Legalizing gambling can come with high social costs

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  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    Sept. 7, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    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.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 1:23 p.m.

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

  • TiCon2 Cedar City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    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.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 4:36 a.m.

    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.

  • Blue Bolshevik Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 7:59 p.m.

    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.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 5:38 p.m.

    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.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    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

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 8:12 a.m.

    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.

  • HopefulHeber Heber City, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 2, 2012 10:53 p.m.

    Gambling hurts the stupid.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    Sept. 2, 2012 10:04 p.m.

    gambling -- best defined as a tax paid by people who flunked math in high school.

  • Hawkyo SYRACUSE, UT
    Sept. 2, 2012 10:00 p.m.

    Freedom, take your canned enviro-baloney elsewhere. This thread is about gambling.
    I for one, consider it very dangerous to allow even one step toward this slippery slope. It would come to no good. I also consider the proprietors of such establishments to be among the lowest forms of life--sucking the lifeblood out of those in society that are the easiest to take advantage of. They should all be taken out to the wood shed.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Sept. 2, 2012 5:52 p.m.

    Burning fossil fuels has negative effects. Republicans even agreed for a few years untill the Koch brothers started paying them to disagree.

    So why is gambling different than modifying the weather with CO2 emmisions? You don't even have 99% of psycologists agreeing that gambling is bad for society.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Sept. 2, 2012 2:49 p.m.

    Here in Washington State, a couple of decades ago, the citizens voted to allow a state lottery which promised to finance education. What a great blessing that has been. Each year the schools now send out letters to the parents on all of the extra supplies they need to send their children to school with --- supplies that were once paid for by the state; before gambling was legalized. The rumor is - it was never specified how much money from the gambling would have to go towards eduction.

    There is a casino in our area. They have a VIP parking lot. According to my information, to be eligible to park in these special zone, (and that part of the lot is always full) you have to spend more each month in the casino than most people I know make in a year. To some it may be a form of recreation, but so are picnics, fishing and a nice Sunday drive as a family.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2012 1:55 p.m.

    That's true, but only if you look at the relevant facts.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    Sept. 2, 2012 1:43 p.m.

    Watched my brother-in=law gamble away his pay check, go home and fight with his wife who wanted rent and food money. Watched his family live in poverty when he made twice my wage. This is not uncommon. Like any other vice it takes its greatest toll on the family.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 2, 2012 11:23 a.m.

    Gambling money in Ohio was supposed to "save" the schools. Yeah.

    That was back in the 70's or 80's and I don't think anyone has yet figured out where all the money really goes. But it sure wasn't to the schools.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 2, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    If someone wants to do a little research they will find out that the states that have it aren't exactly pleased with it.

    They tend to spend almost as much as they take in administering the gambling.

    Its odd to me to see some people complain about the plight of the middle class and poor people then turn around and want to legalize state run gambling.

    As already pointed out; all gambling really is is another tax on those who can't afford it.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Sept. 2, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    Gambling is real dumb and alcohol is worse as the most dangerous drug we have. Even marijuana thought to be fairly safe inhibits children and teen's intelligence levels. Our state is doing fine with gambling and if you want to play poker get a group together.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 2, 2012 7:54 a.m.

    With a few exceptions it is the poor and middle class that gamble. You don't see the wealthy putting their money in one armed bandits. I am against gambling. I have gambled myself on a limited basis. Regret it. It is to easy to see gamblilng as a way out of financial problems. The problem is when you win big the temptation is keep going and you end up with nothing. You are better off investing your money for the long term than gamblilng it away.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 1, 2012 11:25 p.m.

    The bumper sticker is true. Gambling is a tax on people who are bad at math.

    My uncle was an astute businessman and able to count cards. He advised me never to gamble. And, that if I were to want to participate in gambling, I should be the house (the one conducting the game) and not the gambler.

    Also, like many vices, gambling has significant externalities - costs that are not fully recognized or paid for at the time of "sale". The wider community ends up absorbing these in the form of broken homes, impoverished families, and addicted citizens. Hence, gambling should be significantly taxed in order to reimburse the community.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Sept. 1, 2012 10:52 p.m.

    I know that Utah avoids gambling because of the realization of the pofwers that be that it is a bad idea. Former governor Leavitt said that gsmbling cannibalizes the economy. Why does Hawaii avoid gambling?

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Sept. 1, 2012 8:50 p.m.

    Gambling is a money pit. The casinos do NOT stay in business by losing money. The odds are in the house's favor. Some win but more lose. Gambling is a business, with profit margins, marketing, sales, etc. It appeals to one of the baser of human weaknesses, the desire to get something for nothing.

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    Sept. 1, 2012 8:14 p.m.

    Whenever I look at slot machines I just laugh out loud now because all I see is rats in a skinner box:)

  • Reasonable Person123 St. George, UT
    Sept. 1, 2012 8:12 p.m.

    This article is very helpful in bringing up the very nasty social problem of gambling. Ironically, even though there is a general notion of gambling = bad in this state, people from Utah are actually less aware of the visible social ills since it is illegal and it takes more effort to go to a casino. If you have lived in states where gambling is legal in certain areas, you commonly find horribly blighted areas surrounding monstrous casinos. Look at the fruits of what casinos accomplish besides the obvious providing of jobs for some and a place to go on the weekend to have a good time and blow some cash. Weight that against the addiction, crime, blight, bankruptcy, divorce and then make a judgment on the merits. States were looking for quick budget fixes and have now been burned badly. The fact that this article appears in the DN does not make the evidence any less meaningful.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Sept. 1, 2012 8:05 p.m.

    I don't get this article. Is somebody proposing that we allow gambling or casinos in Utah? It would be nice, however, to keep some of that money people spend and lose just across the border to the west of us.

  • Conner Johnson
    Sept. 1, 2012 7:55 p.m.

    If we can't have gambling, can we at least have high point domestic Beers?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 1, 2012 6:39 p.m.

    Nice try. Another installment in the series 'articles on why everything the church says you can't do is bad, so don't feel like you're being imposed upon'.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 1, 2012 5:58 p.m.

    California's liberal leaders thought it might be a good idea to borrow against future lottery revenue earnings to pay yesterday's bills. Someone with a head on his shoulders vetoed that idea.

    Children suffer when their uneducated parent(s) decide to spend money they don't have gambling, lose it all, and then blame the Republicans because they can't afford to feed their kids. Of course states that have legalized gambling love it. They risk nothing and reap the taxes gambling brings in.

  • JohnnyJingle SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Sept. 1, 2012 4:37 p.m.

    Mitt and his BFF Sheldon disagree.