The Community Response to Slot Machine Gambling Addiction


A Communal Problem

Slot machine gambling occurs within the community and therefore if there are issues to be discussed in terms of dealing with the repercussions of addiction, the response has to emanate from the community. It is also worth noting that the community is the one which stands to lose a lot of gambling is left unchecked and youth culture is effectively turned to chance. This article will try to examine some of the pertinent response mechanisms that the community has used to try and deal with these problems.

Local Solutions for Global Problems

1. Some communities have responded by ostracizing the people who gamble. They are made into the evil that must be banished from the community. Rumors are then strategically circulated to identify the culprit who is then literally smoked out of the community. In this instance the community will have made a calculated observation that it is better to kick the gambler out of the community as opposed to trying to treat them within the community. This approach leads to isolation and can drive the person deeper and deeper into gambling as they start to move away from the general community. It is also a short sighted approach because it ignores problems instead of addressing them.

2. The other response is to create rehabilitative programs which deal with some of the ravages of the addiction once they have been identified. This approach can bring together a number of organizations on a volunteer basis including churches and other charities. The emphasis is on trying to get people out of the slot machine gambling  as well as giving them therapy to cope with some of the consequent daily struggles that they are forced to confront. This is a good solution if it is properly funded. The problem is that because many of the initiatives are on a voluntary basis, it does not provide for the eventuality of funds running out. Governments are typically very poor at providing these types of supportive services. They also do not take into account the fact that the gambler may still want to go on the slotting machines but merely needs support to avoid going over the top.

3. A third response is to provide preventative education in order to stop people from getting into the gambling habit in the first place. The idea is that the problems that arise of gambling can be easily prevented through raising awareness among members of the general public about the problems that can be associated with gambling. This kind of sensitization requires funding and more often than not that funding is not forthcoming. The education model also relies on the belief that people will want to be educated. This is not always the case and sometimes the people involved will refuse to attend the education classes. Although the scheme has excellent intentions there is some doubt whether they can really get people to be enthusiastic about the education. It must also be noted that most of the people who will want to gamble are not likely to be the ones that value any education anyway.

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