Category : Gambling

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

(CSM) The air ball in the NBA's call for sports gambling

A few sports may not exist if gambling were not legal for them. Horse racing could be one of them. The college men’s basketball tournament, or “March Madness,” would likely not be so popular if the NCAA did not encourage fans to predict winners with a brackets contest, resulting in the common practice of office-pool betting on even the worst teams.

If sports gambling spreads as a result of being legalized, it will send the wrong message to the most dedicated yet vulnerable fans of sport ”“ children (and the child in adult fans). “I think there needs some attention to be paid to what sport is going to represent to young people,” Bettman said.

Let’s keep the innocence of sport, one based on merit rather than promoting with a belief in luck. In that contest, the arguments of the NBA commissioner lose.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Sports, Theology

(NYT Op-Ed) N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver: Allow Gambling on Pro Games

Outside of the United States, sports betting and other forms of gambling are popular, widely legal and subject to regulation. In England, for example, a sports bet can be placed on a smartphone, at a stadium kiosk or even using a television remote control.

In light of these domestic and global trends, the laws on sports betting should be changed. Congress should adopt a federal framework that allows states to authorize betting on professional sports, subject to strict regulatory requirements and technological safeguards.

These requirements would include: mandatory monitoring and reporting of unusual betting-line movements; a licensing protocol to ensure betting operators are legitimate; minimum-age verification measures; geo-blocking technology to ensure betting is available only where it is legal; mechanisms to identify and exclude people with gambling problems; and education about responsible gaming.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Sports, Theology

Anglican Church says Newman Government program fuels gambling addiction

[Dean of Brisbane] Dr [Peter] Catt, the chair of the church social responsibilities committee, launched a stinging attack on the Government.

He said: “A business model that depends to a large extent on losses from problem gamblers and the subsequent harm to individuals and families is unethical.

“Even proceeding on the erroneous assumption that harm is in fact limited to a small percentage of the population, this approach effectively validates the great harm done to a few, for the mild pleasure, financial benefit and convenience of the majority.’’

Dr Catt said the Government policy was exposed as “deeply destructive” to both gamblers and their families.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

(USA Today Editorial) Gambling states addicted to easy money

With Atlantic City casino revenue in a steep decline, last year New Jersey began offering online gambling to its citizens. It didn’t help much, so now the state wants to take a bigger step.

Gov. Chris Christie has given the go-ahead for casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting, despite a 1992 federal law that bans the practice in all but four states where it previously existed. A federal judge will hear Christie’s argument on Oct. 6. If he’s successful, online sports gambling will surely follow.

New Jersey is a prime example of how states are the worst offenders in the world of gambling. They are both addicts and pushers. They throw temper tantrums and upset settled policy when their fix of gambling revenue runs low. And rather than compensating for the effects, they encourage their own citizens to gamble more and in different ways.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Gambling, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Poverty, State Government, Theology

TEC Bishop of New York's Statement on Casino Gambling

From here:

On November 5th, New York voters will be presented with Proposal 1, the New York Casino Gambling Amendment, which would allow the legislature to authorize up to seven new casinos in the state. The stated purposes of this constitutional amendment are to promote job growth, increase funding to schools, and permit local governments to lower property taxes. These are more than reasonable goals, but what is not said is that in places where casino gambling has been introduced, almost all gains have come at the high social cost of addiction and family disintegration, and deepening poverty. Some of these casinos are targeted for regions in New York, including in our diocese, characterized by entrenched poverty. The infusion of such false hopes into communities of economic desperation will, we are convinced, prove ruinous to people and families who will turn to the empty promises of casino gambling. There are no quick fixes to the challenges of struggling cities and towns, and we call on our elected leaders instead to focus on the kind of investment and hard work that build sound, long-term economic health and the self-sufficiency of communities. The Episcopal Church has long opposed casino gambling for all of these reasons, and so we stand in opposition to Proposal 1.

The Right Reverend Andrew M. L. Dietsche
Bishop of New York

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, TEC Bishops, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues