Gaming and Gambling

By: John Kortex

You have perhaps heard of gaming but have never really figured out exactly what it is. Basically, gaming is another way of saying gambling or betting on the outcome of certain games, but legally. Generally individuals consider gaming as betting on cards, slot machines and the like. Amazingly, gaming has been around for thousands of years and dice were invented long before the technology for the flashing lights in Las Vegas had even been invented. In fact, dice have been found in Egyptian tombs and there is substantial historical evidence that the Chinese, Romans, and even the Greeks played games of chance and skill beginning many thousands of years ago. As a result, gaming today has been influenced by many cultures and many years.

In America, gambling evolved from the European settlers and the Native Americans. Because of this there are many different types of games that were all brought to America from other cultures and many of them were changed a bit once they arrived in the States. Amazingly, many of the building projects, universities, and the like were funded by gaming activities such as lotteries. Many of the founding fathers were sponsors of lotteries, in fact, that helped build the new country through this form of voluntary taxation. Obviously, gaming has a long history and has been very positive in many aspects despite the fact that many individuals believe gaming leads to increased crime and degrades moral fiber. Regardless, gaming is part of the history or almost all cultures including the United States.

Gaming is known as the different ways one can bet on activities legally. For example, there is gaming for casinos, lotteries, horse races and the like. On the other hand, gambling is illegal because it is not sanctioned or managed by the government in any way. Some examples of this include Internet gambling, betting on basketball, football, baseball and other similar activities. When considering the differences in gaming and gambling it is easiest to simplify in these terms: gaming is a legal activity while gambling is illegal.

When you go to Las Vegas or Atlantic City then you are involving yourself in gaming. These are legal activities that the government condones and receives tax dollars from. Also, when you participate in your state’s lottery you are participating in gaming because it is legally approved by the state to have a lottery. If you are interested in betting on cards, horses, or buying lottery tickets then the best way to go about it is the legal way of gaming. Participating in these activities can be fun and you do not have to worry about any of the legal side effects if you are caught.

On the other hand, gambling is 100% illegal and all gambling activities of this sort could result in punishment by the law, even imprisonment. Because of this, if you gamble on a regular basis, no matter what, you should be especially careful or change your betting activities to gaming so you can remove the risk from the activity.

Many people are not aware of the difference between gaming and gambling or the fact that gambling can have some hefty legal repercussions. However, now you know the difference and can ultimately make the best decisions for you when it comes to betting.

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John Kortex is co-owner of A guide to personal finance.

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