I have over the years been told that this is a winner, and you should bet these numbers or l have a can’t miss bet for you…. these expressions have been used for centuries and l have been either raped up in a sure bet or the wave of trying to make quick money. In many of these cases, it’s been the environment that l was in or the people around me that created a situation that pressured me into taking a bet or laying some cash down on a bet. The quick fix of fast cash is the ploy that captures all of us at one time or another.
The gambling trends over the years have changed from cold hard cash exchanging hands to the highly addictive online gaming sites that are everywhere today. Back in the day, most betting was done through your local bookie or a gaming runner that would take bets either at a local café, pool hall or any entertainment venue where people would congregate, especially where alcohol was available. My personal vise over the years was betting on football games and entering group pools that would take considerable amounts of money to either participate or be engaged. The problem that l had was that these betting habits became addictive and before you knew it, you were down thousands of dollars at a time. In some cases, you can get caught up in betting on margin which meant that you would bet on a sporting event on a promise to pay and in most cases, it became very difficult to catch up.
Once you got behind on paying your debt, is when problems start, and you become desperate to pay your debts that you start to leverage money from other areas like your mortgage or dipping into personal saving or borrowing money from friends and family. These trends only lead to further issues and in most instances, a very bad ending. The lure of fast money has been around with us for centuries and the odds are totally against you.
Gambling and betting was always done through facilitators or better known as bookies until the government caught on and figured they were not getting their cut….so they got into the game.
Once the government started with slick marketing and advertising that made gambling sexy and very easy to do….it opened the flood gates to everyone doing it. Anyone from your grandparents to your parents to your neighbours were now able to bet on anything. Gambling whether on pro line or just picking numbers on a weekly basis became the thing to do and everyone was doing it. Company pools started along with households having their favourite lottery numbers that they needed to play every week. This wave was very addictive and before you knew it, some of your household budget was put aside to bet those numbers for that elusive big win.
When many of us try to conjure an image of gambling addiction, what comes to mind is a long descent and longer aftermath, a slow process of getting sucked in over years. It can happen much more quickly though, for some, one win is all it takes to spark a full-blown gambling addiction. For many it’s the big payout and trying to recoup the money that one has lost over the years and then some. But the rush can be incredible, and chasing the sensation, the temporary high you get from the big win can be very destructive. One keeps thinking that you are going to win again, despite the odds. And yes, l have learned this the hard way that the house always wins and the odds are stacked against you winning. Yes, they let you win small trounces, but the lure and the addiction outweigh the results.
Lottery addictions are much bigger than most people know, and the government will not tell you that two-thirds of all adults play a lottery usually once a week, but the trends are changing quickly with many folks playing daily. Governments and especially OLG which is the regulating body for Ontario that regulates and controls gaming in Ontario is the largest revenue base we have in Ontario. Their marketing campaigns are very slick and highly addictive to convincing you that you are one lottery game away from the big dream. OLG will tell us that they are redeploying the funds back into the economy in the way of infrastructure and hospital care, but l have reservations about how they put money back into our communities.
OLG has formulated an unbelievable backend company in Ontario that my source is telling me that they are on the verge of expanding the brand worldwide so that anyone globally will be able to bet through the OLG platforms. This government body also controls the new online gaming rollouts that are available to you through your computer or handheld device that will allow you to bet 24 hours a day. Online gaming in my humble opinion is the crack cocaine of gaming and should be used very sparingly and with much caution. Whether online gaming should be classified as an addiction/mental disorder is the subject of much debate and a growing body of research.
Governments rely on lotteries for revenue and they have one clear goal…increase the money they make off the cut they take from each game played. Achieving this goal often means getting more people to play or extracting larger sums of money from dedicated fans. An enormous amount of their profits comes from people who are addicted. Maximizing gambling profits is the opposite of what people expect from their government, which is tasked, at least in part, with protecting public health and discouraging addiction. Yet governments are generally making problems worse, not better.
Ontario is pushing into online and app-based games. These new games are highly addictive and are very sexy to be associated with, the marketing for these new platforms will be rolling out soon and the access can be not only locally but internationally… anyone can bet on these platforms. Younger people aren’t playing lottery games, which is why they’re pushing to bring it online. Fortunately, or unfortunately the government has a gambling game for any age group that wants to play whatever their hearts desire.
Las Vegas at one time was the only place that gambling was available on Main Street, now they’re trying to bring Las Vegas into every home, every office…right into your living room.