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October 29, 2020 October 29, 2020

Gambling not the solution

Posted on February 25, 2015 by Taber Times

An official of the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission in a CBC news interview announced the intention of his Commission to approach the government to approve on-line gaming and gambling for the benefit of all Albertans. The net proceeds would help fill the pockets of the treasury suffering from low oil prices and reduced economic activity. But the main reason for the Commission’s proposal seems to be to help problem gamers and gamblers. By having the government enter into this on-line activity the added resources from gambling profits would then be available to design and hire counselors to help irresponsible gamblers.

Maybe, just maybe, it is better for the government not to get involved in the first place in this short-sighted solution to help rescue our failing economy and provide funds to assist problem gamblers. Did gambling ever provide a cure for economic woes? Much of the money that comes in on one hand goes out the other to help sufferers caught in its luring trap of easy financial gain. Yes, there are studies that seem to show there is some financial profit from government controlled gaming and gambling. But what about the greater social costs? How many families and individuals have experienced poverty, loss of homes, child neglect, wrecked marriages, drug addiction, loss of any meaningful purpose in life and general misery because of addiction to the all-pervasive practice of gaming and gambling?

Casinos are blotching the land. One wonders where it all will end. Well, it ought to end in one place and that is in government promotion of gambling and gaming.

We elected men and women because we thought they were guided by the highest of moral principles. Here is one instance where they need to take the high road and not to give in to the desires of a few and thus socially and financially negatively affect all of us. Leadership and responsibility is best taught through example.

Having said this, I must add that most people are generally good and care about their fellow man. They are empathic and responsive to the needs of others. Let us not allow the expansion of the gambling and gaming vice to cripple our ability to continue to help and serve one another in meaningful ways.

RAY SHEEN

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