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Everything we know about recent elections, especially internal party contest, implies that social media activism cannot be overstated. The left wing of the Democrats — that supports Medicare for All, free university tuition, economic reform, impeaching Trump — is in the ascendancy, and will create a lot of noise that more centrist candidates struggle to match. That is how I see it panning out but a word of warning from Bush was soon headed by Trump in those polls but almost everyone under-rated the next leader.

Rivals avoided attacking him in the expectation he would unravel, focusing instead on destroying each other. In doing so they let Trump consolidate his lead. One conclusion drawn from those opening debates involves the similar dynamics. The stage is too crowded to expect any outsider to cut through.

The poll leaders stand at the centre of the stage and are assured more airtime. If lesser rivals are to be heard, they need to come up with something extremely memorable. This will soon evolve into a smaller race and it is already difficult to see anyone outside the top-five winning. She totally dominated her debate and, in my view, is running by far the most eyecatching and comprehensive campaign. Just catching up on the first Democrat primary debate. Elizabeth Warren very strong. Click here to read the full piece for betting.

The third substantial gamble in three years is underway on Boris for PM. The second, in the aftermath of the General Election, became an awful value bet in a matter of hours once it became clear Theresa May was staying on. Before steaming in, remember that the early favourite has never won a Tory leadership contest since the advent of political betting. This is more than coincidence. The race conditions make it hard to front-run and early momentum is invariably driven by media speculation from pundits who, frankly, have a terrible record. Johnson is favourite primarily because the latest poll of party members shows him well clear of the rest.

Before they get a say, however, the former Foreign Secretary must finish top-two in a field of perhaps 15 or more, to be decided by MPs on a multi-round knockout basis. That will require support from around a third of MPs.


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It is widely known that his Westminster colleagues do not share the views of their wider audience. He is both distrusted and regarded incompetent. This is why his leadership plans fell apart in — after key ally Michael Gove abandoned him. On the plus side, many regard him as the likeliest leader to win a general election. On the other hand, natural backers such as his former deputies in London, James Cleverly and Kit Malthouse, are reported to be running themselves. Last month, the Conservativehome website polled members on a series of hypothetical head-to-head finals.

That move and his consistent opposition since plays perfectly with the mood of members. As explained last week and when tipping him repeatedly from down, he is very well placed to emerge as the top Brexiteer. The challenge is now to make the final to which end the endorsement of David Davis can only help. Few would have considered Gove a future leader after being well beaten in , perceived as having knifed Johnson in the back. In returning to Cabinet, he has since emerged as a true Tory big beast. A Brexiteer in , who nonetheless remained loyal to May, is now a potential unity candidate. He was reported as having a team in place, ready to take over should May fall, several weeks ago.

Once he announces, expect a string of significant endorsements. Similar comments regarding ambition and endorsements apply to the Foreign Secretary. Hunt looks certain to at least survive the early rounds among MPs and is a very plausible finalist. That is probably the limit of his potential, though. Those shrewdies that took odds-against about the Brexit Party winning most seats early are laughing all the way to bank.

A resounding win but still less than half the 70 up for grabs in England, Scotland and Wales. It is important to note that Yougov are notably out of line with other pollsters. It may well prove that these numbers are an outlier but Yougov have been known to excel in minor elections and they have surveyed far bigger numbers than their rivals.

The last two poll samples were and , compared to an industry norm around This article first appeared on betting. Voting has since closed in the UK but the results are not declared until Sunday night and in-play betting is available on Betfair. Voting for the European Parliamentary Elections commences on Thursday morning but bettors should note that no results will be announced until Sunday night from 10pm.

All the exchange markets will therefore be in-play over the next four days. There are still plenty of differentials between polling companies but all are united in expectation of a massive win for the Brexit Party, who are now priced at just 1. Here are some final vote share estimates. Seats are allocated in 11 different regions so we need to check the figures for each. Indeed national swing is unlikely to be consistent due to tactical voting. Social media is awash with advice for Remainers looking to maximise their vote.

