The risks of ludopathy
The risks of ludopathy

the truth is that in our country disrepute and mistrust in these institutions is very serious and is growing.

Author: Mgr. José G. Martín Rábago; Archbishop of León reflects on addiction to gambling | Source:

The risks of ludopathy

The risks of ludopathy
Mgr. José G. Martín Rábago; Archbishop of León reflects on addiction to gambling 
The multiplication of casinos and betting houses in many cities of our country is a worrisome reality. The Mexican bishops have expressed our point of view about it on several occasions. It seems to be appropriate to invite the reflection to all those involved in the installation, operation, and use of these centers. 
It is often referred to like the benefits of the betting “industry”. It is said that attract investment, strengthen tourism and create jobs, and accelerate the economic growth of the places where they are installed. 
These alleged benefits are conditioned on the ability to exercise strict control over the management of finances and the honesty and effectiveness of government and business institutions, but the truth is that in our country disrepute and mistrust in these institutions is very serious and is growing. 
Alliances between politicians and entrepreneurs lend themselves to easily permeated handling by corruption and abuse. It is not easy to operate with honesty the vigilance that must take care of the respect to the law of bets, in case of matter so desirable. 
It has been found that in many places the operation of the casinos lends itself to money laundering, drug trafficking, and the sex trade. 
The main objection that we have pointed out to the bishops is mainly of a cultural and moral nature. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that “although gambling is not in themselves contrary to justice; however, they are morally unacceptable when depriving the person of what is necessary to meet their needs or those of others. The passion for gambling runs the risk of becoming a serious servitude. Gambling unfairly or cheating in games constitutes serious matter unless the damage inflicted is so mild that the sufferer cannot reasonably consider it significant” (No. 2413). 
The practice of gambling can become a true addiction, called “ludopathy” that enslaves people keeping them up long hours locked in those centers, neglecting the attention to the work of their responsibilities and damaging the family life. There are rare cases of people who risk and lose significant amounts and even the same patrimony achieved with great efforts, causing serious harm to themselves and to those who depend on them. 
When it is created an addition to gambling is distorted the sense of material goods that are obtained “with the sweat of the forehead”. It favors a culture that accustomed to achieving easy gains, often illusory, risky and even unfair. “The speculator is rewarded for the investor, the gambler on the worker and everyone loses in dignity. What we need in Mexico is the fair remuneration of the worker and worthy employment of the person, not gambling” (Episcopal Document March 9, 1999). 
The exhortation is addressed to those who grant the permits for the installation of these centers: do not give in to the pressures of those who already have great economic power and seek to increase their flows causing serious damage to society. To parents, I respectfully urge you: do not risk what belongs to your children too, squandering irresponsibly; do not harm with reprehensible behaviors the example of industriousness and honesty that children need to educate themselves in overcoming with effort and efficiency at work. 
We live in difficult times in our country; let's not put any more firewood in a bonfire that threatens to set fire to everyone. 
+ José G. Martín Rábago 
Archbishop of León

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