Monday, March 02, 2009


Gambling is a form of entertainment. People bet money, and most of the time the house wins. But in between the time that the bet is placed and the moment that the bet is lost, they enjoy the fantasy that they might go home richer.

Like any fun activity, people can get addicted to it, and they can waste a lot of money on it. This can lead to other problems, and this is the justification that is often used to regulate it. Some people even argue for outlawing it, claiming that gambling is a vice that destroys families.

But vice doesn't destroy families. Family members destroy families. If 10,000 people gamble in a city in a given year and one of them kills somebody, that is no reason to punish the other 9,999 people.

Since I don't gamble, I really don't care if a casino gets built. If an investor wants to build one here with his or her own money, I would welcome that. I don't think that the state should restrict legal gambling at all. I have mixed feelings about the potential referendum, since I don't think private property rights should be put to a vote. If you don't like gambling, stay out of casinos and tell your pastor to cancel Bingo Night. But I hope that the referendum does one of two things:
1. People vote for it and show potential investors that there is a possible market here.
2. People vote against it, killing the idea so that we can move on and talk about something else.


Anonymous said...

Gambling is just one of many areas where the state gets involved and mucks it all up. Consider a state run lottery-the citizens pay to set up the "house" even though some would argue that it should be illegal. When there is a winner they are subjected to an *income* tax which then goes into a black hole and is never seen again.

Gambling should only be offered by private enterprise and only participated in by people that voluntarily accept the risk and (potential) rewards. There is no place for government sponsored gambling.

milton f said...

If the grub'mint requires a majority vote to allow a minority to gamble haven't they suppressed the right of some to pursue happiness?