Did you watch “Lottery Ticket” on BET this weekend? Yes, it was on again! I guess the ratings are always high when viewers watch Kevin Carson (Bow Wow), a guy who lives in a housing project, win a lottery ticket worth $370 million. The 2010 comedy did well at the box office; however, it did not score as much as Kevin did in the film. Its domestic gross was more than $24 million, according to reports. Despite the movie’s success, the producer experienced the same problems that many lottery winners’ face.
Cube Vision, a production company owned by Ice Cube, has been sued twice for using two different individuals’ books to make the movie. Lawsuits are common for winners of large sums of money. The loss of money is not the only danger of winning the lottery, and the dangers are not exclusive to the lottery. While gambling is considered fun, it presents many dangers that are unseen. The lure of winning can become a hook (or addiction) before people realize it.
Regardless of the activity (horse races, Bingo, coin flips, sports betting, etc.), the dangers of gambling should be considered. Here is a list of some of the unseen dangers of gambling:
- Grades Affected-The number of high school and college students who gamble (from shooting dice to betting online) continues to increase. Their grades are affected as a result, and some end up dropping out of school.
- Crime-In an effort to regain some of their losses, some gamblers resort to criminal activity.
- Loss of Jobs-Some people have become so engrossed while playing video poker during their lunch breaks that they continue to return to work late. Consequently, they have been relieved of their duties.
- Broken Relationships-Lying, borrowing money, and failing to be reliable due to problem gambling has damaged numerous friendships.
- Loss of Families-Arguments over gambling debts, loss of businesses, frequent unexplainable out of town trips, and irresponsible childcare have led to divorce.
- Health-Many senior citizens are on fixed incomes, and this means that they do not have a lot of extra money. Those who gamble have less to pay for their medication, which affects their health.
- Death-A number of murders, murders-for-hire, and shootings (as a result of arguments over video games) have increased in recent years.
Many studies show that problem gambling is higher in communities of color. If you or a family member needs help with gambling, call the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (800-522-4700).