Poker, the most popular US card game associate with gambling dates back to the Paleolithic period in Mesopotamia. Many centuries later, the Greek soldiers used to amuse themselves with dice games when they were away from Greece as gambling was illegal there. The first gambling house appeared in the 17th century in Italy.
Online casinos are not completely legal in US and often have to be situated outside the US jurisdiction. The overseas US military bases are one of these places. The military authorities seem to have turned a deaf ear towards this issue that effects the soldiers who regularly face unwarranted risks.
This puts them in a highly vulnerable position to adopt gambling problems and being unable to get rid of it as its proclamation would lead them to be dishonorably discharged.
Military Gambling business
Yearly, $2 billion flows through the slot machines present on the overseas bases and out of jackpots. These figures often spike at the onset of war predicament and even wartime. Only 6% of the earnings remain in the house while the rest goes to the pockets of these machine.
The other source of gambling entertainment often accessed by the soldiers is Bingo. It is run by the Department of Defense and studies show that it was doing $45 million business in 2005. These figures are staggeringly high.
The relationship of army with gambling needs to accessed and it is important that the army remain consistent with its own rules as they have been slacking off when it comes to gambling on the US overseas military bases. The gambling activity within army barracks ought to be regulated if not demolished altogether.
Access to Gambling for military soldiers
With the growing use of internet technologies, activities like gambling are pretty widespread. Even in US military bases, where one might expect tight restrictions. So, the military boys who often have to remain idle in barracks and military bases while waiting for orders tend to indulge in the activity of gambling to pass time and for a short while pretend to be in a civilian setting.
The junior ranks have access to the slotting machines which makes it very easy for them to place bets and play online games that require gambling. Besides the machines, mobile, and online gambling has also become popular. The spirit of forming brotherhood connections leads to betting in regular card games to pass time in barracks.
Hence, from the above-mentioned facts it can be concluded that the naval, air and army forces have clearly indulged in all forms of gambling. This prevalent problem has been waxed over by the military officials every time it has been questioned.
Legality of Gambling on the Military Bases
While it is clearly stated in military documents that gambling is prohibited for militants on duty, what is the reason behind its widespread indulgence? It seriously brings into question the allowance and presence of slot machines on the bases. Gambling is a serious offence and has been banned on the government owned and government leased property. Military bases clearly come under these categories.
Slot machines and the military standing on their allowance
Slot machines have been present on the military bases since 1930s. This changed when they were removed from the army and air force bases but left in many Navy bases in 1972. The former fact was later changed in 1980s when the slotting machines made a comeback.
The action of reinstalling the machines comes with the military s that it helps them in a recreational way and they money goes to recreational projects dedicated to them in the form of swimming pools and military theatres. What they forget is the negativity these slot machines bring. The risk-taking personalities of these soldiers make them vulnerable and prone to adopt gambling problems and affect mental health.
The chief operating officer of the Army’s community and family support center stated that they do not run the slot machines for mere profit. Their soldiers demand access to games and recreational activities available to the civilians they lay down their lives for.
They pressed upon the military’s passiveness when it came to gambling opportunities provided to their soldiers while running the largest slot machine program. Their stance remained that the majority of the troops sue these machines responsibly and the fear of vulnerability to adopt gambling problem of a few should not be stressed upon.
The other reasoning being that they cannot risk the withdrawal effects of the army gamblers if and when all machines were to be removed. The soldiers would go off to deal in back room poker games and the army doesn’t want that, which clearly reinforces that gambling problems does exist in the military circles. The chief operating officer of the Army’s community and family support center stated that they do not run the slot machines for mere profit.