Not Cease from Exploration

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gambling

Gort and others had blogs posted about an illegal gambling ring operated out of a Hayna-Gulch sports bar. Now since I don't go to bars and I don't gamble, on the surface the whole thing has little interest to me, but Gort touched on something that I think is very interesting: the fact that gambling is a crime...well only if the State doesn't get a piece of the action.

Think about it:
  • Betting on the horses is WRONG, unless you do it at a State-approved track, with a percentage of the house take will be kicked back to the government in the form of taxes.
  • Running a numbers racket is WRONG, unless you go to the local convenience store and buy a State lottery ticket. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in this case, isn't the State actually acting in the role of a bookie?
  • Playing card games for money is WRONG, unless you want to go to a New Jersey casino, you know those institutions that were supposed to turn Atlantic City into a paradise from the hell hole it had previously been. Ever been to Atlantic City lately? It is a paradise, well at least for the first three or four blocks from the Boardwalk. The rest of the town is still a hell hole. Not to worry though, card games are coming to your local Pennsylvania casino shortly, where of course the State will get a large piece of the action.

Look, I don't gamble, period. That's not to say that I haven't blown $5 on the slot machines twice in my life, because I have. However gambling never had an appeal to me, which I suspect is a product of the fact that I grew up in a single parent household where we just didn't have the money for stuff like that. That's a fancy way of saying that I was raised to be cheap. No bother, as I know people who do gamble and enjoy it, and as long as they are losing their own money none of us should care.

What does bother me about this stuff? To state the obvious, it's the blatant hypocrisy of it all. Once again we have the government telling us that, for example, running a numbers racket is wrong, unless of course it's the State running the racket. Hypocrisy? My Lord, it's so blatant when it comes to gambling that it borders on hilarious. Also hilariously hypocritical are the casino advertisements that have the lightening fast "gambling problem help" disclaimers at the end. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a 60 second radio spot for a casino is DESIGNED to get people to gamble more, not the opposite?

If I didn't know better, I'd say that 'government' spelled backward was 'hypocrisy'.

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