Category : Gambling

(Telegraph) Gambling machines and websites to carry alcohol-style health warnings in new ‘public health’ approach

Unveiling its new strategy yesterday, Tim Miller, the Commission’s executive director, said its partnership with Public Health England would be critical in developing effective health messages: “We expect consumers to get more information about potential risks.

“We have a moment here to bring gambling harms out of the shadows. So many people I have spoken to feel there is a stigma that isn’t attached to other forms of addiction.”

New gamblers will be expected automatically to be offered the chance to set pre-agreed limits on the amount of time or money they spend. The Commission wants more “self-exclusion” schemes where gamblers have their accounts blocked once they spend a certain amount or want to stop.

The Commission is demanding the industry do more to identify and help vulnerable gamblers before they develop an addiction.

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Posted in Gambling

In the House of Lords the Bishop of St Albans asks about problem gambling related suicides

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of Gambling disorder, increased mortality, suicidality, and associated comorbidity: A longitudinal nationwide register study, published in November 2018; and in particular its finding that problem gamblers are 15 times more likely to take their own lives.

Lord Ashton of Hyde: Preventing suicide is a priority for Government, and we take new evidence on this matter very seriously.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General

(Church Times) Lords will break silence on betting, says Bishop of St Albans

The announcement of a new House of Lords special inquiry into gambling has been welcomed by the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith.

The new Lords committee, which will examine the “social and economic consequences” of the gambling industry, was announced last Friday. It will begin its investigation later this year, and produce a report by March 2020.

Dr Smith said: “This means we can start to meet the needs of problem gamblers, and honour the hopes of the families of those who have lost their lives as a result of problem gambling.

“It’s time we broke the silence for them. This inquiry is a vital part of that.”

The Liaison Committee of the House of Lords recommended the gambling industry as one of four areas for inquiries, as proposed by Dr Smith.

He continued: “An overdue inquiry, it will have the range, depth, and authority to mount a truly evidence-based investigation. Currently, we have seen levels of suicide and other gambling-related harms becoming part of the national consciousness, while 55,000 young people are now classified as problem gamblers.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Gambling

Church of England calls for Government action on problem gambling

A motion overwhelmingly passed by General Synod, the Church’s Assembly, on Saturday called for a reduction in gambling advertising, and to introduce a levy for gambling firms to help fund research and treatment programmes to combat addicting.

The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith (pictured) who has campaigned for gambling reform, introduced the item by telling the Synod that 55,000 children were problem gamblers, and were being ‘groomed’ by gambling adverts.

The story of Jack Ritchie, a young man who killed himself after fighting gambling addiction, elicited many stories from members of Synod of their personal experiences of problem gambling as well as those of loved ones.

Nick Land, of York Diocese, identified himself as having formerly had a problem with gambling, warning that for reformed addicts, “every advertisement is a temptation.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Church Times) Government too soft on gambling ads, warns Bishop of St Albans

Dr Smith said, however, that there were insufficient penalties for companies who ignored the new standards. “With little consequences for companies flouting the rules, and few teeth to enforce these new directives, the Committee of Advertising Practice needs to step up their approach.

“With so many of the proposals relying on betting firms to self-regulate, I sadly have little hope for major changes to the way gambling advertises.

“This endless barrage of adverts has normalised gambling, and we now have 55,000 children who are problem gamblers and it is time for the gambling industry to take this issue seriously.

“It is our moral duty to protect young people from gambling-related harm, and I hope the Committee of Advertising Practice will support my General Synod motion demanding tighter regulation around gambling advertising.”

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Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Corporations/Corporate Life, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Media, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) Football is grooming children into gambling, says Bishop of St Albans

Children are being “groomed into gambling” by football and betting companies must be banned from sponsoring clubs’ shirts, a bishop has said.

It is the first time a Church of England leader has called for an outright ban, pointing out that nine out of 20 Premier League teams and 17 out of 24 Championship teams have a gambling company as their main shirt sponsor.

