Judges, my topic is gambling and the effects that it has on families. I chose this theme because when gambling problems are thought of in society the attention is often geared towards the emotions of the gambler but not a lot of attention is placed on the family who unfairly tend to suffer as much as the gambler himself. Gambling is the attempt to gain money, goods or service without an equal commitment to mutual exchange. In this sense, one must lose for another to gain. These are the words of Garth Minott quoted in the gleaner Sunday, October 26, 2008.
This statement holds true to the old saying that gambling is the easiest way to get nothing out of something. Supreme Ventures Limited is the main gaming company in Jamaica offering games such as Lotto, Cash Pot, Lucky 5, Dollaz, Pick 3 and the newly introduced Super Lotto. These games are strategically devised to appeal to the buyer and obviously this is done when the jackpot prize for lotto is currently at 41,000,000 and that for superlotto is 341,000,000. This is clearly screaming that all this money can be yours for a small price of $50. 00.
Looking from the surface this seems like the easiest way to gain money and have a steady income of cash without the need to even break a sweat. The average man does not realize that those who do become successful from gambling are a very small minority. Financial Effects The most commonly associated problem with gambling is the loss of money. As access to money becomes more limited gamblers often resort to crime to pay debts, maintain appearances and garner more money to gamble. Involvement with loan sharks is also common with problem gamblers.
This puts the gambler’s family at danger because most loan sharks are often ruthless in getting back their money by any means possible. Houses, cars and other valuable possessions are also sold in an attempt to pay off debts. Social Effects According to the National Opinion Research Center. Children of problem gamblers have been shown to have higher levels of use for drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. It is not hard to see why this occurs because after losing a week’s salary on a simple game of chance.
One may feel pretty stupid, so as to cope with this loss they will immediately look for comfort in a drink or two or nice small blunt. Also research consistently shows higher rates of pathological gambling in teens whose parents gamble excessively. This one was strange for me to understand because after witnessing your guardian plummet to heights of self-pity because of gambling, it seems unusual that the child would then try his luck at the same thing. The Gleaner reported studies in article dating back to September 2, 2009 that reveal The divorce rates among casino gamblers tend to be higher than that for the rest of the population – There is a link between compulsive gambling and child neglect Physical Effects Children and spouses of compulsive gamblers are often prone to suffer abuse as well as neglect as a result of pathological gambling. Many families suffer burnout which is physical or emotional exhaustion. This is due to the fact that spouses and sometimes even children have to take up extra jobs and work long hours just to make ends meet. Emotional Effects Family members undergo a melting pot of emotions.
They are ashamed, hurt, afraid, angry, confused and distrustful. Most spouses of the problem gamblers tend to isolate themselves completely from their partners and sometimes their children. Some children often the oldest try to ease family tension caused by the problem gambler by becoming superachievers.. they aim to get the best grades and take responsibility for family problems. By playing these roles children can suffer in their emotional development and lose self-esteem. Most symptoms of problem gamblers soon transcend and take toll on the family.
Symptoms such as depression, hopelessness, anger and despair. A study conducted by Gupta and Derevensky in 2001 showed that the suicide rate is higher for family members of those who gamble excessively, mainly because of the abuse and the financial problems caused by the problem gambler. Here are a few statistics by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services – About 35% of adult problem gamblers have children under the age of 18 living at home – About 25% of gambling addicts grew up in a family with a guardian that had a gambling problem A popular gambling help service hotline reported that 52% of callers had family and marital conflicts, 63% were having trouble paying bills and 71% had used their salary income to gamble. – Two out of three compulsive gamblers commit illegal acts in order to pay gambing related debts or continue gambling Evaluation of Sources The Daily Gleaner -This source is reliable because the Daily Gleaner has been operating since 1834 and since that time it has rose to be one of if not the most credible newspaper currently being distributed in Jamaica. The articles used in my speech are updated as late as 2009.
Pathological Gambling: A Critical Review -This source is reliable because a number of credible organizations contributed to information in the book such as the committee on the Social and Economic of Pathological Gambling and the committee on Law and Justice. It was also given a positive review by the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health. -Drawbacks to the source are that it is updated as late as 2003 and it was mainly focused on the rise of gambling in the United States of America but the book claims that most complication associated with gambling are not limited to any geographical boundaries and are therefore common.