Should the government make gambling of any kind illegal?

Have you ever thought of being a millionaire? Many people carry this hope when they participate in gambling. Gambling gives us a chance to realize this dream. Therefore, gambling is a common practice in the territory, ranging from playing mahjong to soccer gambling. However, a recent survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong suggested that an increasing majority of Hong Kong people are addicted to gambling. Therefore, in a bid to rectify the situation, the government is proposing a law to criminalize any kind of gambling. We are caught in a dilemma now. Many citizens find gambling an entertainment to their dull lives. On the other hand, people are getting addicted to it. Should passing a law be our next step?

Addiction to gambling will destroy one’s life. We are not unfamiliar with the following scene – A man made his first attempt to gamble and got addicted to it. He lost his job and stayed in the casino all the time. Eventually, he got into a lot of debt, and his wife and children left him. If he is lucky enough, he will go bankrupt and begin a new life. However, the reality is the man will keep on gambling in an attempt to gain back what he lost. This is like taking drugs. Once you try it, it is difficult to get rid of it. Our crave for money and a luxurious life is unlimited. No matter whether you are winning or losing, you will keep on gambling. This is the most frightening part of the addiction. Not only will the addiction affect the gamblers’ mental health, it is also costly to society. Family tragedies always result from financial troubles. When the gamblers can no longer find satisfaction from gambling, they may restart to violence. It is not surprising that many people who hurt their family members are addicted to gambling. Therefore, gambling has dire consequences if one is addicted to it.

Although serious gambling will cause social disharmony, many locals treat it as a type of entertainment to their monotonous lives. For example, people want to have hope from buying the Mark Six. It is not a big deal to lose, but it gives you the excitement and hope. Staying positive is important to one’s health. Taking part in gambling may help people to escape from the bustle and hustle of their busy schedules and to find temporary relief. Many housewives and elderly people enjoy playing mahjong. Some people even suggest that playing mahjong is part of our local culture. It is a form of social connection rather than gambling. The amount of money to spend is small, but it strengthens interpersonal relationships in the neighbourhood. Better still, some medical experts have conducted research about mahjong and discovered that playing mahjong can prevent the elderly from losing their memory because playing mahjong requires both communication and constant thinking. Therefore, some gambling will bring some spice to our lives as well as improve interpersonal associations.

Indeed, addiction to gambling will jeopardize one’s life but it is just a matter of degree. To many people, a small amount of gambling will make their lives easier. Therefore, it is too strict for the law to ban all kinds of gambling in the future. Also, introducing a law still fails to tackle the root of the problem – the general low awareness of the public towards the harmful effects of serious gambling. Instead of banning people from gambling, it is advisable for the government to launch a territory-wide campaign to raise public awareness. Education plays a significant role in it. Cultivating appropriate values towards money in young minds is essential. Being a millionaire is not about buying a Mark Six ticket. Our determination and efforts are the keys to success. Once the teenagers develop the correct attitude, they will not full prey to the temptation of gambling. Also, the government ought to provide more services for addicted gamblers to assist them to get ride of the addiction. I believe that a concerted effort will make our society a healthy one without any introduction of laws to ban gambling.