History of Gambling

What was the Origin and Brief History of Gambling?

Like other kinds of addiction, gambling is an addiction that has a long history of abuse and addiction. The first known occurrence of gambling was in 478 B.C. when games of chance were widely played. The Greek playwright Aeschylus called them ‘games of chance.’ In Judea, dice games were the main form of gambling, and in 614, after a Chinese emperor launched a gambling craze, China banned the playing of dice games.

Gambling in Ancient Rome’s Time

Ancient Rome played a lot of dice games. Statues of a wealthy or heroic man played dice, because gambling was considered a sign of a man’s social status. Yet, as with other forms of addiction, the increased ability to gamble brought the risk of loss of personal wealth, honor, and respect. From a legal and philosophical point of view, gambling was illegal. Gambling is actually a sinful act and bad for whole society.

Gambling in the 16th Century

In the 16th century gambling became a popular pastime in Europe, and gambling dens spread all over Europe. During the 18th century, the games of skill began to change into games of chance, such as cards and dice. The popularity of these games increased greatly, and the English gentry spent large sums of money at casinos. During this period, gambling addiction reached its highest peak.

Origin of Word “Gambling”

The word ‘gambling’ comes from the Latin word gambare, meaning ‘to gamble’. Some people claim that gambling became popular with British soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars, but others claim that it was introduced in Britain much earlier by colonial merchants.

Evolutions in the 19th Century

While the usual form of gambling today is that of the lotteries and horse races, during the 19th century, gambling became popular with citizens of large cities such as London and New York City. For centuries the gambling dens of these cities had been known as gambling houses, which also served as social centers for artists and writers. Many of these establishments were owned by the Mafia, which has always been a key player in gambling. The famous British gambling syndicate, Hatton, lived on Park Lane, at the time one of the world’s most prestigious address.

Gambling became widely accepted in Britain in the first half of the 19th century. It was, for a time, widely accepted even by the government. As a result, the most affluent people became the most addicted. The first gambling addiction centers opened in the London area in the 1830’s. These were establishments where card players could play the ‘Cricket’ or ‘Chess,’ gambling on the outcomes of their favorite games. In the 1870’s, these establishments evolved into hotels.

Example of Organized Gambling

The first example of organized gambling in America was in 1839, when the College Club in New York City organized gambling for the purpose of raising money for their school. The first ‘casino’ was opened in 1857 in New Orleans, Louisiana. By 1860, there were casinos in New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Washington, DC, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland, and Albany. By 1900, there were 40 gambling facilities in New York, 33 in Chicago, and 17 in Boston. The rules were simple: those who lost their money had to buy food and drink for the losers. A gambler could go to a gambling den without a coin purse.

Gambling in the 20th Century

In the early 20th century, gambling became more and more widespread. Almost every family had a gambling member, since gambling was a social activity. The notion that a man’s social standing depended on how much money he gambled was already widespread. As gambling became more widespread, the practice of playing a game for money, instead of simply playing it for fun, became more common. For example, in 1903 an American women won a $3,000 stake playing three card bragging.

People of the 1920s may well have been the first to grasp the danger of gambling. For example, William Randolph Hearst, the owner of a number of major newspapers, published an article titled “The Path of the Gentiles.” He asked, “Why are there so many losers in this country?” He demanded that “most people” in America “fight gambling, not for money, but for their health, for the sake of their minds, and for their souls.” His call was answered, and by the 1930’s, people were much more aware of the danger of gambling.

Increase of Crimes and Blackmail Schemes

The effect of gambling addiction was tremendous. Twenty-four-hour betting and the development of casinos and lotteries allowed gamblers to make money at a pace and at a rate that far exceeded the revenues of local businesses. This impact made gambling less popular among the working class and the poor, as their incomes and consumption power were not sufficient to support a gambling habit. With more people becoming addicted, the market for gambling became so enormous that “hundreds of millions of dollars were being spent each day at gambling houses,” leading to an increase in organized crime and blackmail schemes to support gambling debts.

At the same time, gambling was increasingly accepted by respectable people. In 1913, a well-known businesswoman, Doris Duke, formed the first international casino in Reno, Nevada. This casino and her other ventures were openly advertised and promoted, leading to a spike in the number of gambling addicts and their needs.

Gambling in 1931 – Concentration on Gambling Rehab Centers

In Europe, it was only in 1931 that gambling was regulated, and for this reason the first gambling addiction centers were opened in France and England. This caused a wave of protest in England, but gambling addiction quickly became an established phenomenon. At the beginning of the 1930s, gambling was promoted in America by Herbert Hoover, the President, who stated:

“No great nation can long survive without controlling its most intractable vice. In Europe, gambling has been more severely repressed than in the United States. A free society ought to tolerate the use of this forbidden pleasure in small doses as it does the others. But the average citizen must be protected against the extravagances of the gamekeeper who sleeps soundly in his big house, his servants and his pets at his beck and call, when there are millions of victims of the pauper who borrows his board and lodgings for a single night’s gambling.”

