The basic ethical issue of casinos is related to gambling addiction. Addiction to gambling can be as much of a problem as drug addiction or alcoholism. However, in the modern society, the ethical issues are accompanied with some bigger problem, such as organized crime, neurobiology, suicide, divorce, religion, or even death. The recent rise in popularity of online gambling and gambling to raise funds for charitable organizations poses many social and ethical issues.
First, the recent increase in popularity of online gambling just make the issues much more serious. The option to gamble online just decreases the addict's ability to resist the urge to engage in the addictive behavior of gambling. Moreover, the availability to fund the activity through online bank transactions and credit cards contributes to addictive online gambling. For example, if an addict goes to a casino with cash in their pockets then they will only use the money that is available to them. On the other hand, if an addict gambles online and uses a credit card then they may keep less control of how much money they are spending or even losing. Furthermore, the availability of easy gambling opportunities in the community raises special problems for someone struggling with the addiction.
Second, the charitable causes make the ethical issues even worse. Originally the purpose is nice because charitable gambling benefits religious organizations, charities and other worthwhile causes. However, the thought of gambling benefiting some worthwhile cause just lead the gambling addict to rationalize his addictive behavior and in turn lead to participation in gambling activities.