Today the church unveiled a set of proposals to be put to its General Synod calling on the government to “reduce the quantity and pervasiveness of gambling advertising” and to force betting companies to pay a levy to fund education and addiction treatment.

The Bishop of St Albans, who sits in the House of Lords, led the church’s successful campaign to limit how much can be wagered on fixed-odds betting terminals. He said that 55,000 teenagers in Britain were classed as problem gamblers and not enough had been done to shield children from gambling advertising since laws were liberalised in 2005.

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Posted in Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Corporations/Corporate Life, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Express) Bishop Alan Smith–Gambling is an addiction just like drugs – but why is the Taxpayer paying for the cure?

What dangerous activity do children do more often than smoking, drinking or drugs? If you said gambling, you would be right. Years ago, I met a family who had lost their teenage son to suicide after fighting a gambling addiction.

That family’s loss is not an isolated case: it’s been depressing to meet several other grieving parents. Those campaigning parents went on to win the battle to persuade the Government to slash the stakes on the most addictive gaming machines from £100 to £2. Yet this victory can’t lead to complacency as we face further gambling challenges.

Today there are 55,000 children defined as problem gamblers – something I term a ‘generational scandal’. Sadly, I fear we have done too little to prevent this from becoming a much wider problem.

Under-18s are regularly inundated with more than three gambling adverts a day while 90% of pubs fail to stop children from gambling on the loud and bright fruit machines found in nearly every establishment.

Children are the next target of an industry making billions in profits which shows little inclination to take any form of responsibility.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Gambling

(BBC) Sports Minister Tracey Crouch resigns over ‘delay’ to betting crackdown

Sports minister Tracey Crouch has resigned over “delays” to a crackdown on maximum stakes for fixed-odds betting machines.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said in Monday’s Budget that the cut in stakes from £100 to £2 would come into force in October 2019.

Ms Crouch said pushing back the date was “unjustifiable” and it could cost the lives of problem gamblers.

She tweeted: “Politicians come and go but principles stay with us forever.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was disappointed Ms Crouch had resigned but there had been “no delay in bringing forward this important measure”.

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Posted in Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, Poverty

(TR) The Church of England has accused Fortnite of “dubious morality” that encourages children to gamble

Dr. Alan Smith, the bishop of St.Albans has said that Epic Games’ hugely popular free-to-play title is encouraging children to gamble based on chance.

“Behind some of these games is some dubious morality,” said Dr Smith, who talks on behalf of the church on these matters.

“Whilst they are within the letter of the law, they have moved the goalposts significantly in the direction of normalising and socialising gambling among young people.”

“All the signs are that we are going to have an epidemic because the games like Fortnite are socialising gambling through ‘skins’ and winning prizes.”

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Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Gambling

(CEN) Gambling adverts are ‘out of control’, the bishop of St. Albans says

‘Gambling advertising is out of control’, the Bishop of St Albans claimed this week.

The Rt Rev Alan Smith is calling for ‘strong yet sensible’ regulation in the UK. He pointed to Italy, which has already banned gambling advertising entirely. And Australia has also banned gambling advertising during sporting events.

Writing for Politicshome, Bishop Smith, the Church’s lead bishop for gambling,said that parents in the UK ‘were horrified their children were bombarded with gambling adverts’ throughout the World Cup. He said that ‘live-odds’ adverts placed ‘extensive pressure of viewers to bet’.

These are often shown during commercial breaks and informs viewers of the most recent odds, encouraging them to place bets as they watch the sporting event.

He said that these ‘relentless’ adverts would have been seen by an estimated 430,000 problem gamblers in the UK. He pointed out that victims of the gambling industry cost the tax-payer between £260 million and £1.2 billion every year.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Religion & Culture

(ABC Aus.) Michael Jensen–Sydney has always been a gambler’s town, but it’s a game for mugs

What was and is needed is a description of the deeper causes of this cultural addiction to luck — which is reality a deep-rooted theology of luck.

