Casino gambling and drinking alcohol ARE fundamentally different

Drinking a glass of wine or a can of beer is fundamentally different than playing a slot machine or buying a $20 lottery scratch ticket:

1) Government does not have a vested interest in how much alcohol citizens drink but government does have a vested interest against its own people when it acts as the “house” in a gambling operation. Citizens need to lose for government to win. We are betting against ourselves.

2) No sip of a Miller Lite has ever offered the false promise of a “life-changing jackpot” or even the lure of paying the bills at the end of the month.

3) While alcohol can be habit-forming, no one has ever compared the potency of its high or the speed at which it addicts people to cocaine – like it has been proven with an intense gambling experience.

4) More than one out of five Americans don’t think the best way to achieve long-term financial security is to drink Budweiser like they do with the lottery.

5) You can’t drink the amount of your paycheck. You can lose not only your paycheck at a casino but you can lose your house as well.

6) When you get behind in gambling, you always think you can get it back. You think, ‘I can’t possibly lose forever” which leads you to chase the money you’ve already lost. You may drink way too much but you never thought alcohol was going to be a solution to your problems. Nor do you “chase” in drinking alcohol like you do with gambling.

7) The guy that owns my local bar room or the package store on the corner is not a billionaire, unlike many casino owners.

8) Most tellingly of all, the vineyard owner drinks his own wine. Jim Koch drinks Sam Adams beer. Most predatory gambling operators don’t gamble.

Unlike the prohibition of alcohol which most citizens regard as a policy failure, the policy of criminalizing commercial gambling was successfully practiced for nearly one hundred years up until the late 20th century when it then became government’s preferred method to fund (unsuccessfully) public services. It too is a major policy failure which is why government needs to get out of the predatory gambling business.

Les Bernal


4 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I've heard similar comparisons

    between smoking and gambling. But with smoking, we’ve long recognized that it’s harmful, and have taken steps to limit it in public places. The result is that less people smoke (I’m one of them), and less people are exposed to second hand smoke. However, with gambling, we recognize that’s it’s harmful… so we justify expanding it across the state so as many people as possible can participate. And just for good measure, we also lift the smoking bans in casinos.

    Thanks for this enlightening post. A copy of it should be e-mailed and faxed to every senator before tomorrow’s ‘debate’.

  2. drunks can't purchase alcohol, but can be served FREE ALCOHOL

    by the Gambling Industry because drunks continue to gamble. (They can also sign their names to ‘loans’ to continue to do so.)

  3. This gambling thing is just wrong.

    It will raise lots of tax revenue from those who cannot afford it and should be using their money to buy basic necessities such as food and clothing. But MA politicians are drooling just thinking of all the money they’ll be able to spend. Seriously, do rich people go to casinos? We’re talking about state organizations which had specifically targeted poor areas for advertisemnt.

    Don’t allow gambling in MA!

    • We should make a rule that gambling has to be revenue neutral

      That way it can still provide the jobs and fun, but it should have to be fair, where the house doesn’t make money, and returns ALL of the money bet to the bettors.

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Fri 28 Apr 3:55 PM