“Sometimes a 3-1 favourite loses. That’s why they call it gambling, and that’s why they keep flipping over the cards.”[i]
It has always been the desire of the man to get rich overnight which led to a search for different ways and means, one of which is gambling. Gambling, one of the oldest industries in the world, is regarded by some as a vice and sinful activity and by others as a harmless form of entertainment. On the other hand, gambling has played a considerable role in the American history with the usage of lotteries by the First Continental Congress to finance the Revolutionary War and the founding fathers such as Benjamin Franklin and George Washington sponsoring private lotteries.[ii]
Three key elements of gambling:-
- Something valuable is being put at risk
- The outcome of the game is determined by chance
- Irreversible nature
All forms of gambling require three elements, namely prize, chance and consideration and a person gambles when he takes the chance of losing his money or belongings.[iii] People choose to gamble to win money in order to overcome their financial hardships, to socialize or just as a source of excitement. While gambling was once illegal and viewed as a disreputable activity, it is increasingly becoming a popular recreational activity. Gambling is not only associated with casinos and racetracks but also other innumerable activities such as Bingo, betting on games of skill such as golf and Internet gambling (sites such as bet365.com) making it a multi-billion dollar industry with continual growth and giving birth to resort cities such as Las Vegas, the Gambling Capital of the world.