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A blackjack board
Slot machines in Las Vegas

Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value (referred to as "the stakes") on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods. Typically, the outcome of the wager is evident within a short period.


  • Gambling is risk-taking. It might be said the owner of a casino gambles, takes risks, but he has the odds in his favour, so that's intelligent gambling. If I wanted to gamble, I'd buy the casino.
    • Jean Paul Getty, Sr. (1892–1976), American oil tycoon. From his 1963 interview with Alan Whicker, as quoted in Whicker's book, Within Whicker's World', Part V. 'Sutton Place: The Rosebud of Citizen Getty' (1982).
  • When you're betting and you win, naturally you have that satisfaction, and the profit.
    • George Soros, from an interview with Niall Ferguson, in the Channel 4 television series, The Ascent of Money, broadcast on 22 December 2008.
  • That the chance of gain is naturally over-valued, we may learn from the universal success of lotteries.
  • Gaming in all its forts is too big an evil for the regulation of positive law. Subject it to that, and the event is, you restrain it not at all; but the honest party suffers doubly; and the knave escapes and triumphs. The former loses, he pays; it is a debt of honour: The latter happens to lose, then the condition is changed: I would have taken, if I had won; but now, I'll pay you in law. This is gaming very high indeed; tends to a monopoly; enhances the price of one of the necessaries of life; and therefore merits all the discouragement we can give it.
    • Lord Mansfield, Coote v. Thackeray (1773), Lofft. 153; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 99.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 306-07.
  • Whose game was empires, and whose stakes were thrones;
    Whose table earth, whose dice were human bones.
  • The gamester, if he die a martyr to his profession, is doubly ruined. He adds his soul to every other loss, and by the act of suicide, renounces earth to forfeit Heaven.
  • Our Quixote bard sets out a monster taming,
    Arm'd at all points to fight that hydra, gaming.
  • Shake off the shackles of this tyrant vice;
    Hear other calls than those of cards and dice:
    Be learn'd in nobler arts than arts of play;
    And other debts than those of honour pay.
  • Look round, the wrecks of play behold;
    Estates dismember'd, mortgaged, sold!
    Their owners now to jails confin'd,
    Show equal poverty of mind.
    • John Gay, Fables (1727), Part II, Fable 12.
  • Oh, this pernicious vice of gaming!
  • I'll tell thee what it says; it calls me villain, a treacherous husband, a cruel father, a false brother; one lost to nature and her charities; or to say all in one short word, it calls me—gamester.
  • Ay, rail at gaming—'tis a rich topic, and affords noble declamation. Go, preach against it in the city—you'll find a congregation in every tavern.
  • How, sir! not damn the sharper, but the dice?
  • It is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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