Perhaps the biggest open question regards who will finish second. With the news that Theresa May will imminently announce her departure date, the starting pistol has been fired on the Next Conservative Leader race. In reality, that kicked off before the final results of the General Election were in and hardened political punters are doubtless managing several positions already. It has been quite a ride. Boris Johnson was matched down to 2. However after declaring his bid yesterday, the former Foreign Secretary is once again the front-runner at 3.

Note Johnson is a full price bigger at 4. Before piling into Johnson, remember the appalling record of early front-runners in this market. Basically, they never win.

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Note too that an unbelievably large number of candidates are likely to throw their hat into the ring. Tory MPs will whittle down those 17 to just two, with the membership settling the final run-off. Their machinations are famous and have killed many a promising candidacy. Many of the 17 are no-hopers. Why else would the ambitious Jeremy Hunt — once perhaps an ardent Remainer — say they need to embrace no deal? The litmus test for candidates may well be whether they back no deal or, in the immediate term given the parliamentary maths, an electoral pact with Farage.

This piece was first published on Monday 13th May — unfortunately these luxury odds on Change UK and Lib Dems performance are no longer available. Three months ago, they were the biggest story in Westminster. A group of high-profile defectors from Labour and the Conservatives, standing for moderation, centrism and cross-party collaboration in an era of unprecedented division. There are numerous reasons for their failure to date, much of which is self-inflicted. They only recently decided on a name and even that simple process was problematic.

They failed to register in time for the local elections — the perfect setting for any new or protest party. Any small party faces an uphill struggle being noticed or heard. Support from celebrities outside politics could have achieved that and there were early rumours of J. Rowling taking a role.

Nothing materialised so instead, they CUK became merely synonymous with Remainer rebels whose support for Labour or the Tories was no longer tenable. The fact none called a by-election — which any of them would struggle to win — handed opponents an easy target. So does a lack of policies beyond Brexit. It has become easy for opponents as self-important opportunists, obsessed with Brexit and offering no answers to wider problems. Perhaps the best way to understand the stalemate since and increasingly volatile situation is to see Brexit through the prism of party political games.

Long before the referendum, criticising and opposing EU treaties was a cheap win for any ambitious politician from outside government. Accuracy, detail or the ability to deliver were irrelevant. That enabled Nigel Farage to speak vaguely about the benefits of a Norway-style exit without scrutiny. David Cameron could promise a referendum on the Nice Treaty, knowing it would be ancient history by the time he would become PM. Jeremy Corbyn could rail against the neoliberal EU without offering an alternative. Then the referendum happened and MPs were forced to pick sides. For Tories, backing Leave meant opposing Cameron and, if it lost, sacrificing a Cabinet career.

Many long-term Eurosceptics like Theresa May opted for Remain — probably not considering that it would later come back to haunt them. Once Britain voted to Leave, a new game began. To do so, she laid out extreme red lines for negotiations and accused opponents of sabotage. A snap election was supposed to weed them out and deliver a big majority. For Labour, the new challenge was to simply avoid blame and a narrative that could cost them dozens of seats in the North and Midlands. Whenever possible, change the subject to domestic policy. When nationalism comes to the fore, they struggle — see Scotland.

If Brexit was to fail, they had to ensure the Tories would at least share the blame. The election then changed the rules. If unprepared to compromise, the government would inevitably hit a wall and be forced to change course. They knew the Tories would not appease their concerns and were determined to avoid their narrative that Labour are trying to reverse Brexit. That moment arrived in March, when it became clear the UK would need to extend Article 50 and that no workable plan was in place.

The most significant gamble towards the US Election is underway. In the fortnight since Joe Biden declared his candidacy, the former Vice President has risen to clear second favourite behind Donald Trump, with his odds shortening from If the latest Democrat Nominee polls are to be believed, those odds will shorten further. Few will be surprised to see him leading early but the scale is quite shocking.

Can we trust it? In a word, no. Betting this early on party leadership contests in any country is a risky business and US primaries are notorious. Candidates can dramatically rise and fall in literally a matter of minutes. Consider, for example, recent presidential primaries. Hillary Clinton was generally regarded a shoe-in for the nomination at odds-on and firm favourite for the presidency. The Republican favourite throughout was Jeb Bush.