With the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany, it was forbidden for Jews and foreigners to bet. This ban caused gambling debts to soar to over 100 billion marks (about 5 billion euros today). On March 6, 1933, gambling was made illegal in Germany. At the same time, interest in gambling was revived by the Spanish Civil War, when “clubs, bars, and gaming halls opened their doors again.” For the same reason, many of these establishments also became havens for gangsters and corrupt officials.

After World War II, the Gambling Problem

In 1948, President Harry Truman stated that “the whole gamblers problem has become enormous. There are not only numbers of them, there are a variety of them. The great gambling centers of America seem almost to be in every community and now it is the modern custom of every businessman to have some sort of business there. They have become symbols of the new America.”

The American gambler who suffers from a gambling addiction has three main problems: “he will gamble because he cannot resist, he has a compulsion, he will steal, he will spend money which he has borrowed.” This was confirmed by William Sharpe, who has worked as a psychiatrist for a number of years. Sharpe also indicated the highest incidence of gambling addiction among the poor, as well as those who live in states with few or no social security benefits. “This has become a growth industry which was brought about by the fact that the average wages of the average worker have been stagnant for many years.”

Media Reports in 1950s About Gambling Addiction

It was not until the 1950s that the mass media began to report the development of a “gambling addiction” as a new illness. Since the 1950s, psychologists and medical doctors have done their best to establish the foundations of a non-pathological relationship between “gambling” and addiction. In 1955, for example, psychologists conducted the first survey on the extent of the problem. The results showed that between one-third and one-half of all people with a gambling problem were found to suffer from mental disorders. They were suffering from anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and depression. One in four American adults are at risk of developing a gambling problem.

“If these people were tested, they would fail all of the psychiatric tests…they are not normal. They are heavily imbalanced, their intelligence is average, their motivation is low, their self-esteem is low, and they are indulging in a highly compensatory behavior. They are hyperactive, on drugs, and so on, and they will not say no to a game of chance. In fact, they are about 90 percent likely to incur a serious long-term personal, financial, or legal problem because of this risk factor.”

According to Sharpe, the U.S. gambler is fundamentally impulsive, and so long as he does not take any major risks, his addiction is often contained. But if he takes such a risk, he has to find a way to keep on playing, because the compulsion has been created by his very nature, and therefore he needs a reason to continue.

Gambling Treatment

All these medical and psychological examinations were not enough to bring about effective treatment of the gambling problem. Patients would therefore seek out the “qualified professional,” who would usually be a psychiatrist or a psychologist. However, because of an archaic and inefficient regulatory system, no one knew who was qualified to diagnose addiction, nor how to treat it. Psychiatrists and psychologists were dealing with a problem that had not been defined and treated. Many patients tried to find private psychiatrists and therapists who would diagnose them, prescribe drugs, and offer in-house treatment for their “epileptic condition”.

Yet, even though most people who have a gambling problem suffer from mental disorder, the psychiatric establishment did not even recognize addiction as a psychiatric issue. Many psychiatrists still believed that such a condition could only be diagnosed from the outside. Consequently, those who sought help for their gambling addiction were treated with medication for other medical problems. They were given diagnosis without treatment. This was not surprising, given the long-held prejudice among the medical profession.

Psychiatrists were reluctant to diagnose an addiction as a psychiatric problem because they believed it could never be treated successfully, and were uncertain about the treatment process. They said that people with gambling problems “did not have addiction problems,” and were thus ignorant of what was going on. To the psychiatrists, the belief that addiction is a problem of the mind is considered absurd, and therefore does not receive serious consideration.

Psychiatrists will do all they can to conceal the addiction as psychiatric disease, and claim that they are unable to solve it. This is what is happening today in the United States. According to Philip W. Smith, Director of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin: “An alcohol or drug addict is just a man with problems. He is a human being in distress, he has something wrong, and the appropriate remedy is some therapy or a chemical to quiet it.”

American Psychiatrists are a Bigoted Group

The British Psychological Society has long recognized the need for psychological treatment for gambling addiction and other emotional disorders. The American Psychiatric Association, on the other hand, remains committed to the elimination of psychiatric diagnosis of gambling addiction. It does so primarily to protect the profits of the industry that the Association is supposed to represent. The APA imposes numerous constraints on who is qualified to diagnose addiction, and why. For instance, it has ruled that an addiction to alcohol is not a psychiatric disorder, but only a “symptom” that must be treated.

