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David Lemuel L. del Prado 2012-04137 March 6, 2013 Gambling is a widespread drug in the Philippines that gradually destroys Filipino societies. Gambling is one of the few human activities that has occurred in different cultures way back 4,000 years ago. Hittites (4,000 BC) had their betting on horse racing, whereas Crete (1800 BC), Egypt (1600 BC) and India (1000 BC) had unearthed dice and gaming boards before. The world gamble came from the Middle English gamenen which means to play, jest, to be merry and from Old English gamenian which means to play, joke, or pun. From the etymology itself, one will determine that the real purpose of this is just to provide recreation and happiness to people. Neither money nor any goods of economic value are involved. But it seems that its meaning has already turned into different ones. Conventionally, gambling is becoming a game in which persons involved put their money or any goods at stake. It is either you gain happiness from winning or feel loneliness due to loss. Several societal issues arising from gambling are becoming rampant not only here in the Philippines but also around the world. Its effect is gradually deteriorating every corner of the Philippine society. Many things can be associated between gambling and drugs. Like gambling, different drugs were made with specific purposes such as morphine for anesthetic purposes, cocaine as stimulants and many others. But if gambling was used excessively and with different purpose, it turns into a dangerous drug that could destroy every single unit of the society; a drug that can be easily spread; a drug that is difficult

to treat or even manage once become addicted to it. In comparison to drugs, gambling also could create an unproductive Filipino society, disrupt Filipino societies, and ruin the spiritual life of a person. Finally, if many people here in the Philippines use drugs as a tool for escaping reality, gambling as well is being used so as to distance oneself from the problems in life. First of all, how does this gambling affect the Filipino society? What are the different parts of the society that is being affected by this gambling over and above drug use? The proponents of the legalization of gambling through casinos assert that it gives a positive impact to the economy of the Philippines, and that it provides not only income to the government but also employment to the citizens. But if we are going to debunk it, this program does not actually create money or goods. It only circulates the money within the economy and concentrating it to only few lucky people while leaving nothing to the unfortunate ones. The money that is supposed to be consumed for the basic necessities of the family is being wasted whenever they lose; therefore, intensifying the burden of the family. This one is just a bandage solution for the prevailing poverty in many areas in the Philippines. It is just a short term solution for poverty because many other problems will soon arise. In fact, it could still be a deteriorating factor in our economy if gambling in the Philippines is legalized. If casinos are legalized, the government is like telling the citizens that illegal forms of gambling such as jueteng are reasonable. Its like luring the Filipino citizens to easy money which will exacerbate the attitudes like Bahala na, and the fatalism culture of the Filipinos. Thus, people, especially on the depressed areas, will be more inclined to gambling and if that happens, people will tend to gamble than to work, producing no goods at all. Moreover,

if people become inclined in gambling, their abilities and skills become dull, making the individual and the whole labor force unproductive. Its last effect coincides with those of the drugs. Drugs do deteriorate also the performance of individuals by affecting their normal thinking ability making them hard to distinguish what is right from wrong. Aside from making an indolent and unprofitable society, gambling as well as drugs destroys the harmonious relationships of family members with one another. Addiction to gambling would basically cause less interest with the other family members because the bettors attention is diverted to gambling. More time in gambling sites would also decrease the available time for the family bonding and recreation. Since less time is being allotted especially to the children, the bettor is no longer able to provide them their physical, emotional, and social need. In addition to that, as the bettor becomes submerged in debt, the greater is the possibility of having quarrels within the family due to financial matters. In comparison to drugs, drugs could also cause financial deficit in the family because aside from being an unproductive individual, the money that is supposed to be allocated for basic necessities is spent in buying dangerous drugs. Gambling also affects the spirituality of the Filipinos. Despite of the several attempts of different religions such as Roman Catholic and Islam to prevent the people from gambling, still many are enticed by the promise of instant wealth. A number of things regarding spiritual aspect are being impinged on by gambling. Fondness in gambling lessens the time available for an individual, and prohibits him from attending weekly mass to listen to the Word of the Lord. Gambling indeed does not only consume but also waste the time of an individual. Instead of using it to a more fruitful one which may lead to his development, the time is being used in the deterioration not only of his

