In Missouri we have a program for problem gamblers. All they have to do is dial 1-800-BETSOFF. Judging from the number of social security wielding people at the casino, I wonder how much of a problem gambling is for them and if they can afford the losses.
I have nothing against gambling, or gaming, as it is known here, but know it can be addictive. In fact, some of the new machines are entertaining and can be a whole lot of fun, especially if you win some small consolations along the way.
I was at the casino this weekend and saw a bus pull up in front and a load of senior citizens pile out of it. One lady in a wheelchair and another leaning heavily on a cane were beating it toward the machines.
At one time, Missouri had a daily loss limit and you were only allowed so much time inside the casino. Our legislators repealed that so we could compete with other casinos in bordering states. They are known as “boats” and some actually float on the water. Most of them are not really boats at all, and I’m not sure what they have to do to qualify for “riverboat gambling.”
Will gambling fever be even more prevalent in the future as we baby boomers retire? Are we going to entertain ourselves by feeding our 401k into slot machines? I hope not. Logic tells you that casinos aren’t in the business to give you money—they plan to take in much more than they shell out. The only question we need to answer is how much is the entertainment worth to us? Once we know the answer to that we just need to say, “Hey, the bets off. I have better things to do with my money.”
Copyright © August 2010 L. S. Fisher