He traded below [3. As argued consistently at the time, his lead was a false one, based primarily on name recognition. The first to challenge him for favouritism was Marco Rubio — who finished a distant fourth. Of those, only Gingrich was on the eventual primary ballot. Mitt Romney ultimately prevailed. On the Democrat side, President Barack Obama ran unchallenged. In , Obama had started a long way behind the odds-on favourite Clinton while the Republican race was extremely volatile.

The general assumption was that this Democrat race would be similarly open. Moreover, particularly after numerous younger new faces were elected at the mid-terms, a strong narrative had grown that the party would switch to a new generation. Many also argued that they would prioritise diversity and identity politics that would be ruinous for old, white men such as Biden or Sanders. What is going on? In losing more than councillors, these results were unarguably awful for the Tories.

Yes, they had a long way to fall and a backlash from Brexiters angry at their failure to deliver was predictable. But the scale defied the experts — the higher academic estimate noted in my preview was — and Betfair markets. When noting under seats had been matched early at 4. In fact, these odds drifted to It was also bad for Labour, who expected to make progress but actually lost seats.

Jeremy Corbyn is now the least successful opposition leader, so far as local elections are concerned, in over 40 years. There were three winners. The Lib Dems landed my advised bet with hundreds of seats to spare, storming back to national relevance in the process. The Greens enjoyed their best ever night. And the spoilt ballot party won a record 40, votes. Voters spoil ballot papers for various reasons but obviously vast numbers were a reaction to Brexit. That the Tories performed so absymally despite no meaningful right-wing opposition should terrify them.

Farage will contest the European Elections later this month, for which BP are now just 1. As important is the enthusiasm his rallies are generating. Such visuals have had a significant effect on recent elections — Trump and Corbyn, for example. It smacks of the SNP surge in after losing their independence referendum — an insurgent movement with a narrative, catching a large chunk of the public mood while a split opposition fight among themselves.

The establishment parties are lost at how to respond. The first of two elections with the potential to blow up British politics takes place on Thursday. Unlike the European Elections which everybody expects to happen at the end of the month, winning candidates will definitely serve their local councils.

Therein lies the significance.

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Normally, local elections do not change the national political weather or even accurately reflect it. Incumbent governments can expect a kicking from angrier and better motivated opponents. These particular elections, however, could precipitate the collapse of the most successful party in Western Europe. The Conservatives have around K members but a high proportion are inactive. Their ground game is extremely reliant on local councillors and activists. The polling evidence, whether national or for the Euros, suggests they will suffer a mass defection over the next month, as punishment for failing to deliver Brexit.

The scale and nature of that defection or desertion will help frame their imminent leadership contest, the future of the party and perhaps Brexit itself. The narrative on Friday will almost certainly revolve around Tory meltdown but they are rated near-certain to win the most seats at odds of just 1. Labour start on and the Lib Dems have They were last contested on the same day as the General Election — the only time the Tories won a majority since so they have a long way to fall.

One saving grace that will prevent a wipeout is that their principal rivals on the right will not be these council ballot papers. The 19th and most significant Democrat candidate to date has declared for Amid a blaze of publicity, Joe Biden launched his presidential campaign with a direct pitch for what opinion polls suggest over half the country want. Rather than policy specifics, the former VP declared his priority was simple — to rescue the country from Donald Trump. Polls already favoured Biden and bookies immediately installed him as effectively joint-favourite alongside Bernie Sanders.

But are either the polls or market a useful guide at this early stage? At least half a dozen Republicans went favourite before Mitt Romney prevailed in Early polls are unreliable because most candidates are barely known. That will change once the TV debates start, imminently. If good enough, they will move up in the ranks. Nevertheless, name recognition is a key advantage.

The debates will likely be anarchic as lesser-known candidates desperately try to be noticed. Few will cut through and when the field whittles down around the turn of the year, the front-runners will be well-placed. Amidst much election talk — whether of the general or European variety — a more imminent poll has yet to capture media attention. Defending a majority of nearly 6,, it would be a minor miracle were the incumbents to lose. At current odds, Labour are rated just 1.

