Sociology - Gambling the Sociology Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

These impulses may result in compulsive behavior ultimately leading to financial ruin and family devastation; partly for this reason, most American states had prohibited games of chance and other forms of gambling under a paternalistic attempt to protect people from their own compulsions (Lears p. 193). Las Vegas benefited from a confluence of circumstances that brought in workers and tourists to partake of something other states outlawed, and in time, gambling became the most lucrative industry in the region, employing more local residents and generating more revenue from non-residents than any other industry. Later, the connection between legalized gambling and its revenue-generating potential attracted criminal influences that shaped much of Las Vegas politics for decades.

Partly because of the long-term association between gambling and criminal activity and partly because of age-old religious principles defining concepts like work, virtue, and sin, gambling was widely considered a blemish on society. The additional observation that gambling was also associated with compulsive addiction capable of resulting in financial ruin and its myriad consequences on families further supported anti- gambling attitudes on a paternalistic basis (Volberg p.238).

However, certain elements of the financial capital markets illustrates the tenuousness of those criticisms in relation to gaming but no to financial investment based on forecasting stock performance. In reality, many aspects of the stock market mirror gambling, especially as regards games not purely determined by chance. Day traders are essentially stock gamblers and the current subprime mortgage crisis illustrates the much greater potential of social harm posed by "creative" investment banking and risk…

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