There was a strong rumor sometime back that the commissioner of police in Hyderabad, India passed an order to temporarily shut down all the gambling dens in the city because a man committed suicide after losing 17 lakhs in card game at a gambling den. It’s a shame that families of such addicts should land up paying a heavy price. This is surely not the first and the last time, a man has lost so much money in a card game! There are people who lose their entire assets including home, money and jewelry but never feel the need to abstain from such activities.

The problem here is not that of the man who died, but the family he leaves behind that would for all you know, struggle to make ends meet and face innumerable problems that would befall them. During the edict’s life time, he puts the family through sufferings and atrocities in various forms and in death also, the families are distressed. There is no way this problem can be dealt with.

Gambling is an addiction like any other vice and needs to be dealt with very seriously. As far as the gambling dens are concerned, they seem to benefit from it by means of earning handsome revenues and therefore, from their point of view, very little can be expected. On a personal level, so far in the history of mankind, no family has ever been successful in dissuading the addicts from gambling. However, law seems to be the only solace in this case. If there is stringent laws passed, may be it will make a difference.

Although gambling is a very common pastime worldwide, in many countries if is considered illegal due to its addictive nature and a lot of activities that revolve around it. Section 3 of Public gambling act In India applies to all forms of gambling including internet gambling.  Punishment for running an illegal gambling house is a mere cash fine of Rs.200/- or a jail term of up to 3 months which is not a very severe punishment. As a result of this, time and again gamblers repeat this offence and get away every time.

In the good old days the only forms of betting use to be a game of dice. Indian epics like Mahabharata have revealed the fact that the ancient kings and emperors indulged in betting as a pastime. In fact Kurukshetra war which led to massive death and destruction triggered off as a result of a game of dice between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. It is not only the royalty who indulged in gambling but the ordinary man also have been attracted to it for amassing fortunes through his luck.

There are various kinds of gamblers like problem gamblers also known as gambling addicts or pathological gamblers. Problem gambling can strain or break their relationships. It can come in the way of their responsibilities at home and work that can lead to financial catastrophe. There is a possibility of such gamblers to do things one cannot imagine like stealing money to gamble or taking money meant for their children’s education. There is a perception that this problem can’t be stopped but it has been recently discovered that problem gambling and gambling addiction are treatable. If you’re ready to admit you have a problem and seek help, you can overcome your gambling problem and regain control of your life. So, in other words it is the gambler alone who has to decide if he wants to put an end to this predicament. Gambling addiction is a kind of impulse disorder. Compulsive gamblers cannot control their impulse of gambling in spite of knowing that their gambling habit is not only hurting their loved one but hurting their own selves. Come what may, they can only think of gambling all the time, whatever the outcome. They continue gambling whether they are winning, loosing, happy or depressed. Problem gambling habit disrupts the gambler’s life without being completely out of control. These types of gamblers could be spending more time and money on gambling to regain the losses incurred, forgetting the consequences that could be faced in loose everything they possess. Gambling addiction has also referred as a ‘hidden illness’ because there are no obvious physical signs or symptoms that are seen in drug or alcohol addiction. Problem gamblers go to great extent of hiding their gambling habit. They often withdraw from their loved ones, sneak around and lie about where they have been and what they have been up to.

Today, there are endless numbers of betting forms available like casinos, horse racing, card games, lottery and sports like cricket (IPL). Lottery is a very obvious form of gambling and considered legal in India, this sort of legalized gambling fills the treasury of concerned state governments who do their bit in encouraging this activity. It has been noticed that recently the popularity of online gambling in Sikkim has increased. Gamblers also have a good time betting in casinos but this facility is mainly available in Goa being a tourist destination. Horse racing is another form of gambling which has acquired legal status in India and being encouraged on a very large scale. Race course exist in various states in India and are very popular with the affluent as well as the ordinary people.

Nevertheless, it seems as long as the gambling avenues exist, gamblers will thrive.


16 responses »

  1. Patricia Lewis says:

    Great blog. Hope this is read by all the GAMBLERS………..they sincerely need help. You can count the cautious gamblers on your fingers.
    Thankfully, the youth of today are cautious.

  2. Beyniaz says:

    An addict needs help which he often won’t reach out for.That goes for all kinds of addicts. Interesting blog, Mira.

  3. Mira Pawar says:

    Vimala you are lucky I must say. Very few gamblers would think the way your husband does. You should be proud of him. Thanks for reading my blog and sharing your opinion.

  4. vimala madon says:

    I like my husband’s attitude towards gambling and it remains unchanged to this day. He enjoys punting and playing cards, but always for very small stakes. Many of his friends are serious betters and thirty five years ago when I asked whether he ever felt the temptation to play high stakes he remarked, ” I know my limits and I play for fun. You play high stakes and it’s not fun any more, only tension and fear.” In fact his betting amounts reduced even further after marrying me compared to his bachelor days.

  5. Mira Madam,
    Even though Gambling has increased its tentacles in various forms (even on the net) – its evil is getting reduced, thankfully, because of educated youth.

  6. Mira Pawar says:

    Thanks Shail for appreciating! It feels terrible how so many are suffering for a simple stupid thrill of someone.

  7. Mira Pawar says:

    Thanks Justina for appreciating my post. I am so glad you like it! I generally look for subject relating to social causes and write on them so even if one out of thousands appreciate and understand the message conveyed, I would consider myself lucky to have put the post together.

  8. Dear Mira,

    Gambling is one thing that can really destroy a home. Have seen it happen in many places. But, this like many other vices is something that is hard to abolish. What starts off as a little game to pass some time invariably turns into destruction of thoughts, of homes and lives. Let’s hope for some positive thinking in people..

  9. Justina Pexton says:

    Hi, just hopped over to your webpage from digg. It is not blog post I would regularly read, but I loved your perspective on it. Thanx for creating an article worth reading!

  10. Mira Pawar says:

    Gora thanks for your comment and the answer to your question is this nefarious work is being conducted in the residents of people who are supporting the cause and are themselved involved in it. The cops should also nab these places. Tanuja, Sonal Shree, Geetashiri, Vimala and Shernaz thank you for the comments. Appreciate it whole heartedly!

  11. Sonal Shree says:

    Gambling begins as a trial and then assumes the form of a habit and then addiction. Gamblers lack one thing for sure- a strong will power to call it quits. Should we say, they have one thing in common- an unflinching faith in destiny- ‘what if’… Sad but true.

  12. Shernaz says:

    A thought provoking post, but I feel this is one area where individuals can do very little to change things.

  13. Tanuja Chatterjee says:

    Dear Mira!
    Your post is thought provoking indeed! One needs to forge a heart of steel to deal with it so that the miseries of these families can be wiped out. Requires great courage and a strong resolve. Do I have it? I wonder!

  14. vimala ramu says:

    A very relevant post, Mira. It is now all the more prevalent, not just in cards but Cricket, horse racing etc. It is indeed a very sad state of affairs to the family.

  15. gora sarkar says:

    Good stuff, Mira di, but there’s one thing I don’t understand. Won’t the gamblers continue their nefarious work in someone’s house? Why do they need a den?

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