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People and Politics Forum 30.05.2008

"Should gambling be banned altogether?"

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More information:

The Game's Up - How the Law is Intervening in the Gambling Industry

January saw the introduction of new gambling legislation in Germany that is intended to step up the battle against gambling addiction. Public poker competitions have now been banned in the state of Rhineland Palatinate, for example - despite over four million Germans playing the game in casinos, bars and on the Internet. With German statutory regulations on poker still unclear, however, a lot of players are - often unwittingly - breaking the law.

Our Question is:

"Should gambling be banned altogether?"

Erich Prinz, in Thailand, doesn't think so:

"I have been living in Thailand for more than 4 years. Gambling is banned, and lotteries were terminated 2 years ago. But it only heightened the attraction. I believe that human beings act reasonably when things are legal."

In Brazil, Rainer Salzbrunn, is also skeptical:

"You can ban gambling but that doesn't mean it will stop, and it will still happen outside Germany's borders. The government won't just cut off its nose to spite its face and surrender enormous amounts of revenue that it gets from government-controlled state lotteries which are also forms of gambling..."

Similar sentiments from René Junghans, also in Brazil:

" I think people should decide for themselves if they want to gamble or not. When you are 18 you are eligible for military service, you can drink alcohol, you can get married, drive a car, travel round the world: so why shouldn't you be allowed to gamble?.."

Gerhard Seeger, in the Philippines, targets double standards:

"So it's allowed in state-run casinos but not in your own front room. I think we are talking double standards and moral hypocrisy here. Yes I know that gambling can become addictive, but a total ban would only trigger more crime."

A view rejected by Aeron Paul Soriano, also a Philippines resident:

"Gambling, legal or illegal, should be banned by the governments around the world especially in First World countries like Germany, because gambling is one of the main causes of corruption and poverty... and it will destroy integrity and people's trust in the government."

Andre Sprunken, in South Africa, says:

"Although gambling can be a major social problem I don't think its practical to ban it as it simply moves underground or people visit countries or states where it is legal. It will also be very difficult to fully control the internet. Rather keep it legal so that there is at least some measure of control and the revenue earned stays in the country where it can be taxed."

But Halil Daquqlu, in Denmark, is not convinced:

"Gambling is a reason for poverty... and loss of family and property. My opinion is that gambling should be banned altogether."

The People and Politics desk reserves the right to edit and abbreviate texts.