The constituency profile is similar to dozens of successful defences since Labour lost power in They have picked a strong local candidate in Ruth Jones — a former Welsh TUC President — who is confidently expected to be returned to parliament by a substantial margin. So far, so predictable. The race for second, however, just might. The Conservatives have owned that position, by considerable margins, ever since losing the seat in In , this was on their target list — they started favourites before the Corbyn surge transformed the polls.

They are rated merely 1. Two predictions are confidently made. By-elections always present fertile conditions for a protest vote and it is hard to remember a more obvious time to do so. Labour start with a substantial majority of 5, over the Conservatives and won Since going from government to opposition in , Labour have proved predictably effective at defending safe, or relatively safe, seats. Of 22 defences, 21 were won with Copeland the sole exception at a particularly low point for the party. Their combination of a mass membership and union links offer a big organisational advantage for getting the vote out — always a critical determinant of mid-term races with low turnout.

The Labour candidate appears perfect for such a defence. The journalist, Tim Shipman, has impeccable sources and is arguably the foremost chronicler of this government. There was immediately plenty of pushback. Where on Earth are we? Given that nobody expects her to stand in another election, it had seemed a safe assumption that they would yield the same winner. Not so. One mooted idea is that May would stand down as PM, but stay on as Tory leader for a short while to avert the need for a leadership contest. Plus we cannot totally rule out May calling a snap election and resisting attempts to remove her.

If that unlikely sequence occurred, Jeremy Corbyn would become favourite to replace her.

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As he scours the headlines and hot takes on cable news, Donald Trump will enjoy this morning more than any since becoming president in Trump realDonaldTrump March 24, The betting signals are positive too, with Trump shortening to 2. He can now be backed at 8. Be very wary before jumping on that bandwagon or drawing snap conclusions, though. This remains an evolving story in which the latest headlines are based on incomplete information.

The Mueller report has not been released. We should assume it has been spun to present Trump in the best light. And yet while noting Mueller had not concluded the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him on obstruction of justice. This is merely the start. Democrats immediately called for the full report to be released and have the congressional powers to get it. There are many more stages of the process to play out and, irrespective of short-term political ramifications, Trump is nowhere near out of legal jeopardy.

In due course, the report will become fully available along with evidence. Mueller has farmed out stacks of evidence to state prosecutors such as the Southern District of New York, who convicted Michael Cohen and have since charged Paul Manafort. It made instant news around the world, overshadowing the North Korea summit failure, It even knocked Brexit off the Newsnight lead. In short, not much. Trump remains 3. While those represent historically low ratings for a sitting president, punters remain sceptical about an early exit.

There was, however, a move for first-stage impeachment — passed merely on one count by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Odds about that dramatic development came down to 3. These hearings demonstrate why the mid-terms were so important. A Democrat-controlled House means oversight, theatre and political clout to support the plethora of criminal investigations encircling Trump, his family, business and Inaugural Committee.

Cohen either confirmed numerous crimes or told the committee precisely who to ask. The evidence given behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee was reportedly a gamechanger. Swalwell: "We truly were at the edge of our seats, listening intently as Mr.

Cohen told us information that he certainly did not tell us in October when we interview him, and he certain did not testify to in the open hearing. Following the legalisation of betting shops in the UK, the first political market to capture public attention was the contest to become the next Conservative Leader. The favourite Rab Butler was turned over by Alex Douglas-Home — starting a famous run of betting upsets which would become part of political folklore.

In short, the early favourite never wins. We are on the verge of the latest, exceptionally wide-open renewal. Even if surviving, she has already committed to leave before the next scheduled general election in When May leaves, a contest will be swiftly called among Conservative members of parliament MPs. Candidates — usually around five — put their names forward and are whittled down to a final pair. Then , or so party members decide via a run-off vote.

Two of the last three leaders — including May — were decided by MPs alone. There is talk of MPs choosing next time, before merely asking the members for their approval at a later date. This last point is fundamentally important. As explained below, Brexit looms large over proceedings and a protracted, public leadership contest will be both ultra-divisive and terrible politics for the government.

Currently Environment Secretary, Gove has stormed to the top of the betting in recent weeks. Everything about his behaviour screams ambition and auditioning for the job. If May goes imminently and an emergency replacement required to complete or renegotiate Brexit, nobody is better positioned. The party is overwhelmingly pro-Brexit and Gove is the most senior minister to have voted Leave in Unlike most Brexiters, he seems able to reach out to Remainer colleagues. Click here to read the full article and rankings for The Hub.

