The English dictionary defines gambling as “to risk something of value on an event or a possible happening; to persue a course accompanied by a high degree of uncertainty or risk of loss”. Because America is money mad, she is also the gamblingest nation that ever existed in spite of the fact that gambling is outlawed in all of the states except Nevada. Fifty million adult Americans (over half of the U. S. population) and quite a number of minors bet 30 billion dollars a year in some form of gambling. Because the average American disobeys the Word of God by wanting money without working for it; he will spend hour after hour wasting the money he has to obtain more if possible until finally he is divested of all that he has. Very seldom he will win.
The person that can afford to lose the most money, or the person with the largest banking account always wins. This fact can easily be proven by mathematics. Supposing two men lose two hundred dollars apiece in a gambling bet, who will be hit the hardest; the man with a banking account over $800,000 or the man with $100.00 in the bank? Of course the man with only $100 will be in debt, while the man with $800,000 can afford to lose two hundred dollars 4,000 times before he goes entirely broke. In other words he has 3,999 more chances to win than the man with the small banking account.
The masses of the common people, who indulge in gambling, are the hardest hit. Should an ordinary person happen to hit the jackpot, he generally uses this money for the next bet he will make. Gambling, drinking and smoking, is a habit which is hard to break when once formed. Elderly widows have lost their inheritance at the bingo table and men with previously good reputations have caught the horse racing fever, embezzled the boss’s money, and gone off to prison. Gambling is the biggest single cause of such crimes as embezzlement; it is also the cause of broken marriages, neglected children, poverty, and sometimes suicide.
According to estimates, the gambling industry takes about 20 billion dollars a year from the American public; which is more than the total amount spent on shoes and clothing. This sum is also considerably larger than the yearly total retail expenditures for automobiles and parts plus gas and oil, or the total prices of houses bought in a year—and indeed nearly one third as much as the annual total retail spending on food and drink. Twenty billion dollars almost equals the total sum which Uncle Sam gets out of individual income taxes at the present rate. This estimate, made by the U S. senate crime committee, necessarily had to be a “best guess”, dealing as it did with cash transactions of a nature more to concealed than revealed by accurate record keeping. Some of the larger gambling establishments actually haul their profits away in armored trucks. The gambling racketeers call their patrons “suckers”. The state of Nevada (where gambling is legal) taxes the gamblers 2 percent of their gross profits, plus license fees, and received $1.4 million or 15.5 percent of the entire state tax revenue in 1949. This fact will give the reader an idea of the vast amounts of money which the gambling racketeers make.
Remember that the gambling industry reeks with dishonesty. There are hundreds of factories in the U. S. that do nothing but manufacture gambling devices for the gambling syndicate. Among other things they make and sell loaded dice, marked cards, electromagnets for use under dice boards, and crooked deals for faro.
Why are our Federal, State and City governments powerless to combat the gambling menace? All forms of gambling are outlawed in all of the states except Nevada. Why then do the slot machines milk about 55 million dollars a year from the citizens of the state of Illinois and the horse parlors in that state have profits over a million dollars each year? According to the Life Magazine of June 19, 1950, the effects of antigambling laws can be divided into five stages: first) under open gambling, so many people eventually start playing and losing that the whole social structure is threatened; second) all gambling is outlawed; third) the law proves to be unenforceable and a source of corruption; fourth) a few types are legalized, but ibis proves to be an unworkable compromise; fifth) all types are finally permitted and the cycle starts once more. History proves that this cycle was repeated over and over again. The reason why anti-gambling laws are ineffective are due to two things: graft and the secret organizations and lodges. Many government officials such as policemen, sheriffs, prosecuting attorneys, lawyers, judges, etc., have grown very rich due to graft paid by the gambling establishments in order to perpetuate their nefarious illegal business.
Most government officials and owners of gambling establishments are members of some lodge or secret order. Remember that all lodge members are sworn by the most dreadful and bloodcurdling oaths in order to deliver one another from all kinds of trouble whether he be right or wrong. (I refer the reader to the articles written on this subject in the Beacon Lights of April and June, 1950.) Part of one of the oaths of a well-known secret order reads like this:
“Furthermore I promise and swear that I will not cheat, wrong, nor defraud a Master Mason’s lodge, nor a brother of this degree, nor supplant him in any of his laudable undertakings, (including murder, gambling, cheating, adultery, crooked business deals, lawlessness, etc., S.B.) but will give him due and timely notice that he may be warned of approaching danger if in my power.”
The powerful influence of these secret orders not only allows the gambling racket to operate in spite of antigambling laws, but also discriminates which person shall be the winner of a gambling bet. This is especially true with respect to horse-racing, lotteries, bookmaking, and the stock market
In another installment I hope to discuss some of the more common forms of gambling and how they are rigged against the general public. I have particularly in mind the forms of gambling which we as Reformed people are tempted to participate in.