- Kimberly Diaz
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When we talk about casinos we have to address one of the most controversial issues that exist.
The gambling addiction thing. What is there of reality and lies in this image of disease that exists in Brazil and is associated with those who gamble and bet?
Will every person who bets in a casino become an addict? Can everyone who enters a casino be considered sick?
Too many questions and too few answers. But all seen with a lot of prejudice.
Obviously the answer is no. Gambling is no more addictive than other behaviors in society.
On the contrary, studies indicate that addiction to games is less than addictions to alcohol, cigarettes and even addiction to crack to stay in the example of popular drugs and disseminated in our society.
In general, unhealthy behaviors have very close indices when we talk about this type of activity.
But why then is this taint of addiction more popular among gamers than among other branches of society?
Just talk about legalizing casinos that many go into a real madness demonizing the activity.
First, we must separate two fundamental things: normal behavior and pathological behavior.
This sounds obvious but it seems that people don’t understand. Every activity in life can have a normal behavior and another pathological, unhealthy that requires medical care.
This human duality is easily observable from food, with the problem of obesity plaguing the world, as well as addiction to drink, sex, financial expenses, among others. Compulsion is a similar behavior in all addictions.
And in that sense there would be no worse or better vices, only vices. In the same way that everyone who drinks a glass of beer is not an alcoholic, anyone who plays in a slot machine cannot be considered addicted to the game.
The difference is prejudice. In Brazil, there is a negative image attributed to games that involve risk. By the way, they call them games of chance, but why not games of chance?
They treat the issue as if it were a moral defect, a misconduct. While the televisions show commercials all day talking about beer and other topics, the act of gambling is treated as an activity that doesn’t deserve to be considered.
Much of this is influenced by a religious outlook. The dominant Christian religions in Brazil have a negative view of the game, even though several types of games that involve risk are present throughout human history.
As they are very powerful institutions, they impose their views on the faithful and also on the media they control, turning games of chance into a problem. When they aren’t.
Almost 99% of countries in the world have some form of legal gambling. By the way, when Brazilian tourists travel to these countries, they love to play in their casinos.
But if it’s good there, why isn’t it good here? From the United States, Portugal, passing through Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina, all have legal casinos generating jobs, dividends, taxes and money.
Games are not more addictive than other things. That simple. They only speak more about them because of the extreme prejudice that exists in Brazil about it.