The Anzac could see that he might be dismembered at any minute. Luck might be against him. Why not see if the universe might turn his way a little?

The farmer on the land knows that hard work might yield no result, if bushfire, drought or flood prevailed. Why not bet on a different outcome, since it was all a gamble anyhow?

The factory worker’s routine was grinding her down and for all her labour brought meagre rewards. Who knows if a quick return for a small investment wasn’t just around the corner?

But there’s an alternative way of telling the story. It’s the story not of luck, but of blessing.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Australia, Australia / NZ, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Religion & Culture

(Bloomberg) The Poorest Americans Risk the Most in Hopes of Striking it Rich

Americans spend tens of billions of dollars on government-run lotteries each year. But as income inequality widens, low-earning households spend a disproportionate amount of money on lottery tickets, according to a new study.

The lowest-income households in the U.S. on average spend $412 annually on lottery tickets, which is nearly four times the $105 a year spent by the highest-earning households, according to a study released on Wednesday by Bankrate.com. And almost 3 in 10 Americans in the lowest income bracket play the lottery once a week, compared with nearly 2 in 10 who earn more than that.

The Bankrate.com study was conducted by research firm GfK, which surveyed a national sample of 1,000 American adults on Aug. 17-19.

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Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Poverty, State Government, Theology

(C of E) Fixed Odds Betting Terminals: £2 maximum stake is ‘right decision’, says Bishop Alan Smith

The Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, has welcomed Government plans to limit the maximum stake on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to £2.

Dr Alan Smith said the decision was an “essential” step in curbing the harm done by the machines, which he said have “taken advantage of the vulnerable for too long”.

He thanked ministers for their action, announced today as part of a package of measures in response to a Government consultation.

Bishop Alan had previously written to all members of the Church of England’s General Synod, encouraging them to respond to the consultation with evidence of the consequences of these machines for their communities.

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Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Personal Finance & Investing, Religion & Culture

(Local Paper front page) South Carolina unlikely to legalize sports betting, despite U.S. Supreme Court ruling

A short stack of South Carolina legislators is pushing to allow sports betting in the Palmetto State following a U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday that overturned a federal ban.

But the odds are long.

The ruling by the nation’s high court leaves states to decide whether people can legally bet on football, basketball and other sports. Under the 1992 federal law it struck, Nevada was the only place where people could bet on results of a single game.

About three dozen states could offer sports betting within five years — from California to Iowa to Delaware. At least five states including New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia have passed laws awaiting the high court’s ruling.

But don’t bet on those including South Carolina, where even church raffles weren’t legal until 2015.

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Posted in * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Sports, State Government, Supreme Court

(NPR) Supreme Court Rules States Are Free To Legalize Sports Betting

The Supreme Court’s court decision reversing that outcome will make it easier to open the door to sports betting.

But the status quo struck down by the Supreme Court looks almost quaint in light of increased pressure to legalize sports betting across the board.

The American Gaming Association estimates that illegal sports betting has grown to $150-billion-a-year market. And cash-starved states are salivating at the thought of raising billions from legalizing and licensing that activity, not to mention taxing the proceeds.

New Jersey, home to at least a half dozen shuttered Atlantic City casinos, is a state where Republicans and Democrats since 2011 have been trying to overturn the federal ban or somehow get around it.

After oral arguments in December, then-Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., said on the Supreme Court steps, “If we’re successful here, we can have bets being taken in New Jersey within two weeks of a decision by the court. We’re like boy scouts; we’re prepared.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Sports, State Government, Supreme Court, Theology

(Mirror) Punters would lose £500 a session under Gambling Commission’s recommendation for fixed bet terminals to set the maximum stake at £30

Gambling addicts will lose more than £500 a session if the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals is set at £30.

Government minister Tracey Crouch wants a £2 limit on the ­bookies’ shop machines – nicknamed the crack cocaine of gambling.

