Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Casinos in Wichita - Why Not?

Gambling, also called gaming is anything but a game. In these so-called games, one party has a very carefully calculated investment with predetermined returns. The losses or pay-outs on these investments are so small that they are hardly even counted. The game is to see how many people can be played so as to throw their own capital against enormous odds.

The game is like watching a cat that has found a mouse. The cat plays with the mouse, biting at it and batting it around until the mouse is so weakened and injured to have nothing left to sacrifice. Then the cat very often walks away to leave the mouse to die a slow and unhappy death.

Only with gaming the cat does not go out hunting mice with which to play, but sets bait in the areas where the mice live. The bait is very seductive and addictive. The bait leads to the place of the “game,” where the gullible mice imagine that they have a chance, convinced by the occasional mouse that escapes with a bit of something to carry away.

Entire communities of mice are persuaded to accept the gaming centers in their communities, either because the centers are built without consulting the mice or because some of the mice work for the fat cats, and are not troubled by watching the demise of their fellow mice.

Such is the situation facing Wichita today. On one side are the fat cats who seek to establish their lucrative gaming facilities in the area. The fat cats include the former mayor and his many “investment partners” and the local and state governments, who hope to use this as a new means of taxing the community. On the other side of the issue are local business owners who know by watching other communities that their businesses will suffer as people spend their incomes at the casinos rather than at local establishments.

Then there are the people, that is, the mice. Many are excited about the opportunity to have more forms of entertainment in their community. They tell themselves that gambling is not the same as stealing, because after all, it is just entertainment with the addition of the hope of a quick increase in income. The fact that their hope for a lucrative adventure is based upon many other people losing is ignored, based upon those people acting upon the same sense of greed.

But what it teaches within the community is that what happens to others is not the concern of those seeking to get ahead themselves. It engenders an attitude and mindset of looking out for oneself without care for one’s neighbors. It says to everyone observing the gaming activities, and especially the young, that the only thing that matters is winning, regardless of the effects that others experience.

Casinos and the acceptance of casinos does impact the community in long term effects.

For an example of what the effects are go to My Lotto Corner. This report declares, “The current formula transfers $80,000 to the Problem Gambling Grant Fund.”

While this may first seem like a generous and humanitarian action, consider what the cause of this need is! If not for legalizing gambling, if not for the state seeking to make money from the gullible, such a fund would not be necessary. The real picture is that the state helps to create gambling addicts who destroy their lives and living through state sponsored gambling, and then justifies the promotion of destruction by a token payback into a “Problem Gambling Grant Fund.”

According to the Kansas Lottery Web Page entitled: Where The Money Goes, “The Lottery's Fiscal Year 2006, which ended June 30, 2006, was the best year in Lottery history with $235 million in sales and $67.1 million transferred to the state.” With a pay out of 56 percent, or 131.6 million dollars, the State and lottery operators hauled in a whopping 103.4 million dollars. This means that 7.73 percent was “donated” to help those who were enticed into acting upon their greedy stupidity and gullibility so as to destroy themselves. This is barely more than the amount spent on administrative expenses.

When this is the publicly displayed attitude concerning the value of human life, what can we expect from the children who grow up observing such a display by the leaders and people of the community? Can we expect them to grow to be citizens who care for their fellow citizens and treat others with respect? Can we expect them to consider it proper to give an honest day’s work for a day’s wages? Can we expect them to reject the notion that selling drugs to children is an acceptable way to make money? Can we expect that their future business dealings will not be designed to take advantage of the elderly and uninformed public?

What do we really support by publicly supporting the gaming industry?

Perhaps in the end it does not really matter, after all, we can always increase the mill levy in support of the schools. That always seems to assuage the conscience for a while. After all, these issues are merely matters of money anyway.

1 comment:

Not Alone +++ PAS said...

By way of an addendum:

When proponents of gambling, be it in the form of lotteries or casinos or slot machines, two primary interests are emphasized. First is the benefits to the community. Second is the entertainment value.

Interestingly, after the gambling mechanism has been approved, the focus of the advertizing changes. How many lottery billboards emphasize the amounts of money that players donate to the lottery operators and to state projects? How many casinos advertize on the radio and TV the amounts of money that people are donating to the casino operators and community?

Truly, it can be argued that there is a certain entertainment factor to gambling. It is much like playing Monopoly. The interest in the “game” and the excitement it generates is exactly the same. So are the results.

People do not play gambling games without the primary focus being upon exacting winnings from others. This is the nature of gambling. This is what gaming promoters highlight, that is, AFTER gaming has been accepted by a community.

Advertisers who promote a product that benefits the purchasers of the product often include “before” and “after” pictures. Sometimes these pictures truly reveal what the product accomplishes. Other times the pictures are carefully chosen to show only some of what is effected by the product. Other times the pictures present an illusion of effects by the lighting or the camera angle or how well the clothing fits.

What really are the “before” and “after” shots that honestly represent this issue?