With modern slot machines there’s a greatest potential for a dangerous side effect; gambling addiction as more people are addicted to slots than any other form of gambling. The modern slots are like hightech video games that play music and scenes from TV shows. You can play hundreds of lines at once and instead of pulling a handle you bet by pushing buttons which means each bet can be completed in as little as 3.5 seconds.It looks like great fun but it can be dangerously addictive. Whether or not it’s their intention the gambling industry is designing machines that can addict people.One MIT Anthropology Professor had studied gambling addiction for over 15 years. She’s interviewed gamblers, casino owners and slot machine designers.One question we put to her was – Do you think that most people would even think that a machine could addict you, that a machine can do the same thing that a drug could?Answer: What addiction really has to do is with the speed of the rewards and these machines they’re packing 1200 hands per hour into play. You’re being exposed as you can see that being exposed to a higher dose because all that speed means more bets and that means more excitement.Another core aspect of their addictiveness is their continuous nature. You’re not interrupted by anything. You’re not waiting for the horses to run. You’re not waiting for the guy next to you to choose his card to put down. There’s no one in that wheel spinning it’s just you and the machine. It’s a continuous flow without interruption.Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada measured how players respond physiologically while they gamble and show that the new machines can make them think they’re winning even when they’re not. The gamblers almost always get some many back. If he puts in a dollar he might get back 50 cents but the sounds and flickering lights trick his brain into thinking he came out ahead. “The constant feeling of winning creates so much pleasure”. The regular players can slip in a trance like state, a place she calls the zone.So if you want to play the slots or the electronic roulette machines please take precautions by limiting the amount of time spent playing also the amount of money you risk. Play moderately for enjoyment rather that the financial gain.
Blast them all and send them both to purgatory. (Wherever that is.) Who are they to tell me whether I can gamble or not. Like I don’t have rights too. Calm down and take a deep breath. O.k. let me explain myself.I have just finished chasing off a couple of religious Joe’s trying to peddle me some form of salvation. Sorry folks but I just don’t need saving. Not yet at any rate.Anyway they had several brochures nicely printed up with the usual “Jesus saves the world” and “God is good” headlines. No problem there. I’m all for Jesus and God. The problem started when they started asking me questions.The first one was, did I drink. Nope. No problem there. I was fidgeting trying politely to get the door closed when they asked the big one.You know what it was don’t you. Yeah. The second one was, did I gamble. And Oh yeah you guessed it, I said yes. Big mistake.Big mouth open and foot right in. Talk about opening up a can of worms. It was more like opening up a bag to find it contained a hornet’s nest. Well I thought I was going to have to call the United Nations to come and rescue me. They cornered me at my front door, one of them pulling a daring flanking manoeuvre to prevent me getting back inside.They did everything short of wrestle me to the ground to try to convince me that gambling was wrong and that I needed to see the error of my ways. I think I know now how the boys of Easy Company felt at Bastogne, surrounded, no ammunition and worst of all no place to hide. (Thankfully it wasn’t that cold, one small mercy I guess)Finally I prevailed by dint of a deft manoeuvre that pulled them out of position allowing me finally to step back into the safety of my own home and not so gently close the door. (I’ll probably have to fix those hinges in the morning.)Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against religion or people who are anti drink or anti gambling. I just don’t like their attitude sometimes. Each and every man and woman who gambles does so with the knowledge that they could lose. Most of us know the odds are against us.That is why so many of us use horse racing betting systems in an attempt to beat the system. Some of us are lucky enough to succeed while others are not. I truly believe that it comes down to our personality and work ethic.They get their odds, they make their decision and then they await the result. Sometimes they are happy, other times they are sad. But it was their decision to make, regardless of the outcome.
I welcome dialogue and I truly believe that intervention is necessary in many cases where the person involved suffers from a definite case of Ludomania or Problem Gambling.In this instance the urge to gamble becomes detrimental to the health and well being of the person involved. All too often this problem gambling also affects the lives of other people as well. Many families have suffered terribly emotionally and financially as a result of problem gambling. This is most definitely something that no family should have to suffer.But banning gambling or harassing people on their doorstep is not the answer. There are millions of sensible men and women who enjoy gambling either as a recreational hobby or as a holiday diversion. With no ill effects and no disruption of their lives.What would happen if you drove gambling underground? It does not bear thinking about. Black market betting shops. It would be a reversion back to a bygone era that we have left behind.The question we do need to ask ourselves though is this:Is gambling itself the problem or are we humans too weak minded to pursue this hobby without incurring an adverse reaction?The answer is different for each and every one of us. I myself can walk away from gambling for weeks or months at a time without any effect on my emotional well being. If I never had another bet in my life it would not bother me.Can you say the same? If you can, then fantastic, but if you can’t then perhaps gambling is not for you. You wouldn’t hold a live rattlesnake in your bare hands would you. No neither would I.I asked myself a long time ago whether I could gamble responsibly. The answer I came up with was in the affirmative. I know my limits.I just don’t need anyone else telling me what I can and can’t do. It’s just so damn insulting not to mention annoying. And so on that note I think I will go and fix those hinges.