But her plans received a blow from the Gambling Commission – the body that advises the Government – which has recommended she sets the top stake at £30.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Personal Finance & Investing, Religion & Culture, Theology

Bishop of St Albans: Fixed Odds Betting Terminals proposal ‘simply does not go far enough’ to protect most vulnerable

The Bishop of St Albans, a leading campaigner for measures to limit the harm done by Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), has responded to recommendations from the Gambling Commission.

The Rt Revd Alan Smith supports reducing the maximum stake on the machines to £2, from the current level of £100. The Commission has recommended limiting the stake to at least £30, but has left it up to the Government to decide the final figure.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Telegraph) Church of England calls for daytime ban on betting adverts amid fears of ‘moral crisis’ facing children

The Church of England has called for a ban on betting adverts before the 9pm watershed in a bid to tackle the growing “moral crisis” facing children and young people.

The Rt Rev Alan Smith, the Bishop of St Albans, told The Daily Telegraph that society will reap a ‘terrible harvest’ because gambling is being ‘normalised’ for children and young people.

The Church is calling for the exemption which allows gambling companies to show adverts before the 9pm watershed to be closed and for social media giants to take greater responsibility.

According to official figures, children see an average of 185 gambling adverts a year, equivalent to nearly four a weeks. Premier League football games have around five commercials from betting firms per game.

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Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Movies & Television

(Guardian) Alex Hern–Video games are unlocking child gambling. This has to be reined in

In a tale of gambling addiction posted to Reddit shortly before Christmas, the numbers were as shocking as they were unsurprising. First the anonymous addict frittered away $200 (£149), in November 2016. Then $700 more, later that month. Then $300, $400, $1,500 … eventually, by December 2017, a credit card debt of $16,000, too large to be kept a secret any longer. It’s a painful narrative, one that’s not softened through repeated telling.

What might be more surprising is the particular type of gambling under discussion. This man hadn’t lost his money betting on football, or feeding notes into a fixed-odds betting terminal. He had been playing the mobile video game Final Fantasy: Brave Exodus (FFBE), a free-to-play game for android and iOS based on the Final Fantasy series.

It’s one of a number of games which use a similar system to reel in, and profit from, players. Unlockables – be they new characters in FFBE, new players in the Fifa football sims, weapon upgrades in the new Star Wars game Battlefront II, or car parts in racing game Need For Speed – aren’t available for direct sale. Instead players buy, with real money or in-game currency, a random item or set of items, in what are termed “loot boxes”. Players have no guarantee of what they’ll get, and no way to guide the game into giving them something they need or want.

The system is a sort of weaponised behavioural psychology, perfectly pitched to exploit all the cognitive weaknesses that make people so susceptible to addiction and compulsion.

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Posted in Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Entertainment, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling

Bishop Alan Smith urges Christians to make voices heard on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

A bishop is seeking to mobilise Christians to press the Government to curb Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to help protect the most vulnerable people.

The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, is urging members of the Church of England and other churches to add their voices to calls to limit the maximum stake on the addictive machines to £2, instead of its current level of £100.

He is calling for people to respond to the Government’s consultation on its review of gaming machines which is open for the next two months.

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Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Religion & Culture, Theology

Cut stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals to £2, Bishop Smith of St Albans urges Government

The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, has responded to the Government’s announcement today of The Triennial Review of Stakes and Prizes.

He said: “The Triennial Review of Stakes and Prizes has proposed a range of possible stakes for fixed-odds betting terminals. While a reduction in stakes is welcome, any stake higher than £2 does not go far enough to address the harm these machines cause to families and communities around the UK.

