Gambling is one of the most common recreational activities in society. The legalization and the increasing number of gambling establishments reflect its popularity in some countries. The development of internet gambling also shows that many people are hooked on this type of entertainment.
The definition of the term "gambling" depends on one's culture and history. It is the act of risking money or any valuable item for the hope of gaining other's possessions.
There are factors commonly involved in any type of gambling such as the initial bet and the odds of an individual's choice. Furthermore, the different forms of gambling include casino gaming as well as sports betting.
Public debates concerning the legality of gambling are prevalent in some countries. Religious groups and many legal authorities oppose the legalization of the gambling industry because it can have adverse psychological effects on gamblers. However, the disapproval of local governments to the industry sometimes causes the birth of gambling tourism or illegal gambling which often lead to a more serious social problem.
Gambling is believed to be a product of social history. Artifacts prove the existence of gambling during the ancient times. The discovery of dice-like objects as well as writings and drawings of early cavemen depict the presence of gambling thousands of years ago. Archaeologists also unearthed evidences supporting the knowledge that a game of chance using tiles was created in China around 2300 B.C. A decree which allows children in the Roman Empire to learn to gamble supports the argument that gambling is considered to be one of the earliest form of entertainment.
As time passes by, people learned the risks associated with frequent gambling. Psychologists coined the terms responsible gambling as well as problem gambling. Responsible gambling refers to every individual practicing wise gambling decisions. On the other hand, problem gambling is a deep desire of a person to gamble even if harmful consequences can occur.
Problem gambling is prevalent nowadays. There are people who are experiencing financial problems and yet they still choose to gamble. Severe incidences of problem gambling are considered by psychology experts to be a mental disorder. Pathological gambling may result in other personal as well as social problems such as theft or even drug trafficking, which are considered to be the sources of easy money.
Gambling can be an efficient form of relaxation, but it can also threaten the mental and social health of an individual. Regulating gambling activities is important to avoid being addicted to this type of entertainment. Disciplining oneself can be helpful to prevent the negative outcomes of gambling. The intervention of local governments is also necessary in removing the harmful effects of gambling on the society.