Until the 1980s, the American Psychiatric Association resisted recognition of gambling addiction as a mental disorder. This position was once supported by its Honorary Life President, Herbert A. Simon. In 1981, Simon was asked to present his position on the gambling problem at a meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry. His response was one of complete denial. The denial was rationalized by the contention that casinos attract the “toughs” and they are not psychiatrically sensitive. Gambling becomes addictive, therefore, because of a compulsion for money that cannot be overcome. If true, this explanation sounds absurd.

What possible reason is there to become addicted to money? Wouldn’t one naturally seek other more pleasurable sources of wealth? In his article, The Unhealthy Effect of Gambling. Lately, however, the Psychiatrists’ Association has undergone a series of developments that are generally regarded as supportive of the theory that gambling addiction can be treated. In 1983, the APA conceded that gambling addiction was a psychiatric disorder, but kept the option open to take it off the list of disorders if more research was done to determine the nature of the problem.

Gamblers and the Impaired Memory System

In 1992, the Association published a paper by National Institutes of Health Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Dr. William B. Robertson, Jr., entitled “Gamblers and the Impaired Memory System.” Dr. Robertson reported that drugs with anticonvulsant properties could be used to treat the symptoms of impulse control problems associated with gambling addiction. In particular, this paper revived the interest in psychostimulants such as Ritalin, which had been suspended by the Food and Drug Administration in 1979.

In 2003, the association convened a group to study the gambling problem and publish its findings. The American Psychiatric Association, without peer review or disclosure to the public, concluded that gambling addiction is a diagnosable mental disorder. Since 2002, the majority of American medical schools have required that all students to receive special training in the diagnosis of gambling addiction. The Association has published its findings, adopted an official position and made it part of the core curriculum of its members.

Latest And Greatest Contribution to Scientific Literature on Problem Gambling

In February 2003, the Journal of Problem Gambling was published by the American Psychiatric Association. Its cover describes it as the “latest and greatest contribution to scientific literature on problem gambling.” This journal is the official journal of the American Psychiatric Association, and its articles must adhere to the standard format and submission process of the APA.

Unlike the consumer journals of other fields, such as the New England Journal of Medicine or the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Journal of Problem Gambling does not publish open commentaries. A journal article that is published in this journal can then be submitted to other journals and the authors must wait another year before they can submit another article in the same journal.

In March 2003, the APA approved a resolution by the APA Council of Representatives, the governing body of the APA. This resolution, titled the “Resolution on Scientific Arguments Concerning the Influence of Casinos on Proprietary and Non-Proprietary Information”, acknowledges “the potential for the development of a mental disorder” associated with excessive or compulsive gambling. The resolution clearly states, however, that there is “no scientific evidence” that gambling addiction is a disease. This is the stance of the APA, the scientific authority in the United States, as outlined in the resolution.

Does any of this make sense? How could the American Psychiatric Association issue a resolution recognizing “the potential for the development of a mental disorder” without citing a single shred of scientific evidence in support of such a conclusion? If these were the kinds of debates that were going on between me and my critics, I would be able to cite exactly the same scientific and medical facts that are now attributed to me by the scientific and medical establishment.

If the scientific and medical establishment were really interested in addressing the problem of the problem of gambling, it would be providing as much science and facts to the public as possible. Instead, what the scientific and medical establishment has done is ignore my position as a consultant and physician, and instead it has adopted the position of the casinos and the politicians who are defending them. If I were correct and the courts were wrong, my opponents would be challenging me to provide the science and the facts that I have presented to date.

The biggest losers from all of this are the thousands of people who have suffered devastating consequences as a result of gambling addiction and who desperately need help and are refusing to ask for it because they believe that such help is impossible. I call upon the scientific and medical establishment to take the stand for the millions of Americans who are desperately in need of help and who are afraid to ask for it.

Gambling Addiction Today!

Today, there are more than 3 million people with a gambling addiction in the United States. Of these, an estimated 2 million have been diagnosed with a gambling addiction. Many of these individuals turn to the casino industry for help, which has had an enormous impact on the industry’s revenues, profits, and the power of the casinos. The industry claims to offer help to these people, but they turn them away. Instead, they have responded to state government laws by establishing various loopholes and by hiring a panoply of political lobbyists to keep the laws that limit the power of the casinos from being enforced. Thus, the industry has never really stopped gambling; it has simply stopped controlling its gambling. It now uses a lot of the money it gets from the gamblers to subsidize the legislators who allow it to continue gambling.

Some have called for increased regulation of the casino industry, but a few legislators have proposed legislation that would prohibit casino gambling in the state altogether. But gambling addicts quickly find a way around such laws, and because of the enormous profit involved, the legislators that supported such legislation have been easily bought off. And once such legislation is in place, there is simply no way to get it out of existence, as the drug addicts discovered a long time ago.