This piece is from a fortnight ago. All the arguments against still apply! A frequent political betting mistake is to refight the previous election. To assume the dynamics will be replicated. That the narrative which worked previously will remain effective or that the same voters will be motivated by the same issues. As I write, many a political punter could be making that mistake.

Since Bernie Sanders declared his candidacy on Tuesday, his odds have been in freefall. To understand how different will require looking back at the remarkable story. At this stage, Sanders was priced at least ten times higher than currently. He was a fringe figure — not even a fully-fledged Democrat — promoting socialism in a country that never voted that way.

In an early signal of the new politics, Sanders raised his profile on social media — live-tweeting responses to the chaotic Republican debates for example. Vast numbers of small donations poured in and a new progressive movement was born. Events fell his way. Everything was set for the popular Joe Biden to enter but the VP opted out — effectively leaving Sanders in a dual with a deeply flawed presumptive nominee. I saw it in Iowa as thousands queued for miles in the snow ahead of his rally. He would lose a photo-finish there, before thrashing Clinton in New Hampshire.

Had Sanders just stepped back and enthusiastically endorsed her — he would probably be in pole position today. Previously compliant Senators now oppose him on a range of issues — tariffs, troop withdrawals, the shutdown. Further opposition looms if he persists with plans to call a state of emergency over funding for his wall. With polls indicating heavy defeat in , the GOP hierarchy no longer regards him as a winner. Mega-donor Charles Koch has already said he will only finance congressional candidates in — effectively an admission of defeat. Space is finally opening up for Republicans to criticise.

The ambitious — or those predicting indictment or impeachment — could spot an unlikely route to the White House. A primary challenge is not certain. It is abnormal, if not unknown against a sitting president. These are abnormal times though and there is already some will for a challenge. Polls show upwards of a third of Republicans want one. All elections are, apparently, now fought on social media. After , it would be presumptive for political pundits to confidently predict who will fare best in that anarchic environment. Well, it happened again. Amy Klobuchar announced that she is running for President, talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures.

Bad timing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman woman! Trump realDonaldTrump February 10, Science is on my side, realDonaldTrump. Looking forward to debating you about climate change and many other issues. And I wonder how your hair would fare in a blizzard? Last week, Klobuchar became the fifth Democrat woman to enter the race — all of whom are trading below on Betfair. The Minnesota Senator is one to take very seriously.

Some, nevertheless, would fare better than others. Lest we forget, they chose a damaged figure with her own negative approval ratings in In the absence of Hillary, Trump would ideally prefer a radical opponent that energises his base. One that he could portray as soft on immigration and crime.

A socialist he could brand as economically inept and liken to Venezuela, which will remain newsworthy. Someone from New York or California who struggles in the decisive swing states, or alienates the white suburban women that flipped on a vast scale in the mid-terms. Klobuchar is none of those things. In fact her greatest weakness regarding the primaries will be her lack of radicalism.

She is the antithesis of Trump. It works. In being re-elected for a third Senate term last November, she won 43 Trump-voting counties in one of the best Democrat results among a historic wave. After months of uncertainty and speculation regarding several different outcomes to Brexit, we can all but rule one out. There will be no second referendum in As Donald Tusk said before his now infamous criticism of Brexiters without a plan, there is no political leadership for Remain. It may return as a talking point if all other options to resolve the crisis fail — John McDonnell suggested it was still on the table earlier in what was probably a party unity tactic — but it is a longshot at best and almost out of time to arrange this year.

When and what type of Brexit does eventually prevail, however, remains far from clear. Evidently from the Tusk row, negotiations are stalled and becoming more acrimonious. The fallout from his comments made life much harder for compromise-seeking MPs. The former is still available to back at 3. While officially anathema to Theresa May, an extension is rated overwhelmingly likely at 1.

Literally nobody knows where politics is heading. One way or another, voters may well be called to the polls at some point in Labour want one, are committed to pursuing it and have been on an election footing since Rumours persist of Tory preparations for a snap February poll. Likewise the polls are virtually tied, as they have been since the election and indicated by local results.