“In our broader response to the consultation, the Church of England will urge the Government to consider the experiences of those affected most by these machines, and to choose to lower the stake to £2.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Local Paper Front Page) Some bet on casinos to fix South Carolina’s crumbling infrastructure

With the chances of a gas-tax increase to pay for road repairs dwindling, advocates of bringing casinos to South Carolina think they have found a winning hand.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster declared last week that he would veto raising the state fuel tax for the first time in 30 years to fix crumbling roads and bridges. He favors a plan to borrow $1 billion, which would cover a small portion of the state’s repair tab and comes a year after lawmakers already agreed to borrow $2 billion for roads.

But there’s another roads-funding plan, one favored by a majority of South Carolinians, that’s on the table.

Casinos in the Myrtle Beach area and along the borders of North Carolina and Georgia could have South Carolina cashing in a potential $500 million a year while not raising gas pump prices or adding to the state debt load, legalized gambling backers say.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Gambling, State Government, Taxes, Travel

([London] Times) University of Bristol study finds Gambling problems for ‘1 in 4 young men’

A quarter of young men have a gambling problem and GPs should consider screening them for the addiction, researchers say.

A University of Bristol study found that 25 per cent of men aged between 18 and 24 had gambling problems of varying degrees of severity. The researchers polled more than 1,000 patients in 11 Bristol GP waiting rooms. About one in 20 people had a gambling problem and one in five of those had a severe problem. Young men were much more likely to have a problem, as were people who used drugs and those who had depression or risky drinking habits.

Sean Cowlishaw, from the university’s Centre for Academic Primary Care, who conducted the study, said that young men were often a vulnerable group. He added: “We are seeing the first generation who have grown up with high levels of gambling exposure normalised. We are talking about advertising constantly, online gambling, on smartphones as well, and betting shops clustered on high streets with electronic gambling machines.”

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Posted in England / UK, Gambling, Men, Young Adults

Conflicts of interest between industry+rehabilitation programs stall Romanian fight vs gambling

On the cusp of turning 40, Dan has been living with addiction for half his life. Yet his eyes behind thin-rimmed glasses are not bloodshot; his arms are not punctured or bruised by needles. Under a fine Bucharest drizzle, he heads for a gambling hall, convinced he has lost almost everything. “People believe that all humans are fit to survive,” said Dan, a pseudonym to protect his identity. “But nature is not like that.”

Gambling venues have become ubiquitous across Romania since the first big betting hall opened its doors in Bucharest’s central train station in the spring of 1990, just months after Nicolae CeauÅŸescu’s communist rule ended in popular revolt and a Christmas Day firing squad.

In May 2015, the Romanian parliament approved a law on gambling that included measures designed to tackle the scourge of addiction. But more than a year later, there are reasons to doubt their effectiveness.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Gambling, Romania, Theology

The Bp of St Albans asks the Govt abt links between betting terminals and violent crime

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the Minister for his Answer. Gambling-related harm is not restricted to people with problem gambling””it affects family, it affects friends, it affects even people who work in gambling shops. I recently put in a freedom of information request to the Metropolitan Police which revealed that since 2010 there has been a 68% rise in violent crime associated with betting shops across the capital. In the light of that, will the Minister tell the House what assessment the Government have made of the link between this rapid rise in violent crime associated with betting shops and the increase in the number of fixed-odds betting terminals in those shops?

Lord Ashton of Hyde: Any rise in crime figures is of course concerning, and Ministers and the Gambling Commission will look at those figures closely. One of the three licensing objectives that all operators must comply with is to prevent gambling being a source of crime. On the right reverend Prelate’s specific question about the link between fixed-odds betting terminals and the rise in crime, I hesitate at the moment to draw a causal link between them in the absence of evidence on the specific means of betting. However, this is exactly the sort of evidence that should be provided to the forthcoming triennial review.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Theology

(NYT) The Billion-Dollar Jackpot: Engineered to Drain Your Wallet

If you’ve noticed that colossal lottery winnings are becoming almost common this year, it’s no accident. Four of the 10 biggest jackpots in United States history have already occurred in 2016, an engineered outcome intended to generate mind-bogglingly big winners.

