what a fixed matce is). Even some notorious telecom companies keep sending promotional messages about betting.
Finally, everyone is doing it; not just teens but even mature adults with families.
Why it bothers me is the effects it has. I have witnessed parent-child relationships break because of it, couples break up, families slide into poverty, individuals drown in debts, depression and some even take their lives because of betting.
“To ignore the gaming table would be to overlook an instinct common to most men, the love of taking a chance with a small amount of silver in the hope of winning much gold.” The Richest Man in Babylon.
The desire to make huge profits from a small investment is universal. But what distinguishes whether or not to make an investment is the risk involved. Some investments are too risky. Such is betting. Even the least clever person can tell that betting is a high risk game, with the chances of losing always higher. But our brains don’t work logically (I’m not sure yet whether that’s an advantage or disadvantage).
Those who place bets have no control or influence over the outcome. There’s nothing like hardwork, smartness or experience: it’s simply fate that decided.
“What reason have we to feel the good goddess would take that much interest in any man’s bet upon a horse race? To me she is a goddess of love and dignity whose pleasure it is to aid those who are in need and to reward those who are deserving. I look to find her, not at the gaming tables or the races where men lose more gold than they win but in other places where the doings of men are more worthwhile and more worthy of reward. “In tilling the soil, in honest trading, in all of man’s occupations, there is opportunity to make a profit upon his effect… But, when a man playeth the games, the situation is reversed for the chances of profit are always against him and always in favor of the game keeper. The game is so arranged that it will always favor the keeper. It is his business at which he plans to make a liberal profit for himself from the coins bet by the players. Few players realize how certain are the game keeper’s profits and how uncertain are their own chances to win.” The Richest Man in Babylon.
In my entire life, I have not seen a betting company or gambling house close down because most customers are winning and few are losing. It’s never been that way, it’ll never be.
It’s a big problem: If you look at the effects of betting I mentioned earlier, you’ll realize that they are life-impacting, for most people. The threshold of betting is either you win a mega amount of money (which is less than 1%), or your life takes a turn for the worse (the remaining percentage).
Since the times of Babylon, there has never been a consistent winner at the gaming tables, nor a known successful man who started his success from gaming.
Easy come, easy go.
Mind occupation, and ‘control‘.
Analyzing the life of a gambler, particularly those who bet on games (the majority), a lot of time is spent (or rather wasted) following the games, ‘carefully’ studying the teams, players and waiting for their bets to mature. Time is money. If it were spent with family, reading a book or working on a constructive project, real progress could be achieved. It’s also a wastage of energy, brainpower, and inevitably, money.
“Behaviour is not simply an individual affair, for when multiplied by thousands, it has profound effects on the life, future existence and well-being of the total people.”
Personal problems, when they affect many citizens, become state problems.
To highlight this, I’ll outline some ways in which this problem affects the state to set the stage for you to visualize others.
There’s a reduction in productivity. That’s obvious, because the brainpower and time of citizens is used inappropriately. Broken relationships and depression just come in to reinforce this problem. Business and innovation should also not be expected to thrive in a country of rampant gambling. We end up with a picture of ‘lazy’ youth, both mentally and physically. Poverty is therefore the final destination of a nation of gamblers.
It’s said/written that Babylon became wealthy in it’s time because it’s men were shrewd men and keen thinkers. Gambling culture promotes the opposite of this….
I’m not trying to infringe into anyone’s right to watching games or doing whatever, but I think people need to discern whether they are being entertained or being taken for a ride in a global circus.