What are the positive and negative effects of gambling

Two years ago a company called Jellinek asked people about their gambling activities. It appears that 88 percent of the Dutch people has participated in a game of chance at least once. Just 12 percent of the people never took a gamble. Gambling can be easily explained. When someone participates in a game of chance he or she places a bet on the possible outcome of the game. If the outcome is as predicted, his or her bet is usually multiplied. In this article all your questions about gambling will be answered, including the positive and negative effects.

The long history of gambling

Not only modern people love to take a gamble. Archeological research has shown that games of chance were already popular in prehistoric times! Researchers have found small bones of sheeps and dogs that people used for dice games. Besides the bones, wall paintings and vases that illustrate gambling have also been found. They date back to 3000 B.C. The archeological findings were mostly found in what is known today as Iraq. The name and basic rule of the 4000 year old dice game is not known.

Lotteries in the Roman Empire
Despite archeological findings, researchers don’t know a lot about gambling in prehistoric times. The Romans have left more traces. We know that they organized lotteries, although these were different than today. You could not win big prizes, for example. Instead the Roman emperor scattered a few papers in the air. On the paper there was a small prize, such as corn or a little money. The Roman lottery can be seen as a small gift from the emperor to his people. The Romans also organized a game that we know very well today: the wheel of fortune. The people used the wheel of a chariot. The wheel of fortune was invented by war generals. They wanted to have a game that helped the soldiers to keep their heads up in difficult situations. Gambling was the perfect solution because the soldiers could relax and have a little bit of fun.

Card games in China
Dice games and lotteries are way older than card games. The earliest traces date back to China around the year 1100. Back then people began to play card games such as Roulette for the very first time. It could also be that the Chinese were influenced by Dominican monks. Of course the Roulette game looked different back then. For example, the Chinese used pictures of animals instead of numbers.

The establishment of Toto and Lotto
The popularity of gambling also increased because of the Dutch Gambling Law in 1964. It actually formed the basis of the Dutch State Lottery as we know. The popularity of sports betting also rose. It became possible to place a bet on a football match. This felt under the supervision of the ‘Toto’, which still exists today. It took until 1974 before the changing Gambling Law made the establishment of the Lotto possible. The government still discussed the possibility of opening casinos. Eventually the first casino in the Netherlands opened its doors in 1976.

Negative and positive effects of gambling legalization

The legalization of gambling by the Dutch government had positive and negative effects. For many people a night’s out in the casino was a way to have fun. Some of them couldn’t handle the excitement of gambling too well and developed an addiction. In the 90s the estimated number of people addicted to gambling lay around 70.000. Many municipal authorities wanted to decrease the number of gambling addictions, for example by limiting slot machines in snackbars. The national government followed and tightened the Gambling Law in 2000. Gambling machines in snackbars and cafés were even more limited at the beginning of the new century. Besides that, modern gambling machines are made less addictive than the older ones.

Online gambling in the Netherlands
At the moment gambling in a land-based casino is legal in the Netherlands. It’s strictly regulated by the government though. In the last couple of years more and more online casinos emerged on the internet. Currently online gambling is not legal in the Netherlands, although this is going to change in the near future. Dutch gamblers visit international casinos to gamble online. This is fine, unless they experience problems, for example with deposits or withdrawals. In that case the Dutch government will not help these people. Be aware of this when you become an online gambler.

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