That’s thrilling if you are the rare winner of hundreds of millions of dollars. But whether it’s a good thing for scores of millions of other people who play government-sponsored lottery games is highly questionable, as a close look at the numbers reveals.

What is immediately evident, though, is that the high frequency of enormous jackpots results from skillful planning, says Salil Mehta, an independent statistician. “This was deliberate,” Mr. Mehta says. “The jackpots are growing very rapidly, and at a certain point when the jackpot rises into the hundreds of millions of dollars, there is a buzz, and people start betting much more….

At a minimum, the government ought to be doing no harm to its citizens, yet it appears to be promoting and benefiting from activities that are surely harming the life prospects of many people.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Psychology, Theology

(W Post Op-ed) Michael Gerson–Lotteries, payday lending, and the swindling of America’s poor

The question is posed: Can the United States go on as it has been with a good portion of its working class almost entirely isolated from the promise of our country?

It is a yes or no question. A “yes” involves the acceptance of a rigid, self-perpetuating class system in a country with democratic and egalitarian pretentions ”” a system upheld and enforced by heavy-handed policing, routine incarceration and social and educational segregation.

A “no” is just the start of a very difficult task. The mixed legacy of the Great Society ”” helping the elderly get health care, it turns out, is easier than creating opportunity in economically and socially decimated communities ”” has left the national dialogue on poverty ideologically polarized. And many policy proposals in this field seem puny in comparison to the Everest of need.

But there is one set of related policy ideas that would dramatically help the poor and should not be ideologically divisive. How about a renewed effort to help the poor by refusing to cheat them?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture, State Government, Theology

(Local Paper 2) Ltr to Editor id defense of brining gambling to South Carolina

As usual your editorial on casino gambling reflects the past and current thinking in South Carolina that we must never move into the 21st century. The attitude of our politicians to keep South Carolina as backward as they can is bad enough. But for The Post and Courier to espouse the same old argument that any form of gambling is going to target the poor and irresponsible is just thinking from the past.

Are we to ignore the reality that if someone wants to gamble he will find a way, no matter the cost or any other obstacle? If you don’t believe that, go to any convenience store and observe who is buying all of those lottery tickets.

Wouldn’t it be something for visitors to Charleston to ride down I-26 through the neck area and see large casinos with hotels and theme park environments rather than the blighted area it now is?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, Poverty, State Government, Theology

(Local Paper 1) An Editorial against using Gambling as a means to fix South Carolina's Roads

As reported in [a recent] …Post and Courier, House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, wants to let voters decide, via statewide referendum, whether to legalize casino gambling.

Rep. Rutherford made his case this way last month: “If you have casinos on the coast and dedicate them as a funding source on our roads, you have something that goes into fixing a problem.”

But if you have casinos on the coast you also have other problems, including a notoriously unreliable source of funding from a cruel tax of sorts imposed to a significant degree on the poor, the gullible, and compulsive gamblers.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, Poverty, State Government, Theology

(CSM Editorial) With fewer young people gambling, time for a government rethink

An old bit of wisdom ”“ that gambling is only for people who never took math ”“ may have finally hit home with Americans. According to surveys by researchers at the University at Buffalo, the number of gamblers and the frequency of their play have dropped since 1999 despite a recent proliferation of casinos and lotteries. Even more heartening, the largest falloff was among people under age 30 (from 89 percent to 78 percent).

Unlike their elders, perhaps the younger generation knows the odds are never in their favor when they are up against the “Hunger Games”-like gambling industry. Or perhaps the thrill is gone with so many more gambling joints now an easy drive away for most Americans ”“ or just a click away in many places.

The survey, published in the Journal of Gambling Studies, did find hard-core gamblers are betting more money and that Internet gambling has gone up. But policymakers ”“ who generally promote gambling ”“ should take note of the decline in interest among young people.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, State Government, Taxes, Teens / Youth, Theology, Young Adults