Online gambling is nothing to celebrate

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  • Chadler E.Cowles Springville, UT
    May 27, 2013 5:30 a.m.

    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.

  • Chadler E.Cowles Springville, UT
    May 25, 2013 1:23 a.m.


    2. Playing poker leads to drug use, pornography addiction, prostitution, and all manner of criminal activity
    Much in the same way that gambling one's earnings by investing in the stock market leads to these same vices.

  • Chadler E.Cowles Springville, UT
    May 25, 2013 1:21 a.m.

    In Utah, Private Homes, The United States, Online, Etc.
    (Sarcasm Intended)

    1. We need to protect the children
    If 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?

  • Chadler E.Cowles Springville, UT
    May 25, 2013 12:54 a.m.

    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.

  • JKR Holladay, UT
    May 7, 2013 7:47 p.m.

    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...

  • UICPG South Jordan, UT
    May 5, 2013 6:21 p.m.

    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,

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 2, 2013 10:12 p.m.

    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...

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2013 9:12 p.m.

    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?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    Advocating the nanny State position again? Free to walk around the mall with heat but cannot play poker online?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 2, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    It's way more fun in person. I celebrate every trip to Nevada.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    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.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 2, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    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.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 2, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    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 Far East USA, SC
    May 2, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    "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 their shenanigans.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 2, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    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.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    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 Far East USA, SC
    May 2, 2013 6:36 a.m.

    "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.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 1, 2013 11:22 p.m.

    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.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    May 1, 2013 10:18 p.m.

    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.

  • KWL Bountiful, UT
    May 1, 2013 10:10 p.m.

    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.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 1, 2013 9:35 p.m.

    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?

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    May 1, 2013 8:18 p.m.

    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.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 1, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    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.