Comments about ‘Legalizing gambling can come with high social costs’

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Published: Saturday, Sept. 1 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

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Bountiful, UT

Gambling hurts the stupid.

Heber City, UT

I think we should legalize gambling/casinos. Maybe not everywhere, just border towns like on this side of wendover/mesquite, just on this side of Evanston. Everybody can use a boost in economy. This article never said that gambling doesnt make money for the 13 states that it is legal, it just said that it hasnt mad eas much money as they projected. Good spin, but Utah is a state that could definitely use the income boost to spend towards education.

Salt Lake City, UT

Since my mother passed away, my father started going to Wendover every other Tuesday. He takes $100 and with that, buys himself a prime rib buffet lunch and a few hrs of entertainment on the penny slots. Often, he comes back ahead by $200-$300. He doesn't go there expecting to supplement his income. He doesn't rely on his winnings to pay his bills. He strictly looks at it as a form of entertainment. How is this any different than plunking down $50 on an overpriced ticket and more on overpriced bad food at Lagoon? Or a night at a Utah Jazz game? Yet no one is proposing to ban Lagoon or the Jazz. People need to accept that gambling can be strictly a form of entertainment, no better or worse than an amusement park or sports event.

And, other than my 401k, I don't gamble and never have. I only advocate letting adults be adults.

Kaysville, UT

I lived in Illinois for 9 years with one of the most organized lotteries and addicted people in that state and the states surrounding it. However, the various states didn't want to lose their part of that addiction pie, so they did their efforts to legalize gambling, which is the highest form of taxation there is. Since the Mississippi River passes along their boundaries, the people figured out a way to initially gamble by pulling the Casino Boat onto the navigable river to gamble and not really be in the state. In Missouri, they wanted that big share as the St. Louis people would just go over the river on the bridge and buy their lottery tickets. The stated started a process to get gamble legalized by saying the money was for education. There are a lot of ploys to get gambling legalized. I am glad Utah has been able to keep it out, even with paramutual betting almost 50 years ago. People that are that addicted can get on the bus, drive or even fly to Wendover, Mesquite or other places to deal with that addiction. Love of money or greed for legislators, individuals or governors is painful

Herriman, UT

If you spend money in the stock market you are gambling. When you get in your car to drive across town you are gambling (with your life). All of life is a gamble, it's just some activities are riskier than others. So many people want guarantees with all that they do. There are only two guarantees in life. Death and taxes and not necessarily in that order.

Blue Bolshevik
Salt Lake City, UT

I simply forgo one bottle of scotch a month and buy lottery tickets with that money. Not losing a thing, and my wife and kids pick the numbers.

Kaysville, UT

I believe gambling causes people to be depressed as the odds are against them. The casinos have people hired to help these people feel a little better but not about their situation. Life is for living and not wasting away the time worrying. Stock market, insurance companies make money by people investing and the chances are in favor of those people. Those types of businesses know their chances. The casinos know their chances and it is not in people's favor to win. What a depressing life to gamble away money before time is up.

Cedar City, UT

The best way I have seen to compromise the two competing interests - how to give the gamblers what they want while reducing some of the social unintended consequences - is to implement a savings lottery. The simplest way to describe it is as a savings account where the interest is compiled and given away much like the winnings of a lottery.

If the state wants to spur education funding growth, contract with an private company to create accounts where people make "deposits" when they buy "lottery tickets" and use the proceedings to invest in stock/bonds/whatever and then give away a portion of the returns to encourage more people to buy in to the program. The state would then receive some portion of the returns as well. Several studies have been done showing the effectiveness of such a program, but I don't believe it's ever truly been implemented on a large scale.

The plan probably needs a lot of fine tuning and hasn't been proven beyond doubt, but lets face it - neither has the "real" deal.

Kaysville, UT

There is probably a lesislator out there that would be willing to forward a bill to help pay for schooling.

Lafayette, IN

They used to throw people in prison when the mob had a private lottery. It was called "running the numbers". Now states entice the ignorant via, "you can't win if you don't play". We have no shame.

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