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Drawing the Line for Gambling

Holding a poker night, bingo or buying lottery tickets adds more excitement to anyone's life. The thought of the possible fortune that one's future might hold simply thrills an innocent soul. However, people are sometimes addicted to this natural high that great fortune brings us. And this addiction leads us to more gambling.

Gambling is really harmless unless it becomes excessive. But how do we know that we are exceeding beyond the limits? How do we draw the line for excessive gambling? When does it become pathological gambling? These are the big questions.

Gambling, as mentioned earlier, is considered as a form of recreation. However, this changes when gambling replaces or disrupts the everyday life. For instance, if a hard working employee frequently misses work due to gambling, then this form of recreation transforms into an addiction. Another instance is when a person starts defaulting on debts and other financial responsibilities simply to gamble. This is an indication of pathological gambling. When family relationships start falling apart, it is then a sign of exceeding one's limit. In a worse case scenario, a gambling addict turns to illegal sources, forgery or fraud in order to have the money to sustain their addiction.

The transformation of gambling from recreation to addiction is very hard to predict. Moreover, pathological gambling is difficult to prevent. Why? It is simply because we cannot see the impact of a single bet to a person unlike in cases when one takes in illegal drugs such as marijuana. Another reason is that these gambling activities are well supported by the government and some youth programs.

Some government agencies even get funding for their outreach programs through the lottery and charity sweepstakes. These activities are also funding sources of some youth programs which further reinforce the notion that gambling is a beneficial activity.

Despite of the difficulties in preventing excessive gambling, one should not lose hope and stop exerting efforts to fight it. There is always a way to stop it from replacing one's everyday life. At present, efforts to prevent pathological gambling are directed towards the teenagers since gambling often starts at young age. Starting early then paves the way for excessive gambling. Perhaps giving them a bird's eye-view of the gambling industry and how they manipulate one's chances of winning can open their minds to become aware of the possible hazards that gambling brings.

Gambling is fun until it becomes too much. This excessive gambling brings hazards to one's life that may sometimes be irreparable. So, before placing a bet on something, reflect first how this might affect you and your family. Then, make sure that betting stays only as a form of recreation.