Ask any psephologist and they will predict more of the same but nothing, of course, is predictable anymore. In both and the polls, pundits and bookies were all proved spectacularly wrong. One reason behind unpredictability has been the rise and fall of smaller parties during a period of realignment.

The Lib Dems lost two-thirds of their vote share after , with most eventually backing Labour. Is that the new normal or a temporary, tactical development? Like him or not, he has certainly made parliamentary proceedings more entertaining. On June 22nd, he will celebrate ten years in the job and many believe he will step down in the not too distant future.

In theory he could be challenged but — having survived a decade of plotting from hostile Tory MPs and their media outriders, a bullying scandal and even Nigel Farage bidding for his constituency in — Bercow will likely take the option to go at a time of his own choosing. That, I guess, would be after Brexit. After such a long term, it is hard to recall precisely how previous heats panned out.

In , Michael Martin landed a gamble down from what, if memory serves, were big odds. Bear in mind that process, and how MPs enjoy the sport of this particular election — it is perfect for plotting and tactical voting. Remember, for example, how Bercow got the job. Will it happen and if so, on time? If not, will there be a second referendum or a snap election? Instead, MPs chose to kick the can down the road, yet again. Other key markets are also trending differently. The big takeaway from yesterday is that No Deal is certainly likelier. Thanks to overwhelming Tory support, Theresa May got her first wish.

Parliament backed the Brady amendment, to accept the Withdrawal Agreement in principle, so long as the Irish border backstop is removed. She can now point to a mandate from parliament to renegotiate this specific point with Brussels, for what that is worth. Within minutes of the amendment passing, various EU voices from Tusk to Macron reiterated their consistent stance that the deal cannot be reopened and the backstop stays. Every day that there is no legislative action to avert it — or indeed a settled will about how to do so — the likelihood increases.

Following the mid-terms, I predicted all hell would break loose in the Donald Trump saga, from Robert Mueller to various criminal investigations, to ruinous oversight by a Democrat-led House of Representatives. Last night that shutdown finally came to an end, drawing a rare consensus across the spectrum that the president has been humiliated by Nancy Pelosi — a longstanding hate figure to Republicans.

Critically, power has shifted in Washington. In denying the president his state of the union speech until the government re-opened, Pelosi demonstrated the new order in Congress. Democrats now control the House and will do everything they can to obstruct, investigate and bring Trump down. Many believe the shutdown was initiated to divert attention from the constant stream of shocking revelations from Robert Mueller and over a dozen criminal investigations. The PM will present her Plan B — to the plan that lost by a historic votes — to parliament.

If weekend reports are accurate, no meaningful changes will be ensure little or no progress. More interesting are the amendments to be tabled afterwards as backbenchers attempt to seize control of the Brexit process from the government. The National Gambling Act of recognized the maturity of each individual citizen in South African and respected their decision and freedom of choice and eliminated widespread illegal gambling and its harmful consequences. After the adoption of the Act, the implementation brought in a lot of regulatory authorities, a structure of provisions that made the industry a highly regulated economic sector in the country and the establishment of casinos which were considered as some of the best managed ones in the world.

The stated purpose of this Act is:. According to the Department of Trade and Industry the main function of the Gambling Act is as follows There are provincial gambling boards in each of the nine provinces. These boards are responsible for issuing casino licenses. In addition to strictly regulating gambling activities, the law also makes provision for the implementation of Black Economic Empowerment BEE and the establishment of facilities to assist with problem gambling a topic which we will cover in more detail later.

The regulation of gambling in the Republic was expected to enhance the national policy of reconstruction and development of our country. One of the policy objectives underlying the regulation of gambling in the Republic is that the industry must leverage direct fixed investments, contribute towards the process of Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment, create jobs and promote tourism. These were conditions precedent before gambling licences were issued. You will note that mention has been made of the National Gambling Board above. In the Gambling Board of South Africa was established to oversee the implementation and compliance of gambling legislation.

