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Gambling in Perspective...  
BY:  Michael Vernon

There are numerous aspects of gambling that can influence the outcome of the event. For years, I have written about them. During this time of Lent, I am reminded about a paradigm for gambling.  
 
Is Gambling Evil?  
 
It is if you hold a belief, consciously or subconsciously that it is.  
 
How could that belief affect your results?  
 
If you make a decision that something is "evil" or is otherwise wrong to do, and you carry on with it any way, it can result in you experiencing negative emotion. Negative emotion creates conflict in the overall belief system. The conflict wedges between your winning and your guilt that gambling is evil. The subliminal conflict could sound something like, "How can I feel good about winning, when I am doing something evil?" The energy of the conflict creates a distortion of sorts within your being. Think of it like looking into a still pound to see your reflection. Any disturbance in the pond and the wave effect of moving water distorts your image. You do not experience the clear reality that you are seeking.  
 
During the course of teaching my Blackjack for Winners seminar, I ask the participants to share their beliefs about gambling. What are the positive reasons verses the negative reasons for playing blackjack. Take a moment to create your own table and assess your own beliefs of the game you prefer to play. I will provide a typical example from a blackjack class.  
 
 
Positive Reasons of Gambling  
Fun, enjoyment, relaxation  
Win money  
Excitement, thrilling  
Glamorous  
 
Negative Reasons of Gambling  
Stressful, Evil, Bad  
Provokes anger  
Provokes depression  
Jeopardizes financial means  
Jeopardized relationships  
Goes against God’s Law  
Immoral, derogating  
Socially unacceptable  
Waste of money  
Waste of time  
Shameful, others in need could be better served with money.  
 
In every blackjack class, the list of reasons supporting negative gambling is always longer than the list of positive reasons. Why is that? Where do people get this notion? Who gave us that programming? Is it true? Does it nurture me to have that belief? Does that belief serve me and my highest good? Why would there be an outside influence against gambling? It always surprised me that in a room filled with experienced blackjack players, that their belief for gambling held more negative connotations than positive ones.  
 
The list was always short for the positive reasons to gamble. It usually boiled down to having fun and winning mone. Okay, if that is all a person could come up with, fair enough. But what is so evil about wanting to have fun winning money?  
 
I leave that for you to answer for yourself.  
 
I think paying $145 for a round of golf and the five hours of my life that it took to play the game is an evil waste. Of course, if you ever saw me play, you would agree!  
 
The point is if you are going to engage in any activity, do so because you take pleasure from doing it. If you are questioning your lack of success, perhaps your heart is not into it. Perhaps you have a program running behind the scenes sabotaging your best effort. Recently, I was having trouble with HTML code with a website. I could not figure out what was going on. It was like something was controlling the formatting and I could not see it. Of course, once I turned on "show hidden files" I was able to make the edits and correct the problem. Simple! Having contrary beliefs operating at the same time is kind of like hidden files.  
 
One Evil Game  
 
Now, there is one form of gambling that is evil. Lottery tickets! My biased opinion is based on the inequity of the prize money and deception. Okay, fair enough, the government has figured another way to hive off tax money from those producing intrinsic wealth. My problem is in the big lie. The State advertises a huge jackpot prize for winning the lottery. However, the winner is not handed over the millions of dollars, boom, boom, one large sum. Well, you can settle with the State for some of the large sum, at a discount. But the State prefers to dole out the winnings in smaller payments over time. The big rip is the winner is also taxed on the winnings. What's wrong with that? The way I look at it is all the money that contributed to the jack-pot in the first place already taxed at least once. It seems absurd to me to give the government a huge cut for running the game and then pay income tax on top. Triple tax in my convoluted and twisted way of thinking.  
 
"Let's have a 60/40 split. I'll give you 60% paid over time if you win and I'll settle for 40% right now. Also, if you win, I want 35% of your 60%... because it's my game." Whatever the split is with the State, I feel that the lottery is evil and immoral.  
 
Oh, and for those of you wondering what I gave up for Lent? I gave up being Catholic.  
 
Copyright 2008 Michael Vernon  
 
 
 

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