Gambling – Part II

I had some gentle push back on my prior post from some on the point that people should have freedom – to choose – to go to a casino or not to go to a casino.   I don’t disagree.  Offering casino opportunities is one thing.  But 24 hours a day?  7 days a week?  On Christmas day?  On the 4th of July?  Again – who spends their days and nights at casinos?   We already know – and our politicians know – the demographics.  It’s mainly lower income people.  Our race tracks have a season – and hours.  So do bars.  Restaurants.  Stores.  Why not casinos?  The quick answer is that our politicians know that they can glean revenue in big buckets from casinos.  Sooooo, leave them stay open.  24/7.  365 days a year.  Oh – and let’s build more casinos.  To twist the knife into the belly of the poor while smiling and going “shhhhhh.”        

Our politicians know full well who’s spending their hard earned bucks – and welfare checks – at the all-night casinos and truck stop betting parlors.   These boys care only about money and power. And – as I said in my earlier post – they don’t care one bit who they grind into insolvency (or divorce or addiction or the other ills that attend).  Remember that next time you go to the polls. . . . .    

Gambling

I’ve been to casinos and race tracks and placed a few bets.  It’s entertainment.  It’s fun.  But the last time was when I was on vacation a few years ago.   I’ll drop a few bucks on the Lottery.  When it’s big.   But in short, I don’t gamble.  And I don’t know anyone who does. It seems like the majority of people who regularly go to casinos or the race track are the people who work there.  And those who can least afford it.

Gambling is a cruel regressive tax which promotes social ills, bankruptcies, divorce and the blind addiction to hope.  Of winning.  And it targets the poor.  And Illinois leads America’s race to the bottom in this national disgrace.  Fleecing our own people.  Exploiting the poor.  And grubbing for money.    

I just read an article that Illinois is now considering a bill to allow the state’s ten casinos to stay open 24 hours a day.  The logic?  Recently 24 hour gambling was pushed — and passed — for truck stops.  Sooooo, we should now permit equal opportunity insolvency for all of our people.  Not just truckers.  Great.  And of course 24 hour gambling offers more distraction from “bringing home the bacon” (or even going home at all). 

In the year 2000, the bipartisan U.S. National Gambling Impact Study Commission (sponsored by IL Democratic Senator Paul Simon) found that 80% of all gambling revenue was derived from households earning less than $50,000 annually.  What’s the government’s “take”?  Low income gamblers had to lose $84 billion (that’s with a “B”) to casinos and lotteries for the governments to take in $24 billion in lucre.  And of course taxpayers often foot the bill for welfare checks to these folks.   

It’s not the doctors, lawyers, bankers, teachers or business people who are spending their days and nights gambling. Face it — it’s those who are struggling to survive financially.  And we all know how the odds are stacked.  So next time you hear a politician argue in favor of gambling initiatives, more casinos, and longer hours, know full well that he wants the poor and the destitute to get it in the neck.  And he doesn’t care one bit . . . .