The gambling industry made over $44 billion in 2021. That’s a big number.
The question is, are casinos actually ethical? Or are they just… evil?
I’m a casino dealer, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet thousands of gamblers throughout the years.
In my opinion, casinos are not evil, and they do not promote any evil activities. And in this post I will try and explain why with a list of five reasons.
Casinos are not evil because…
1. They are legal
I get it, I get it. Legal doesn’t necessarily mean ethical.
And in some countries, gambling is strictly forbidden, which means there are no casinos there.
But what you need to realize is, in those countries where casinos are legal, there are extremely strict laws that casinos must adhere to.
For instance, there is always a set of regulations that prevent casinos from exploiting vulnerable people (more on this later).
There are also laws that address the issue of money laundering, cheating, and potential lack of transparency in casinos.
So don’t assume that because you are allowed to gamble in casinos, that means casinos are evil and can do whatever they want.
Plus, laws and regulations that address gambling and gambling problems have become a lot stricter in recent years, and it’s likely that they will increase in future.
2. Most people gamble for fun
If you’ve never gambled yourself, you may think that gambling always equals mental health issues and financial problems.
You may think that gambling is a bit like using illegal substances, and that in the long run anyone who gambles is doomed to have a lower quality of life.
Now, unfortunately there are pathological gamblers out there. But they only make up a tiny percentage of all those people who play casino games from time to time.
The truth is that gambling is a fun activity for the vast majority of casino goers. In general, people who gamble do so responsibly, and gambling never interferes with their life.
So to say that casinos are evil because there are people with gambling problems would not be fair, really.
It would be the equivalent of saying that your local grocery store is evil because some people are obese, or eat too much. Not sure if it’s the best analogy, but you get the point.
3. They create jobs
I’m a casino dealer who has worked in casinos for many years, so I may be a little biased here.
But the third reason casinos are not evil is that they create jobs; not just for casino dealers, but also managers, servers, cleaners, and so on (feel free to check out my list of the most common casino jobs).
And a job in a casino is unlike any other job. I personally enjoy working as a dealer, and I think the pros are a lot more than the cons.
Also, think of professional poker players — people who make a living by playing poker tournaments or cash game.
What would these people do if everyone thought casinos are evil, and stopped playing?
Gambling is always a choice. No one ever has to gamble unless they want to. And the vulnerable are always protected. Which leads us to reason number four…
4. They protect the vulnerable
Let’s say someone walks in a casino and gets completely drunk. To the point where they are no longer able to think critically.
Well, it’s not like the casino can take advantage of that.
And the same is true for minors, people with mental problems, people who cannot afford to gamble, and so on. Anyone who is or may be considered vulnerable is protected.
Unfortunately, a pathological gambler cannot always be spotted in time. However, all casinos must follow a set of rules that help them identify people with gambling problems as soon as possible.
For example, anyone whose spending (amount of money gambled) does not match the income of their job must be stopped, simply because that is a clear sign of a gambling problem.
I guess casinos would be evil if they took advantage of those who are not able to think clearly, or anyone who does not have control over their actions.
But that’s not what happens in casinos. And as mentioned, gambling laws and regulations are likely to become even stricter in coming years.
5. You don’t have to gamble in casinos
And finally, if you do visit a casino, you don’t have to gamble. Seriously.
It’s perfectly fine to visit your local casino and not play. You can simply walk around and watch other people play, provided you follow basic etiquette, or get a drink at the bar.
The rule may be different if you visit a more exclusive club, or a VIP room, but in general casino customers don’t have to play the games.
Again — those who gamble do so purely because of their own decision to gamble.
And remember when I mentioned that the vulnerable cannot be exploited by casinos? That applies to advertising, too.
So for example, casinos cannot advertise any of their games to, say, a social media group that targets minors or people who may be vulnerable.
Are online casinos evil?
If you’ve read the previous five reasons, then you already know my opinion on this.
However, there is one major difference here, and it’s that fact that online casinos have less control over who gambles and how they gamble.
Because online casinos are much more accessible, and usually have lower minimums as well, that could make it easier for vulnerable people to play.
So, are online casinos evil? No, not really. But I do think it’s more difficult to enforce some rules, even unwritten rules, when the players are behind a screen instead of a real table.
Is it evil to own a casino?
If you believe casinos are evil, then you may also believe that owning a casino, or owning any business that promotes any form of gambling, is evil as well.
If so, hopefully the reasons listed above have shown you that casinos cannot take advantage of those who are vulnerable and simply offer a unique experience to those who enjoy the thrill of casino games.
I can think of a few businesses that are actually evil — illegal ones and, unfortunately, even a few completely legal ones — but casinos do not belong to this category. Not even close.
Ultimately, the issue of whether casinos are evil or not is subjective. Which is why in some countries casinos are banned.
If you’d like to share your own thoughts on this, I encourage you to leave a comment at the end. I will read and approve all comments provided they are respectful and do not include spam.
Do casinos cheat?
Absolutely not. Unless you’re referring to some kind of underground casino, or something you’ve seen in a movie.
Why would a casino risk their reputation (and potentially commit a crime) when they already have a mathematical advantage against the players?
Plus, casinos actually want their customers to win from time to time — that’s what keeps them coming back.
Some customers genuinely enjoy gambling and its highs and lows, and do expect to win from time to time. If they never won, they’d stop playing.
Some games, especially side bets and bonus bets, will have a much higher house edge, but that’s not cheating, and the casinos are very transparent about it.
Some even display leaflets where you can check the house edge and odds of every single game.
Do you disagree with anything I’ve written here? Or would you like to share your thoughts on this? If so, please click the button below and leave a comment! 👇