While there is luck in poker, the game itself takes a great amount of skill.
It's not playing the slots or even Blackjack. I think adult Americans
should have the right to spend (lose) their money in whatever way they see fit.
This opinion piece is absolutely correct. Gambling is a scourge upon the land,
and online gambling is no exception.There is a reason that the
gaming industry supports online gambling. This is because online gambling
inevitably leads to addiction, which in turn causes addicts to turn to in-person
gambling at casinos and racetracks in order to feed the addiction. So although
the misinfomed believe that online gambling hurts attendance at in-person
gambling establishments, it actually increases attendance in the long run.In addition to increasing addiction-feuled attendance at leagal gambling
establishments, online gambling also leads to the rise of and attendance at
illegal gambling houses. This invariably leads to increases in the rates of
crime, substance abuse, and prostitution in surrounding areas. No community
which cares about the welfare of its citizens would want this situation.Even if the above-mentioned problems were not enough, online gambling
directly harms families. By and large, those who participate in this activity
cannot afford to lose the money that they are guaranteed to lose. Indeed, every
cent they lose is money that should be used to support their families.
I didn't say gambling doesn't have its consequences and when it
existed legally I never did on-line gambling but I still don't like the
nanny state. What next, the government telling me or you to take vitamins?
Either we believe in liberty or we don't. We don't get to pick and
choose. I'm not sure how on-line gambling leads to casinos coming to Utah
or anyone else. Las Vegas was thriving well before on-line gambling. And
again, I've been to Vegas plenty of times without having to pull the level,
roll the die or play cards. I exercised my "choice" on the matter.
And again, I look at poker as a game of skill. Those who play it
and follow it know better. Those who have followed the World Series of Poker
know that the same people generally win and place high in tournaments meaning
sheer blind luck only goes so far. And those good at it are probably making a
better investment than most who would use the internet to invest in the stock
market. But we let people do the latter, don't we?
I've read that 20-25% of gambling addicts will attempt suicide. Many will
destroy their families. It's not uncommon for them to steal a spouse's
or even a child's savings. And the gambling industry depends on addicts.
They represent at least 15% of the profits and the percentage is growing. Worse,
the easier access to gambling is and the younger people are when they get into,
the more are likely to become addicts.The article says 92 billion
dollars is lost directly to the industry each year and that society will spend
three dollars fixing the problems gambling creates for every one dollar gamblers
spend. That's 368 billion dollars. That's over a thousand dollars for
every man, woman, and child in this country.
As predicted, some believe their personal rights trump all other considerations,
including their duties as family members, citizens, members of society in
general, and, yes, their duty to the God Who gave them life. Our lives are not
just our own. If we hurt ourselves we automatically hurt others.Now, I allow that some don't believe in God. Any such must still admit
they are not an island. If they choose to indulge they choose to lose both
money and moral character. Those losses hurt any who care about them and who
depend on them to be responsible. Freedom isn't free. It comes with
responsibilities.Now, the ills of gambling are will documented.
Gambling does hurt families. It hurts dependents who are not allowed to choose.
It also hurts taxpayers. We care enough to help heal the victims of
gamblers--even help heal the gamblers.
No John C.C. I believe in our God-Given or Endowed unalienable rights to life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This means LIMITED
government, this means personal responsibility and choice.
"Gambling produces no product that can be sold or exported. It does,
however, remove billions of hard-earned dollars from people who otherwise might
spend or invest in things of value."Cant we say the exact same
thing about much of the financial industry? Or how about this? It
has been used quite regularly lately.It is already illegal. We dont
need more laws. Anyway, people who want to gamble will find a way so laws are
useless.Or This.We dont need a Nanny Government. We
need less government intrusion in our lives. Regulations hurt business.
Business will do the right thing if left unregulated.We want
government out of our lives, EXCEPT when they do something that we like.We
dont need government regulations, EXCEPT for the regulations we like.
There was no need for so many laws in the past because America had a sense of
right and wrong and a strong Christian influence which continues to dwindle.
JoeBlow,Did save enough money to buy you last car outright? How about
your house? Do you stuff your money in a mattress? Does your employer pay you
cash every Friday or do you use direct deposit? Did your local
municipality use cash to fund road construction or City Hall? How about your
state, is it free from debt?Does your employer use all equity
financing to run the business that pays your salary, or is there some debt
involved?Or was the financial services industry used to finance your
local government, job, housing, and transportation needs and facilitate funds
transfers?Nope, nothing of value in the financial services industry.
"Cant we say the exact same thing about much of the financial industry?
"Notice I never said that there is "nothing of value in the
financial services industry."Parts of the financial industry
provides us a great service.But, there are certainly parts of the
industry that play financial games which create NOTHING. They can and did take
this country to its knees.They have the ability to make split second
trades using high speed computers. They make huge profits on fractions of a
penny move on stocks. Does that create anything?What did the credit
default swaps that they pushed create? Other than the potential to devastate
this country.We need to re-institute something such as Glass-
Steagall an put back the hard break between banks, security companies and
insurance companies.This would get the taxpayers off the hook for
Though there are exceptions, gambling is most often a "tax" on the poor
and gullible.This was confirmed anecdotally by my son when he worked
at a gas station. The folks coming in and buying reams of lottery tickets were
often poor (at least, that is what their manner of dress and choice of cars
indicated).I had an uncle who could card count and win at card
games. His advice to me (I lacked his phenomenal math skills)? If you want to
be involved in gambling, be the house. He was not LDS BTW.Overall,
gambling is kind of like drinking. Some can participate and then walk away.
Others will be consumed by it (and their families as well).
