Lloyd Waters: Educate a child, destroy an adult

November 04, 2012|By LLOYD WATERS

Good logic is always something I try to embrace. She is usually filled with not only beauty, but a little common sense as well.

Question No. 7 on this year’s ballot deals with expanding gambling within Maryland. Probably some $50 million in advertising has been spent to convince you that it is the right thing to do.

Besides, everyone else is doing it, why not us?

If you have listened to some of the gambling proponents’ rhetoric, they always use the notion that all money derived from your vote will go into “education” for the benefit of your kids.

Many of those political announcements don’t even bother telling you that the millions of tax dollars raised are associated with gambling.

Do you believe those dollars will go to education?

Have you ever known a serious gambler?

I’ve known many, and have tinkered with gambling myself for most of my life.

The hard-core gambler is the one that really has problems, but it all begins with a wager here or a wager there.

Talk about logic, do you ever take time to really listen to a gambler’s boast?

Pete, I went to the slots the other night and made a killing. After just 20 minutes, I made about $2,500.

Or how about this one?

I went to Atlantic City last week and they gave me a few dollars of “play” money and I won $500 off “their” money.

Or maybe this one.

I got a “free” airline ticket to go to Las Vegas because of the points earned playing the slots.

Are you crazy or what?

People who become addicted to gambling would seem to have many deep-seated emotional problems that are only surpassed by the loss of their hard-earned dollars.

What I would really like to ask these individuals, but usually don’t, is a few simple questions.

Hey, how much is your current credit card debt?

You’ve told me about how much money you won, now would you please tell me about how much money you’ve lost in the last 12 months; two years; or 5 years?

Have you ever been delinquent in paying your bills because of your gambling habits?

Has your family ever gone without because of your trips to the gambling parlor?

Do you have an urge when you wake up each morning to become rich, an urge that can only be satisfied by some gambling activities?

For sure, that gambling parlor must have been built for you to drop in, get a high, and go home prosperous and wealthy, huh?

Those exotic games must exist solely for you to come by and get rich.

Are you crazy or what?

Gambling establishments are there to take your money. They are designed to do so. They give you a few tokens now and then while ringing the bells and whistles to make you salivate and get happy from the thrills.

They make you delirious for a short while by their theatrics while encouraging a gambling addiction that often causes financial disaster or ruin for the gambler.

Yep, Question 7 is going to raise a lot of money for education, OK.

I wonder how much more money will be made for the gambling corporation and those political cronies who would sell you ocean front property in Arizona to raise a buck.

When you think about the mobsters of the land who once made a lot of money off their gambling endeavors, and the efforts of our government to crack down and persecute those individuals, one has to wonder about the logic of our own behavior.

Vote for question 7 and you might be educating a kid. Perhaps that same educated kid will have the opportunity to grow up and help pay off the debt of a gambling parent.

Logic is a most beautiful thing, but I don’t think we spend very much time embracing her.

Lloyd “Pete” Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes columns for The Herald-Mail.

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