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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Gambling's costs’

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Published: Saturday, July 6 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Hamath
Omaha, NE

I lived in Nevada for years. There was a pervasive population of people with middle income jobs who lived on the edge of poverty. Gambling was the addiction of choice to many of these people. They made enough money to live comfortably and if they were smart with their money, become wealthy. Yet they and their children lived in on the edge of poverty. I saw it over and over again. At work, I would hear about their victories. The weekends that they won $1500. I didn't hear anything about the weekends they lost. But I saw it in their daily lives. When the car broke down and suddenly they couldn't fix it. When their kids came to school wearing shoes that were taped together and pants so threadbare you could see through them. Gambling is the cause of poverty in too many situations just like these. Talk about redistribution of wealth. The gambling kings laugh all the way to the bank and wink when they throw a little to the State or County for "the people's share."

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

I know that many will argue that gambling is just entertainment. And for some it is. But I have watched several businesses close over the years due to gambling habits. And it doesn't matter how much you make either. You can always gamble it away.

Some call gambling a game of skill. A few are. But, like the carnival games of skill, they are structured so that you lose more than you win. How could it be otherwise - the house has to make money?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

What's the difference between gsm king and playing the stock market?

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

As long as cigarettes are available on the shelf in utah anyone who harps on about the personal costs of gambling here is just blowing smoke. Yeah, it's easy to be righteous about it but if you can ignore something like the effects of smoking to play this banjo I think your efforts are just a little self serving.

merich39
Salt Lake City, UT

I know people who are literally addicted to video gaming. I know others who are addicted to foods. I know some who are addicted to some kind of hobby. There are plenty of people who are addicted to TV viewing. And I know some who have so many pets, they can barely afford the time or money to care for them all.

In each of the above mentioned instances, the behavior is self-destructive. But none of the above self-destructive behaviors is regulated by the state of Utah to the same degree as gambling. Some people can enjoy video games without letting it become self-destructive. The same is true for food, reality TV and pets. Those who are prone to addictions and self-destructive behavior will find something on which to focus their obsessiveness. It can't all be controlled.

As I see it, the reason our state attempts to so tightly regulate gambling, while allowing personal freedom to be addicted to food or reality TV, is based more on the Word of Wisdom than actually protecting individuals and society from the costs of self-destructive behavior. It's codified religious doctrine.

BarkforSark
PROVO, UT

TRM, clearly both are a form of "gambling." The difference though is that when betting on the stock market, you at least -- with intelligence and research -- have the ability to consistently do well. You're using your God-given gifts to come out ahead. What God-given gifts are utilized in casino gambling that relies 100 percent on luck?

Steve Cottrell
Centerville, UT

There is a widely accepted myth that gambling depends on luck. Gambling is based on relatively simple mathematics. For example, slot machines with a 92% payoff return $92 of every $100 placed in the machine. Pay-outs are random and often far exceed the investment, but in the long run, the owner of the machine gets the $8 and the players get $92 back.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

BarkforSark:

I disagree with your premise. Gambling is more than just luck especially games like Poker. If you choose to investigate you would see in say the World Series of Poker that there are players much better than others that win or cash on a regular basis. The game takes skill. You might also see that an inordinate amount of these top players are good at math, were engineer majors in college or worked in the computer industry etc. Basically they have good math skills. Is there is chance with the game? Most certainly. But one can't rely on chance alone. The people that possess little of these skills that still want to "gamble" stick with slots, keno or even the lottery etc. which are by far more chance oriented. What is funny or ironic to me is that some states have areas with legalized gambling but don't allow poker but will allow slots or do the lottery which take advantage completely of the stupid more or less. As they say "a fool and is money shall soon be parted." But they outlaw the games like poker which requires skill.

Convert
Cedar City, UT

This article brought to mind Boyd K. Packer's Conference talk. In the middle he briefly shifted to the "tolerance trap". Gambling, pornography, homosexual behavior, drinking alcohol, smoking are addictive vices. All these are legal, although with some restrictions, like age or place.

But, tolerating vice only leads to loss of spirituality. This is the "tolerance trap" President Packer spoke of.

I know these vices have yanked aquaintenances right out of their church activity and brought harm to children and ruined marriages. Enough said.

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