Futures at Stake: Youth, Gambling, and Society

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Description The widespread legalization of gambling across the U. For the first time in this country, an entire generation of young people has reached adulthood within a context of approval and endorsement of gambling as a source of entertainment and recreation.

Compared with their adult counterparts, these young people have evidenced a higher level of gambling related problems. In Futures at Stake, specialists in psychology, medicine, law, public health, economics, casino management, psychiatry, and criminal justice examine this problem from the perspective of their various disciplines, producing an intelligent, thought-provoking, and valuable survey of what is fast becoming a leading social-health problem across the nation.

The chapters range from discussions of the pathology and treatment of gambling addictions, the legal ramifications of youth gambling, and the social and economic impacts of this problem to the efforts of the casino industry to limit access and appeal to juveniles, future prospects of youth gambling, and possible ways to control the problem.

Futures at Stake is essential reading for health-care professionals, educators, casino-industry managers, and anyone interested in a broadly focused discussion of one of legalized gambling's ugliest and most damaging side-effects. This feature is available for republication under a Creative Commons licence.

Problem gambling

A pair of handsome male celebrities invite me to click on a game based on their TV show, next to five glamorous young women promoting blackjack, and surrounded by animated slots with names such as Mega Moolah, Lotsa Loot and King Cashalot. Welcome to the world of online gambling, where shiny young people appear to bet together for fun. A few clicks away, there are more images: photos of eight young men, full of personality; one at the beach, another on a country walk, one playing the trombone in a band.

Below the pictures are their names, dates of birth — and death. All these men died by suicide as a direct result of gambling, according to their parents who have come together and founded the charity Gambling With Lives. The men were all normal, bright, popular and happy with great futures ahead of them. Gambling was their only problem.

Futures at Stake: Youth, Gambling, and Society

They had not necessarily racked up massive debts — though some had — it was the insidious nature of what gambling had done to their hearts and their heads that caused their deaths, according to the charity. Founders Liz and Charles Ritchie, whose son Jack took his own life last November aged 24 in Hanoi, Vietnam, say online gambling followed him wherever he went, with companies sending him inducements and invitations to play.

Jack had been free from gambling for several months before his death — to be dragged back into the addiction proved too much for him. Concern over problem gambling is a hot topic. In November the Gambling Commission, which regulates gambling providers, revealed that 1.

Many now argue it is not a sporting or leisure problem, but a health issue. This was welcomed by Dr Wardle. She believes the widespread harms of gambling, not just for the individual taking part but their families and wider society, have been hidden for too long. It is, she says, disruptive and extremely challenging.

Prof Reith agrees. At the extreme end it can tear families apart, people can lose their homes.

Project MUSE - Futures At Stake

On a lesser scale, it means relationships and trust can be eroded, kids go without that school trip, or that extra Christmas present. The erosion of money and of trust just makes life that bit harder and more difficult. These ripple effects can be extensive and enduring. The broken relationships, the credit default, and maybe the criminal activity that people engage in. Earlier this year as deputy chair of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, Dr Wardle led an expert group with Prof Reith and others to propose a formal definition of gambling-related harms. There have been positive responses from the Gambling Commission, people who work with problem gamblers, and problem gamblers themselves.

Government has been less vocal, but Dr Wardle is cautiously hopeful the message is getting through. Public Health England, she says, has been charged to think about problem gambling, with proposals for a cross-departmental group between the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The expert group will next explore the impacts on young people specifically and attempt to estimate the cost of gambling-related harms to society and the economy.

It is instructive to look at how gambling has been perceived by society and treated by the medical profession in comparison with alcohol and drugs, which have become such significant public health issues in the UK. They have long been lumped together. At the beginning of the last century, Joseph Rowntree, the founder of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation social policy charity, identified gambling as one of seven social evils the others being poverty, war, slavery, intemperance, opium and impurity.

1. Introduction

Much of the criticism was moralistic and quasi-religious in tone, wringing hands over poor people wasting their money when they should be working hard and saving. What does that say, really, about us and what we're doing Iraq is the central battleground in the war on terror. The terrorists certainly know what is at stake , which is why they are pulling out all the stops to derail our efforts there.

They know that a free and democratic Iraq is a serious blow to their interests. The terrorists know what is at stake , which is why they are pulling out all the stops to derail our efforts. They understand that a free and democratic Iraq is a serious blow to their interests. So what if he's a bit older and usually regards a human female as dinner, not a dinner date?

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