- The act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize)
- Money that is risked for possible monetary gain
- A risky act or venture
I’ll put a little bet on just in case
This one’s to win in the second race
But then my horse falls and I start to crumble
Why oh why did I ever gamble
Now I’ve lost the lot
It’s hard to explain
I don’t how it happened
But I’m broke again
But don’t you worry
I’ll bounce back
Next week casino
250 on black
For most people, gambling is just a part of modern life, an innocuous hobby, that provides pleasure for millions round the world, provides jobs, and most lotteries give money to well deserving charities. It’s only the weak who get addicted. For us, gambling addiction is the image of the poor dishevelled man, trying to win back his whole weeks wages, that he foolishly gambled on a horse.
He just can’t seem to get back the winning streak he had last week. He just needs to borrow a little bit more, this one’s a dead cert, a guaranteed win, so he borrows the money and of course, the horse is pipped at the post by a 200-1 outsider. If only he’d bet on that horse, all his troubles would be gone, just a few centimetres and he would be living the high life now… Better bet on one more, this losing streak can’t stay with him forever, this one will win; it’s a dead cert…
But of course, even if your horse does come in, you won’t give up gambling. You see, winning and losing are all part of the game. It’s a game of chance, and every gambler knows that sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Though for some strange reason, they think that if they lose five times in a row, they must be sure of a win coming up; because what are the odds of losing six times in a row?
You can gamble on anything. Horses, dogs, and boxing; or you can go to the casino and play blackjack, poker, spin the roulette wheels, or put your coins in the slot machines. All in the hope of turning that 10 into 20, the 20 into 50, and the 50 into 100. That’s the point isn’t it? To make more money? Otherwise why gamble? For fun? I don’t think so… Gambling is yet another activity that acts on the brains pleasure centres.
Have you ever been to a casino? I have. You walk in, and there are so many lights flashing, all green, red and white. There are lots of mirrors; the machines are so shiny, and you start to get excited. Your heart races a little faster, the music is loud, everybody looks glamorous (sound familiar?), you change some money, and you start to play.
Pound after pound, dollar after dollar, you feed the machine, while the wheels spin quickly, just waiting for the right pictures to come up… Then suddenly the machine starts the winning music, the lights flash faster, and out comes your winnings.
Time to leave?
“Oh no, not while I’m on a winning streak;” and off you head to the other machines, and finally to the tables, where you can lose your months salary on one number, or one card hand. It’s that quick, I promise you. Of course you could win, many people do, but casinos know that the odds are stacked firmly in their favour; otherwise they’d go out of business in a week.
So some people win, and some people lose, but ultimately, the only real winners are the casinos. They know what gets you excited, they know what makes you spend your money. Why do you think there are so many flashing lights everywhere, they know how to stimulate your pleasure centres and motivate you to action.
I hear some of you now: “It’s just a bit of fun, it’s a night out, I don’t really gamble.” And with that, most of you would agree: “Yes, why is he trying to spoil our fun? We work hard” (sound familiar?), “we deserve a little fun!”
And yes, it is fun, because your brain is just loving all that pleasure, even when you lose. Because the great thing about gambling, is that you don’t just lose, and that’s it finished; oh no, you can put some more money in, and next time, you could be a winner!
When questioned about problem gamblers, every casino owner will tell you that they don’t force people to come into their establishments and spend money – it’s all a matter of personal choice. They don’t let anyone under the age of 18 in, so all of their customers are considered adults (in law) and able to make their own decisions.
But you and I know why we gamble, don’t we? It’s exciting! Will it be 24 red, will horse number 6 win, will I have a royal flush in this hand, will my numbers come up in the lottery? It must be exciting otherwise why would we keep coming back for more every time we lose?
Let’s go into this together. If I bet 6 numbers every week on the national lottery, and have not won for 5 years why would I keep doing it? Seems a little strange, don’t you think? Is it not the promise of untold riches, more money than you could ever dream of; a prize so big, that not only would you never have to work again, but neither would your family?
But the interesting thing is, even people who have plenty of money still gamble! So it isn’t just the poor man trying to improve his lot in life! The same 6 numbers every week, (at least) and then they introduce a midweek lottery. What if your same 6 numbers come up on the midweek lottery, you could never forgive yourself for failing to buy a ticket, (neither would your family, who are banking on this chance to have a better life.)
Of course, the national lottery is one great way to get the whole country addicted, where the entry fee is low, and the prize is huge! And this kind of gambling is not the same as going to bet on horses, or play blackjack, because none of the money is going to those nasty bookmakers, or casino owners. This is all in a good cause. Most of the money goes to charity, so everybody wins. Or do they?