The real solution, of course, is to close down all casinos. And just such legislation has been proposed in California by the sponsor of the pioneering legislation in Nevada that has resulted in the closure of all of the casinos in Nevada. His proposal, however, has been killed by the powerful forces of the casino industry, who have poured millions of dollars into lobbying and political campaigns in California. As the casinos have continued to make a fortune, the legislators have caved in and allowed the casinos to continue to make a fortune. Thus, California has been turned into a Las Vegas for addicts and for victims of gambling addiction who have no hope of ever becoming a billionaire. In fact, they are often shunned and mistreated by other people, and the local police officers who do intervene are ignored and even disciplined by their superiors.

Increase in Gambling Centers

Casinos now have a big interest in getting people to spend the money they lose on the slot machines, baccarat tables, and roulette wheels, because they believe that when people spend this money at these places, they are more likely to gamble again and spend even more money there. They would much rather have their customers spend their money on tickets for big concerts and shows at the casinos. So, they frequently provide free or low-cost tickets to many of the same entertainers that people will pay a small fortune to see at the big concert halls in the big cities. Many of these free or low-cost shows are produced by some of the biggest entertainment companies in the world, including the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys, and thousands of people who had never even heard of these groups before are suddenly discovered to be huge fans.

Another way that casinos make money is through the practice of “secrecy rooms,” which are locations in the casino where people can go to gamble and gamble anonymously. (This is why people often refer to the casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City as “gambling dens.”) Many people who have been victimized by casino “shakedowns” go to a secret room and lose their money without ever seeing the face of the casino manager or the doorkeeper. They then either take the money out of the room through the doorkeeper and try to leave without paying, or they gamble with it, and then give the money back to the casino before they leave, or they leave the money behind, and go and gamble somewhere else.

Because of all of the great cash flow from the secret rooms, these casinos were able to open thousands of new slots machines every year for many years after the nation’s main credit card companies began to refuse to do business with casinos. This withdrawal of credit by these credit card companies has put a huge burden on the casinos, and has driven up the price of these slot machines. Now, one of the first things casino owners do is to hire accountants and lawyers to design software programs that track every single cent that is placed on any of the slot machines. By doing this, the casinos are able to track exactly how much money is being won or lost by each player.

Much of the revenue that goes into the casino’s bank accounts comes from the fund created by the funds that are lost to “shakedowns.” That money is then used by the casinos to pay back their investors, and it is also used by the casino managers to lobby state legislators for additional gambling licenses so that they can increase the number of slot machines that they have on their property.

When more people start gambling in a particular casino, more revenue is generated, and the casino makes more money. The more that a casino makes, the more free or low-cost tickets are often provided for the entertainment that the entertainment companies have produced. This not only increases their customers and the number of their visitors, but it also drives up the demand for entertainment at the casinos, and it allows these casinos to charge more for the entertainment and to provide more free or low-cost tickets for the customers that they have attracted.

And so, a cycle begins that continues forever, as more and more customers are attracted to the casino, more and more entertainment is provided for the customers, and more and more revenue is generated. In the meantime, the companies that produced the entertainment are making record profits, and the shareholders and executives at the entertainment companies are getting richer and richer, while the average person who gambles in casinos remains in the same or worse financial condition that he or she started in.

Video Games in Gambling and an Example

The video games are going to eventually do something very similar to the casinos, and they are currently being financed by the debt that consumers are putting on credit cards and through debt based “jobs” that are supported by the revenues from credit cards and real estate. For example, back in 1994, several members of the family that owns 3M – that company that makes Post-It Notes, Scotch tape, aluminum foil, and all of the other supplies and household products that consumers buy every day – sold off 90% of the money-making division of 3M, and now the “money making division” of 3M makes more money from its gambling operations than it does from selling the products that it makes.

And because the owners of 3M are no longer paying the expenses associated with its “money making division,” the owners of 3M have had to move much of the money they made from gambling into the “money making division.” This means that 3M’s “money making division” is making money and putting money into the bank accounts of the people that own 3M and that are members of the family that owns 3M. And so, the money is flowing into the banks, the shareholders and executives at 3M are making money, and the average consumer is left with debt that he or she cannot pay off.

The “casino” cycle is going to become the “credit card” cycle, and when that happens, the “money making division” of 3M will become even bigger, and it is going to produce more of the products that people are buying every day. And when more and more consumers are spending money on credit cards and real estate, and when more and more banks are putting more and more money on credit cards and real estate, the customers are going to be making even more money for the people that are making the loans to them, and the companies are going to be making even more money for the people that are making the loans.

And the cycle is going to continue forever, until, one day, it finally “rolls over” and bursts.

Thank you for reading today.

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