The gambling industry rakes in billions of dollars every year and provides millions of job opportunities. Although criticized by some quarters that say it promotes corruption at different levels, crime and compulsive gambling, it nevertheless has importance when money iai international to be raised for certain services without increasing tax.
There are many types of gambling, not all legal. Some are public and others private.
Lotteries are based on chance where players purchase sets of numbers in the hope that they match draws. Depending on the stakes, winners can take home millions of dollars or be awarded with lesser prizes like cars and electronics.
Players buy several sets of numbers to increase chances of winning which are always slim. Still, the desire to win compels many to continue purchasing tickets. A report in 2011 recorded global lottery sales of around $262 billion.
Slot machines are also a game of chance. A player inserts money into the machine and uses a lever or a button to spin reels. If the combination pictures or numbers are identical, the player wins. Like most gambling/casino machines, slot machines are designed such that the odds of winning are slim. This brings in money for the house while compelling players to accept the challenge.
Bingo is a game that sees players ticking off numbers on a card called out by a caller. Whoever has the series of numbers on the card wins. The numbers called out are completely random and the game requires players to pay attention as if a player has the number on his card but fails to mark it, he loses his chance of winning.
Blackjack is a card game frequently played in casinos. The game itself is quite simple but can cause players to chance taking more cards and seeing them lose. Players are dealt a card each turn and the value of the cards are added up to as close to 21 as possible. If a player totals 18 and his opponent scores 17, the first player wins. However, in the quest to getting to the sum of 21, players sometimes keep taking other cards to total more than 21. In this case, the player who exceeds the number loses and his opponent wins.
Roulette is another popular casino game that sees players betting on where a ball lands. The host spins a wheel as the players bet on which numbered hole they think the ball will land on. They may also bet on a string of numbers that add up to even or odd numbers. Whoever guesses right, wins.
Scratchcards are cards on which are printed numbers or symbols hidden beneath a covering that can be scratched by a coin or hard object. The results are declared on television, radio or newspapers. The buyer who has the right number/series of numbers or symbols wins.
Most scratchcard contests offer less valuable prizes although the odds of winning are greater than in slot machines and other types of gambling.