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The gambling ban and its effects

Mar 2, 2015, 9:34 AM

The presidential release banning all forms of gambling in The Gambia including lotteries, casinos and similar spots has come at a time it is badly needed by most people in the society.

While this is as pleasing as a good news from a distant land, it sounds bitter and unfortunate for some, especially those who have invested heavily in such businesses as lotteries and casinos, as well as their employees.

The taxes generated from these types of businesses are also considered as lump sum in the economic buildup of the nation, by its proponents.

However, when such tax revenues and incomes, to the government or individuals (who some times win jackpots), are compared to the loss incurred by the nation from gambling activities, one could rightly say that gambling – in whatever forms it takes – causes more harm than good to the lives of individuals and to the social and economic health of the country.

“Of recent, sports betting and gambling dens have mushroomed all over the country. One often sees pupils as young as seven years of age lining at kiosks during school hours and spending their ‘lunch money’ on purchasing sports betting tickets. Also, families often go hungry because household incomes are wagered in gambling dens,” the press release from the Office of the President banning gambling in The Gambia stated.

It is fact that many families are shattered, schoolchildren forced to drop out of school, and crime rates increased, directly or indirectly by gambling, especially legalised ones as casinos and the like.

“It is clearly evident that these vices often hurt those who are poor and disadvantaged, whilst “the social and economic costs are enormous and show up in the shattered lives of individuals and their families.”

The other facts that gambling robs the society of its moral standing and increases crime rates in society make the ban a veritable deterrent factor to such anomalies in the nation.

In any case, moral values that aid our spiritual life as individuals and as society must not be jeopardized on the altar of the bits and pieces of societal ills like gambling.

Gambling causes more harm than ‘good’ in society.

“Gambling can turn into a dangerous two-way street when you least expect it. Weird things happen suddenly, and your life can go all to pieces.”

Hunter S. Thompson