JoeBlow,there is a hard break between banks, security companies and
insurance companies. GLBA did not repeal the Banking Affiliates Act that DOES
create those clear separations - however, the Federal Reserve failed to enforce
that act. The Act was passed in 1982 and required the Federal
Reserve to write impimenting regulations. The Fed wrote Regulation W (the
implimenting Reg) in 2003. the 21-year gap between the passage of
the Act and the writing of the implimenting regulation is indicative of how much
the Fed cares about protecting banks from the abuses of affiliates.Those sections of the financial services industry that brought our economy
down were encouraged by artifical influence from congress to make housing
affordable to everyone, by barney frank and his ilk, which provided the catalyst
for the housing bubble. barney frank provided the catalyst, but corporate and
personal greed acted as the medium in which the catalyst worked - and the
Fed's failure to enforce the Banking Affiliates Act of 1982 exascerbated
the problem.Credit default swaps and other derivatives have been
around since at least 1997, when CLINTON refused to regulate them.
This is a different example of what conservatives criticize as a "nanny
state." Except in this case it is a nanny who imposes private morality on
her children, whether it is drinking, though restrictive liquor laws, smoking,
by trying to tax it out of existence, marijuana use, with imprisonment, free
expression, through censorship, gambling, through legal prohibitions, etc. If
you are truly a liberterian conservative, you want government out of our
economic AND private lives. As Tom Barberi always said, legalize adulthood.
It's way more fun in person. I celebrate every trip to Nevada.
Advocating the nanny State position again? Free to walk around the mall with
heat but cannot play poker online?
Conservatives are so conflicted. They hate the nanny state and restrictions on
personal freedom except in those numerous instances where they love the nanny
state and restrictions on personal freedom.I know lots of people who
are flat out addicted to soda drinks. They drink 48+ ounces a day, every day.
That addiction is destroying their health and that affects not only themselves
but their families and society as a whole. How many here were recently posting
comments condemning New York for passing laws restricting the personal freedom
to drink as much soda as a person chooses?
A true believer in the Constitution and limited government would support
one's choice or right to gamble on-line. A true Libertarian does not want
the government in your wallet or in your bedroom. Republicans only cite their
love for the Constitution when it suits their interests. Democrats have the
same problem. The difference between each is that a Republican wants to
generally stay out of your wallet but they want to tell you what to do in the
bedroom. Democrats are the opposite. But those true to the Constitution want
less government in each. Again, tell me Republicans as merich39 said well above
why it's alright for the government to limit on-line gambling but laws
banning soda are okay. I need some consistency here...
I am the Founder and Executive Director of the Utah-Idaho Council on Problem
Gambling (UICPG). Our mission is to increase public awareness of problem
gambling and responsible gaming, increase the availability of treatment for
problem gamblers and their families, and to create education and prevention
programs for youth and adults.While we maintain a neutral stance on
legalized gambling, we are very concerned about its effects on the community.
Online gambling is indeed putting many existing problem gamblers and potential
problem gamblers at risk, which is why educating the community, including youth
as young as Junior High and High School students about the risks associated with
gambling and teaching adults about responsible gaming if gambling is something
that they choose to participate in outside of Utah State lines. I absolutely
agree with your position on gambling addiction's cost to society. We are
working hard to curb and prevent that. Please learn more about us at,
This is a truly great editorial. The state of Utah alone (well, with Hawaii)
seems to have the good judgement to forbid gambling. I especially like the part
that compares gambling to drug use. Right on Mr. Jay! Legalize all that and
just see what happens. It'll be worse than Nero's experience...
So funny to read things like "I have read that 20-25% of gambling addicts
will commit suicide". How convenient it is to make salacious statements
without actually having to cite any real source. How arrogant it is to
(falsely) proclaim that this industry or that depends on addiction. So many
speak of the (insert x amount of dollars here) "lost" to the gambling
industry, while if one chooses going to the movies as their entertainment outlet
they did not "lose" money to the movie industry, they spent disposable
income. Aside from the fact that poker is a game of 100% skill with random
variables that are completely mitigated over a long enough timeline and is
therefore no more gambling than informed investment in the stock market, the
claim that poker, gambling, etc. feeds societal ills has no foundation in
reality or any provable, verifiable data to back the claim.
TOP TEN REASONS POKER SHOULD BE ILLEGAL In Utah, Private Homes, The United
States, Online, Etc.(Sarcasm Intended) 1. We need to protect
the childrenIf the government bans it kids won't do it. That is why
kids don't smoke, drink, use drugs, sneak into rated R movies, etc. If mom
and dad fail in their parenting, a good, solid government ban will always fix
the problem. It takes a whole community to raise a child, so why should parents
be responsible for monitoring their own children?
TOP TEN REASONS POKER SHOULD BE ILLEGAL 2. Playing poker leads to
drug use, pornography addiction, prostitution, and all manner of criminal
activityMuch in the same way that gambling one's earnings by
investing in the stock market leads to these same vices.
I tried to submit a comment with an actual source but was unable to as websites
are not allowed. I would simply urge readers to check any reputable crime rate
database. For all the social ills poker supposedly propagates, how does the
author explain the fact that Salt Lake has a crime rate much higher than that of
Las Vegas? That Salt Lake's property crime rate (you know, the crimes
addicts commit to support their habits) are more than twice as high in Zion as
they are in Sin City. How about the fact that Salt Lake's larceny rate is
3.5x that of Vegas? It all seems so logical to say that poker, or gambling
leads to social ills, bit it never holds up statistically. Larger cities tend
to have higher crime rates than smaller ones, yet Vegas has over half-million
residents with millions of visitors to disproportionately affect the crime rate
and still Salt Lake's crime rate is higher. All with no (legal) poker or
gambling. By the crime rate one could say religion causes more crime than
gambling. The actual documented truth, however, is that society behaves better
when presented with free-agency.