On its website, it describes itself as follows :. We can see from this that the main aim is to make sure that all aspects of gambling are strictly controlled in South Africa. South African legislation regarding gambling, since the introduction of the and Acts, is seen as very progressive and amongst the best internationally. The approach being adopted to many of these issues is one which we pioneered in South Africa at the time we crafted the country's new gambling policy framework after ".

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Gratifying: - pleasing Pioneered: - started Prominence:- occupying a key position. What we are going to discuss now is some of the advantages to society of legalising gambling, particularly in the form of establishing regulated Casinos. Remember that we have seen that gambling, in some form or another, has always existed in society. People can bet on anything — whether it is that their favourite soccer team wins the next match they play or whether it rains tomorrow. If we know that the team against which our favourites are playing is very weak, then in some sense, we are simply making a very well informed prediction.

Similarly if we look at satellite images of weather conditions we can probably also work out that there is a high or low chance of it raining tomorrow. One would, of course, expect the odds one could get on these uncertain events to reflect the available information on the likelihood of occurrence of these events. This, however, is a topic for discussion later on in this Module — for now the only point being made is that anyone can bet on anything and as we have seen, historically, people have always enjoyed gambling.

These are issues which can lead to heated discussions and agreement is seldom reached on these types of debates about morality. What happens when governments ban activities that they consider are wrong as was the case in South Africa, with gambling, prior to ? In the United States Government voted to ban alcohol sales — ushering in the era of Prohibition. This law was repealed in The results of alcohol prohibition have become the stuff of legend and popular films: Powerful criminal organizations sprang up, arrested offenders clogged the system and corruption of the police and courts became rampant as a large portion of the population simply ignored the laws.

There is some evidence that during prohibition, the average age of onset of alcohol use went down significantly, possibly because since alcohol sale was illegal in the first place, age restrictions on sales no longer applied. Alcohol prohibition was largely the work of religious conservatives who saw it as a way to combat the growing hedonism of urban dwellers; a return to old-time values and morality by attacking immoral lifestyles.

Although alcohol use sharply declined immediately after the passage of prohibition, it immediately began an inexorable climb back up towards pre-ban usage levels. As public sentiment turned against prohibition, it became harder and harder to get juries to convict offenders. Finally admitting defeat, alcohol prohibition, America's "noble experiment", was repealed on December 5, You may see from your responses and discussions during the above Activity what some possible advantages of legalising gambling are.

If gambling is legalised then the Government can tax the industry just as they do any other recreational premises such as cinemas or hotels and pubs. If gambling is legalised, then the industry can be strictly controlled. Just as minors people under the age of 18 are not allowed to buy alcohol, so are they not allowed to gamble at places like Casinos.

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When activities such as gambling are declared illegal, they often still happen. What happens is that the activity continues but is criminalised and thus attracts criminals. If it is legal there is no opportunity for criminals to exploit people participating in the activity. When gambling is legal, then Casinos spring up.

These provide job opportunities that did not previously exist and thus provide incomes for many people. In addition, although Casinos exist mainly for the purpose of gambling, they usually provide many other forms of entertainment and attract tourism which means even more employment opportunities and ways for local communities to benefit. Many social commentators would argue that gambling is no more harmful than going to the theatre, eating out or going to the cinema — it is simply a recreational choice.

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As adults we should have the right to choose what we spend our time and money on. Freedom of choice is enshrined in our Constitution and some would extend this argument to include how we spend our money. We have looked at some advantages of legalising gambling. We also touched on these when we looked at the mission statement of the National Gambling Board earlier. The main advantages are that the industry can be strictly controlled and that there are compelling financial arguments as to why gambling should be legalised.

There are also reasons that people put forward as to why gambling should not be legalised. Many of these, as we shall see are based on moral or social objections but there are also some economic points that can be made in this regard. Although it creates no output, gambling does nevertheless absorb time and resources.

When pursued beyond the limits of recreation, where the main purpose after all is to kill time, gambling subtracts from the national income. Other economists have taken exception to Samuelson's characterization of gambling.

Today we'll let John MacArthur answer that question. Note: All comments must be approved before being posted. Remember: The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Proverbs ESV. Here at Grace to You Europe we take our data protection responsibilities very seriously and, as you would expect, have undertaken a significant programme of work to ensure that we are ready for this important legislative change.

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