In May I am heading off to Las Vegas, where I am speaking at FreedomFest, the year’s big libertarian event. Booking tickets today, and looking at lots of pictures of casinos, I was reminded of an article the Liberty Club published a couple of years ago about gambling, money and morals. The author, Conyers Davis, writes:
As I fought my way through the throngs of gamblers in Atlantic City, I could understand why Martin Luther reiterated the phrase that the love of money is ‘the root of all evil’. Never in my life have I seen people treat money in so desperate a manner. Gambling on unknown odds, hoping to exponentially increase their wealth as if by magic. It quickly became obvious that the gamblers in Atlantic City do not love or respect money, despite their obvious desire to have more of it. Indeed, they have fallen into a trap that allows it to dictate life’s terms to them. These gamblers see money as the answer to all their problems, yet cannot escape the fact that it has become the bane of their existence. Surely, money represents more than this greed of the gamblers. Despite the fallacies that these people attribute to power of money, a positive alternative does exist. Money is one of the greatest physical tools that man has produced and should be openly regarded as such.
As a libertarian, I obviously believe that gambling should be legal. Is it moral? Is there perhaps a difference, morally, between gambling for fun and gambling because of an addiction? Discuss.