Gambling a moral scourge on society

To the editor:

A brochure recently appeared in our mailbox that promotes a “yes” vote for a gambling casino in Danville. It is from Colonial Downs Group that owns Rosie’s Casino in multiple areas. The featured pros are jobs, tourism and fun. City officials tout jobs, taxes, tourism and schools. Similar to the lottery that was passed to “help schools.” How successful has the lottery been in giving Danville better schools??

The brochure further says the referendum vote is to “allow certain types of gaming.” The ploy in the brochure is to “change the name in order to change the image.” The new “casino” is just another place to play another type of game rather than tennis, golf, croquet, baseball, computer, pinball, etc. What harm can another type of “game” do?

The answer is that this “game” mandates gambling! Dictionary definition: “enterprise undertaken or attempted with a risk of loss and a chance of profit.” The problem is that this leads to compulsive gambling, or addiction!

From Mayo “Compulsive gambling, also called gambling disorder, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Gambling means that you’re willing to risk something you value in the hope of getting something of even greater value. Gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system much like drugs or alcohol can, leading to addiction. If you have a problem with compulsive gambling, you may continually chase bets that lead to losses, hide your behavior, deplete savings, accumulate debt, or even resort to theft or fraud to support your addiction. Compulsive gambling is a serious condition that can destroy lives. Although treating compulsive gambling can be challenging, many people who struggle with compulsive gambling have found help through professional treatment.”

There has been a lot of evidence that gambling addiction leads to increase in crime, scams of friends/family (unreported), robbery, misuse (theft) of grocery money, child abuse (“casino kids” left in cars while mom tries to recoup losses), divorce and all sorts of chicanery. Everyone knows about the “opioid crisis” that has swept the U.S. The treatment of gambling addiction at Gamblers Anonymous is said to be less successful than the treatment of alcohol/drug addiction at Alcoholics Anonymous.

Bottom line: Why invite such a neighbor to entice ourselves, our neighbors, our friends, our family our fellow citizens? Let’s all say nay!



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