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“Gambling is a principle inherent in human nature”, stated Edward Burke an 18th Century British statesman. This is a principle which has been the subject of many debates and scholarly papers. The overriding principle of this statement is tied up in the definition of gambling. Gambling could be defined as the act of taking a risk in the hope of gaining greater advantage or benefit. So while many oppose gambling due to their moral inclinations, they never consider that investing in property, shares or even insurance is in itself a form of risk taking, where you holding out hope that you will see greater returns at some point in the future.

An important influencing factor as to why humans love gambling is the idea of improving ones position, usually in the form of an asset that can be possessed (money included). When one considers ancient hunter gatherer type tribes, they often braved (risked) the wild in search of sustenance which would ensure their survival and greater quality of life – according to the definition, they were essentially partaking in a form of gambling. So when looking deeper into why gambling is such a popular pastime, we need look no further than our ancient ancestors for clues in behavioral patterns.

Gambling, as is more popularly known today, has been tracked back to 2300 BC with the discovery of sites in China. Further evidence was discovered in Egypt where ivory dice made before 1500 BC and writings referencing gambling were found on a tablet in one of the pyramids of Giza. During the middle ages gambling was so commonplace that it distracted many army officers from their duty.

Today with the advent of multiple channels to gamble, not least online casinos, people all around the world, including Canada, are avidly engaged in online gambling on a daily basis. One need only look at the revenues of online casinos which have topped the $35 billion mark globally to see that there are millions of people around the world contributing to this through their enjoyment of partaking in this risk.

Other than the possibility of winning and dramatically changing one’s life, many gamblers cite fun, entertainment, relaxation, a break from the norm and socializing as the key reasons behind why they enjoy the odd wager or two. There is a very small percentage of gamblers who do it solely to win, but these are professionals who partake mainly in poker and black jack.

As with anything in life that we enjoy doing or consuming, doing it in a balanced manner is always key and ensuring that once the wagering is done there’s still enough money in the bank for the daily essentials is an important factor to bear in mind. So while we are inherent gamblers let’s strive to be responsibly so.