Jay Evensen: Gambling's spread is a bad bet for Americans

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  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Nov. 1, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Note to Jay E., randomness is actually a major part of our lives and accounts for much of what you experience. "Everything happens for a reason" is one of the biggest falsehoods told.

    Most of your experiences you explain away with "God works in mysterious ways" are just pure randomness. The blessings and or curses that result depend on what you do with the circumstance. This also includes whether the machine lands on all 7's or not. In actuality each pull of a slot machine handle resets the odds for the next pull back to 98% in the houses favor. If people understood that instead of believing in luck and magic this would be a far smaller problem.

    To the point of the story, I personally don't enjoy promoting more randomness in my life with my money..my wife disagrees.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    Gambling can be fun, but so can investing. And with investing .. unlike gambling the mathematical expectation is that you will win.

    I don't gamble, but I do invest. Sometimes I have lost, but with study and pondering and educating myself most of the time I have won. I have 'won' a lot of money which I plan to use during my retirement.

    My advice? States shouldn't encourage gambling. .. People shouldn't go overboard with gambling or ought not to gamble at all and people should get in the habit of investing .. for the sake of their future.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    There's no way you'd consider taking assault rifles away from those you want to remove the right to choose whether or not they want to gamble from. After all, they're all responsible, correct? Anyway, moan as you will. Off to Vegas next weekend, and I'm looking forward to it.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    I tend to be a more libertarian conservative so I generally say "live and let live". I recognize that there are nearly zero benefits to gambling and lots of negative consequences and so I am glad I live in a state without legalized gambling. But, I also enjoy a trip to Wendover every few years and paying the "entertainment tax".
    I think the point of the column was Govt involvement with gambling enterprises. I am totally opposed to that. I despise state lotteries. I do not see how you can have a credible government that is involved financially with a vice ( which is also why I think liquor stores in Utah should be privatized and not operated by the State).

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Shouldn't people have "free agency" to choose to live their life the way they want to?

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Oct. 31, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    If you enact laws to outlaw gambling isn't this a step in the direction of the dreaded liberal "nanny state"? What about the deleterious effects of drugs, alcohol, and payday loans on poor? Why has the writer chosen just gambling to rail against?

    How can protecting people from themselves through government control be consistent with conservative philosophy in general?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 31, 2013 7:06 a.m.

    As others have said

    The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math.

    And, more generally

    Gambling is a tax on the poor.

    In my experience, both are generally true. Are there exceptions? Sure. Well off folks who just gamble a bit for fun (and can stop any time).

    But the trail of broken persons and families show a far more insidious side to the industry. It preys on its players the way the tobacco industry preys on smokers.