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« Jailhouse crocks | Main | Goodbye nanny state, hello nudge »

The benefits of gambling

Tonight, at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, there's an event to mark the publication of Gambling: A Healthy Bet, a new report by the Democracy Institute.

Gambling is good for us, say the authors, Patrick Basham and John Luik. Writing for The Free Society today, Basham points out that:

As of 2002, only one peer-reviewed scholarly journal article had been dedicated solely to the beneficial impacts of gambling on individuals. And there were no studies that dealt specifically with the potentially beneficial impacts of gambling on the gambler's proximal environment, defined as spouse, children, family, friends, and life at work, at school, or in the local community.

Gambling should be viewed for what it is. That is, commonplace behaviour practised responsibly by the vast majority of people in our society.

See: Is gambling the new opium of the people?

My own experience of gambling for money is limited to a handful of horse races and never spending more than I could afford to lose (usually around £5). I was never attracted to fruit machines (they're called one-armed bandits for a reason) and the current obsession with poker leaves me bemused. But good luck to those who enjoy it.

In fact I was furious when the Labour Government reversed its decision to allow a super casino to be opened in Britain. If I remember there was a terrific battle between Blackpool and Manchester to host the first (and only) one but the question that should have been asked was, why should super casinos be restricted to just one city in the entire country? Like smoking and drinking or going on expensive foreign holidays, no-one holds a gun to your head and says you have to do it. People do have a choice.

Of course some people get addicted to gambling, just as others get addicted to nicotine or alcohol and the consequences can be serious. But there are millions of people who get a great deal of pleasure from gambling (and smoking and drinking) and we have one in our midst who enjoys all three. Take a bow, Dave Atherton.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this evening. I may even place a bet on who will be there.

PS. Looking forward to seeing Patrick Basham. I haven't seen him since we made our escape from Bangalore at three o'clock in the morning. I didn't record that story here but it involved several armed guards, a very helpful BA official (operating unofficially) and ... No, I'm sorry, I can't. What happened in Bangalore stays in Bangalore.

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    Father‘tonne waste products this moment over guy/sweetheart,what individuals isn‘p happy to waste materials its time done to you.
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    Simon Clark - Taking Liberties - The benefits of gambling

Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for the mention Simon. I love my poker as I have been playing for 5 years now and make a profit every year. When I gave up football my competitive spirit needed a new outlet. In the last 3 years I have made $2,800 based on stakes of $4 and as you can see my return on investment (ROI) is 29% for 9 man tables and 70% for multi table tournaments which I play the most.

My biggest win this year was when I can 1st out of 949 players winning $344 for $2 stake. I play a variant called Omaha Hi Lo and the winning hand was AQ67 and made a full house on the last of the 5 cards drawn.

See you tonight Simon, I'm coming too. TmDvdEmz is my playing name and is comes from Dvd= David, Emz = Emma my daughter and Tm = Tom my son.

Username Games Played Av. Profit Av. Stake ROI Total Profit Ability/100
TmDvdEmz 450 $2 $4 70% $1,066 - 73
TmDvdEmz 1,510 $1 $4 29% $1,708 - 72

Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 13:59 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

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