Have you ever noticed how you feel when the balls are spinning round waiting to drop? How do you actually feel? Pretty excited, I’d say. The anticipation, the waiting; could it be your ball first? Is it…Yes a 6! and it continues, the excitement grows… the second ball… Number… 24. Yes!! Oh, this could be your lucky week… 4 million pounds! How will you spend it? New cars, a yacht, a helicopter, and a new house in the sun… Number… 12. Ahhh, unlucky you think… Number 41…No! Number… 16. No! And finally… Nummmmberrrrrr… 3.
“Oh well, never mind,” we say, “maybe next week.” And you’re right, maybe next week it could be you holding the cheque for £4 million, so dutifully you buy another ticket. Just in case.
The game of chance is not new; people have always gambled, which is to take risks. And why do we take a risk? One word: Excitement, which is pleasure!
The truth is, you will probably never win the lottery, but you may win a few pounds here and there Your horse may never come in, but you can be sure that someone else’s did, so that keeps you gambling – just in case…
Let me ask you a question: Have you ever seen serious gamblers? Have you ever looked at their faces? Do they look like they’re having fun? They are so caught up in the addiction, that they have no time to enjoy it. Like someone addicted to drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, they know they’re addicted, but they just can’t stop. The brain has tasted pleasure, and it won’t give it up without a fight.
Action now for the benefit of your system
Do you gamble? Do you like it? Do you enjoy it? Tell me why you really gamble. Is it to make more money? Is it to make a better life for your family? Is it to pay off debts? Or is it just for one simple reason: Pleasure? It makes you happy doesn’t it?
Don’t you think addiction of any kind is bad for the system? Doesn’t it distract and shelter us from real life, helping us escape, momentarily? But “real life” is always there, only addiction enables us to forget it for just a short while. It allows us to get through a day without worrying about our problems, although the problems are still there. It solves nothing but offers you plenty of solutions. Bet on a horse, go to the casino, have a drink, have a cigarette…
Do you not think it is time we learned to deal with problems on our own, and realise that addictions like gambling of any kind are keeping us from finding a solution? This is not about fun. You have been addicted by your brain; tricked into doing something that is not best for the system. If you really want more money, there is only one way to get it. Earn It. Go to work every day and earn more money. Get a better job, or if you want it quicker, rob a bank. Come on, this is not about the money, is it?
We are addicted to the excitement of placing the bet, the pure pleasure of it all, nothing more.
Receiving the winnings is secondary to the excitement of taking part.
Follow this logic if you will:
- Go to work Boring
- Work hard all week Boring
- Earn £5.00 per hour Boring
- Take home £160.00 at the end of the week Boring
- Give £20.00 to bookmakers to bet on “old nag in the 3.00 pm” Exciting
- Watch race for 5 minutes Exciting
- Lose £20 Boring
This isn’t good business sense, is it? Of course you will still argue, “but I could have won!” And there it is, right there, the addiction to the chance you could have won; the small excitement in your week. And maybe next time, number 7 will change to…
Win £100 Exciting
Can you see how pointless this whole cycle of winning and losing is? The highs and lows? What a miserable addiction this is. We will wager everything, just for one moment of excitement, and still the bookmaker stands there ready to help us place our bet; ready to relieve us of our hard earned money. He knows why you’re here, and so do you:
It doesn’t seem like a problem while you’re winning, although the consequences of losing can be serious. Getting into debt, ruining your relationships, or stealing to gamble more. But your addicted brain isn’t going to let you give up quite so easily.
In order to be free, you need to be aware of yourself in the moment. The moment you buy a lottery ticket, place a bet on horse, or enter the casino. You need to see why you’re there.
You don’t have a problem, you are just a slave to the desire for pleasure, something which does not further the system in any positive way. You are there because your brain likes it so much, that it is prepared to put your whole life in jeopardy. Your brain is bringing you along for the ride, so it can have a good time at your expense. When you can see this, you will be free.
Look at the problems gambling addiction causes in the world around us. How many addicted people are making their families suffer, their friends suffer and wider society around them suffer, without ever realising what they are doing?
And the purveyors of pleasure, the casino owners, the bookmakers, the horse owners, and the lottery license holders, are all complicit in keeping us addicted. They know that once you are hooked you can’t stop. Your gambling keeps them in a nice lifestyle, but what about your life?
This is your life, not theirs, and whether you agree or not, gambling one cent of money you have earned hard makes no sense. They know you must lose sometime, and when you do lose, that’s the time you’ll be back to win your money back.
Gambling is just another form of drug addiction.
You do it to get high!