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Gambling

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Gambling

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Gambling is the age old activity of betting money on the chance of winning more money. Gambling takes many forms, from video gaming machines, to table games, to races, to government-run lotteries, and more. While heavily regulated and even outlawed in many places, there is much legal gambling around the world, and gambling is a popular activity for tourists.

Some gamblers are lucky. Some games do enable the chance of a profit. But those lucky few are in the minority. There is a saying in gambling that the house always wins. The purpose of a gambling operation is to make a profit for the operator. In most cases, this is a private enterprise.

Gambling is made to look glamorous and attractive, with the latest technology, bright lights, and catchy sounds. But there is a lot of darkness in gambling, especially if not practiced with extreme caution.

Gambling venues[edit]

Casinos[edit]

Casinos are the most familiar venues for gambling. They are found in destinations all over the world and on cruise ships. Some cities, such as Las Vegas, are well known for their gambling. There are plenty of lesser known casinos too. Casinos in recent years have popped up in more places as a way of enabling governments to raise more tax revenue.

Casinos may include video gaming machines, tables games (roulette, black poker, etc.), and sports team betting, to name a few.

Races[edit]

Racing is another popular method of gambling. Gamblers can bet money on the contestant they think is most likely to win. Racing usually includes animals, such as horses or greyhound dogs.

Team sports[edit]

Betting on team sports is a common activity too. In places such as Las Vegas, there are gambling operations on professional sports teams, even though the teams themselves do not sponsor or endorse these operations. In other team sports, such as Jai Alai, betting is a part of the enterprise.

Lotteries[edit]

Many jurisdictions operate their own lotteries, where tickets can be purchased with the chance of a prize. Lotteries involve games with drawings, scratch-offs, keno, and other variations. Revenues are used to support the government.

Odds[edit]

Odds are the chances of winning. Generally, a gambling operation will make its odds available to the public. But they may not be so conspicuous. If you are uncertain of the odds, go ahead and ask. It is something that you, the customer, are entitled to know.

Limiting your gambling[edit]

Keep in mind that gambling is not an ideal or realistic way to get rich. If you are gambling as a tourist, you are doing it for fun, and not with the intention of getting rich.

Set your limits[edit]

If you plan to gamble, decide in advance how much money you plan to gamble. Stick to that limit, and don't go a penny over. Once you have exhausted your limit, you are done gambling for the remainder of your trip. Treat this as just another expense on your trip your are budgeting for, just like lodging, dining, or shopping.

Avoid carrying extra cash into the casino. Carry only as much as you need for other purposes, such as food or souvenir shopping. And use it for those purposes.

If you win[edit]

If you are lucky enough to win while gambling within your limit, keep your prize and do not make it an addition to your gambling allowance. This is the only way you can feel like a true winner.

If you place your winnings into the pool of money you have available to gamble, and you keep on engaging in this practice, you will in the end be a loser. Gambling is profitable to the house, so the odds favor that this money will be lost.

Payment methods for gambling[edit]

If you gamble, it is best to use cash. Avoid using credit cards. Major credit card providers will bill gambling as a cash advance, meaning that you will be charged a cash advance fee, and interest will start accruing from the day you make the purchase, as opposed to the due date of the next bill for most purchase. This may also adversely affect your credit rating.

Compulsive gambling[edit]

Gambling can be addictive. Compulsive gambling is considered to be a psychological disorder. And it can be highly destructive. In many ways, it is comparable to substance abuse. Compulsive gamblers, in order to feed their habit, often get into debt and sometimes turn to criminal activity in order to obtain money to gamble.

Security[edit]

Security at casinos is among the highest in the world, and in many ways, is stronger than any form of government security or law enforcement. In a typical casino, cameras that are mounted can view every point within the casino facility. This is a necessity, given the large amount of cash that is found within a casino at any given time.

The security is aimed at several purposes related to protecting the casino's assets, including preventing robberies, cheating by gamblers, and fraud, and prosecuting violators after the fact. Given the advanced level of the security, it is nearly impossible to get away with stealing any amount of money from the casino or committing any crime on the premises.