Sunday, February 17, 2013

Gambling on Gambling

To be honest gambling creeps me out. I have a curious habit of estimating money dropped on lotto tickets at my corner store when I see a customer clutching a stack of spent coupons then discard in that cardboard box where all dead money goes. Most don't even bat an eye but I suspect an agony play rips inside. 

I follow the mayor’s flirtation with a massive casino on the waterfront with great interest. I'm by no means puritanical but to me these places rob the soul - destroy lives - defile communities and drive deep sorrow. Yes, they are big fun and all that too.

Revenue is the big scream but do they really pay as advertised. I would suspect the payback to communities is on par with the pay back on individual slots - dimes and nickels in comparison to profits. 

I've worked Vegas and Tahoe and had a blast. I invested possibly $40 gambling and that covers a lifetime. I didn't enjoy gambling. I was more enamoured with the countryside - adventure away from casinos – horseback riding – hiking wilderness.

I feel uneasy watching gambling movies. It's the loss, the persistent soul wrenching pain and recovery that makes one squeamish.

Years back I watched Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards drop thousands at a craps table at the MGM Grand. I must say the man wore the shine of big money. He showcased suits that reflect the sun, teeth glistened and hair so perfect only a mannequin would dare compete. He was the big loud dog at a table surrounded by gorgeous women and much like the movies a crowd of goobers. The big rooster mesmerized, embraced the dice, held hand high and launched down table. Then came the wind suck and gasp from onlookers. Loser! It was terribly amusing and truly sad. Edwards would eventually go to jail caught embezzling state funds for amusement, let me guess?

A good bit of lottery dollars have gone back in circulation and done a wealth of good. In times as these it’s necessary to be creative in finding dollars to keep a teetering economy afloat. I would think Woodbine Racetrack would be a more suitable location for a casino. Plenty land and long experience. The waterfront should be held in higher regard and we as citizens deserve a far more reflective, creative vision that the one celebrated by the mayor. 

Truly not worth the gamble!


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