physical and mental but also of his spiritual part. Furthermore, people who engage more in gambling tends to perform criminal activities. According to Mr. Roy Q. Lagarde, the author of the article The Scourge of Legalized Gambling, crime has been associated whenever gambling is legalized. The different studies he analyzed showed that problematic gamblers become exposed to different criminal acts so as to satisfy or support their habit. They would do anything even dealing drugs, embezzling, or stealing if that is the only way for them to gamble. Additionally, the cases of prostitution and other sexual immoralities increase due to the presence of sexual entertainment near gambling houses. This relationship between crime and gambling is not only feasible here in the Philippines. In fact, according to OSCAR reports in South Australia, gambling is also one of the motivating factors of the criminals in doing such crimes. The effect of gambling is just a reflection of the effects of drugs as far as spirituality is concerned. Not only does it decrease their bonding with God, but also it exposes them to several heinous crimes in the society. Filipinos are experiencing more and higher degree of problems than the past decades. These problems contribute to the stress experienced by many Filipinos. In fact, based on the 2007 survey across seven countries in Southeast Asia, Filipinos were found to be the most stressed-out people in the region. These problems are greatly contributing to the gambling frequency of the people. Similar to drugs, gambling becomes an activity that makes a problematic person forget temporarily all the problems he is encountering. The more and greater the problems are, the more he depends on this activity. It is true that all people need some time to relax and pause for a while during hard times and make his problems temporarily forgotten. Gambling serves as a

way to have a little enjoyment and also to satisfy the persons needs. But an excess of this, to the extent that the person is no longer performing the duties and responsibilities as a family member and as part of community, further worsens the difficulties. Gambling is only a way to give delight and refreshment to a tired person, but some desperate Filipinos are likely to use gambling as form of escape from reality. The problems never end once a person escaped from it, but rather, the consequences of these problems are only transferred to persons who are not supposed to suffer. The arguments aforementioned have clearly exposed the similarities of the two with respect to the effects they bring to our society. But how about the speed in which they are spread in the society and the time it takes in order to recover from them, which widens more rapidly? Which is more difficult to manage? Basically, neither multiplies faster nor harder to manage or treat than the other. Both have the same degree with respect to the said aspects. Both are done secretly, making them imperceptible to the authorities. Being invisible allows both of them ease of transactions and to be spread easily across the Philippines. What adds to their invisibility is the fact that these activities are usually supported by policemen if not by the officials. They give tips regarding the incoming operation of the authorities. Expansion of these illegal activities is also facilitated by drug lords and gambling lords, who are of great financial status. They could hardly fail because of the financial support given by these lords. Treatment of these addictions is both hard and takes extensive time span. Often, persons who are drug addicts tend to be problem gamblers. On a study made regarding the relationship of drug addiction and gambling addiction, 19% of the patients diagnosed with drug addiction were found to have problem in gambling. According to

Dr. Eric Nestler, Gambling can be as serious as a drug addiction. Scientists also say that there is only little difference biologically between problem gamblers and drug addicts making them equivalent with regards to the length of their treatment. To sum it up, gambling, initially is used as a form of recreation. But if it is used too much, gambling would indeed as dangerous as drug use in the society. Its effects are similar to that of drugs. It ruins the Filipino society by targeting the basic unit of the society, which is the family. It does so by, creating a fruitless society, making disorders within the family, and wrecking the spiritual life and integrity of Filipino people. Gambling in addition to drug use is becoming a way for many Filipinos to flee from their troubles in life. Finally, gambling addiction and drug addiction are usually associated with one another with respect to its effect on the patients, the rate at which they spread, and the difficulty in handling such addictions. Word count: 1,717 words

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