When you think about it, most nurseries already have craps tables.

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

My favorite comment so far in the Economist debate.

At the time I am writing, there is 53% of the debate’s participants that think that there should be NO legal restrictions on gambling. So I conclude that for Radley Balko and 53% of the participants the following points are not very important problems in comparison with the benefits that society can get from a lack of restrictions or with the sacrosanct idea of freedom.

If there are no restrictions, I think that there are going to be special slots machines for kids in front of every school and a large amount of money to spend in advertising gambling to children. A lot of children are going to become gambling addicts and the gambling industry is going to make a lot of money when they grow up and began earning money. Besides, gambling is going to depreciate the value of money in their minds. 10 euros is nothing because if you are lucky you can win 1,000,000 euros or more by gambling these 10 euros… but in real life 10 euros is more than 1 hour of hard work in a lot of developed countries or 10 days of toil in others.

I grew up in the country side of France and I was 22 when I first entered a casino with some previous exposure to the dangers of gambling. Then, I haven’t become an addict and have gambled less than 3 times in the 8 following years. Now I am living in Colombia where they don’t have the means to tightly control gambling. I can see slot machines in every small grocery in the working-class suburbs where I live and who is gambling? Adults, but also 12 year-olds that seem to be already addicted. When I see that, I assure you that I am happy to have grown up in a country that have the means and the rules to not show me these slot machines when I was that age.

But for Radley Balko, these problems don’t seem very important and I am just amazed that 53% of the participants think like him…

I’m fine with letting elementary school-age children gamble, but only if they’re also legally permitted to drink. It would be cruel to let them wager away their allowance, but then deny them the sweet, melancholy ritual of drowning their sorrows in beer.

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35 Responses to “When you think about it, most nurseries already have craps tables.”

  1. #1 |  PogueMahone | 

    I was first exposed to gambling when I was five years old.
    I think it went something like this…
    “Hey, I’ll bet you your Milk Duds that you can’t jump that curb with your Big Wheel.”

    Those were some tasty Milk Duds. I’m lucky to have not fallen into the mire of habitual gambling.

    Seriously though… WTF????

  2. #2 |  Stephen | 

    Almost sounded like sarcasm.

  3. #3 |  kant | 

    OMG THINK OF THE CHILDREN!! WHY WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?!

  4. #4 |  Marty | 

    I can’t wait for the 8 yo cigarette girl to come back around…

  5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

    The earlier people get past their addictions, the sooner they can get on with a normal life. I say start them out as soon as they learn to walk.

  6. #6 |  leviramsey | 

    To say nothing of allowing the kiddies to shoot up some smack.

  7. #7 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Gambling will literally be like taking candy from a baby.

    Once again, I see no downside.

  8. #8 |  tb | 

    Then, I haven’t become an addict and have gambled less than 3 times in the 8 following years.

    Wait, what?. I thought gambling was some all-consuming disease that no one could escape.

  9. #9 |  JS | 

    “But for Radley Balko, these problems don’t seem very important and I am just amazed that 53% of the participants think like him…”

    That soo sounded just like Rudi Giuliani when Ron Paul pointed out the reason we were attacked on 9-11 was not because of our freedom.

  10. #10 |  Mattocracy | 

    People are always such extremists. “You don’t think we outlaw gambling. Then you must think children should be doing this! Only possible answer!”

    How can anyone take themselves seriously saying something so juvenile.

  11. #11 |  Wesley | 

    IF YOU LEGALIZE COCAINE THERE WILL BE KIDS BUYING IT AT 7/11

    Wait, is this about gambling? Sorry, insert a “_______” instead of cocaine and just pass the form around to the strawman-loving paternalists.

  12. #12 |  Salvo | 

    So…much…fail….

  13. #13 |  InMD | 

    I voted for you Radley but personally I think that the whole debate creates a false dichotomy. I’m in favor of legalized gambling. That doesn’t mean I’m against any and all regulations on gambling. It’s the same way I feel about drugs. I think drugs should be legalized in a way that treats them largely like alcohol with age requirements and rational rules regarding distribution. I’d leave the specifics up to states and localities. Similarly while I think gambling should be legalized I don’t think that has to mean allowing a total free for all. The fact that it’s stupid to prosecute and push underground adults for doing what they want with their money doesn’t automatically mean it’s acceptable to let the gambling industry set up casinos wherever they want and let in whoever they want.

  14. #14 |  BrentM | 

    if we outlaw everything children could abuse there would be nothing left. except church and school but of course, church and school do more harm to kids than anything. there would be no 9/11 if it weren’t for religion.

  15. #15 |  Michael Chaney | 

    When I was 10 or so I was gambling at the carnival each year at our town in the quarter bulldozer machine. Of course, that’s as much a game of skill, as I used to clean them out mercilessly.

  16. #16 |  ASPECTRATIO | 

    Funny how the mere mention of ‘nurseries’ and ‘craps tables’ brings the term ‘Breitbart’ to mind of late.

  17. #17 |  awp | 

    I really hope that you point out that once you remove your opponents moral posturing, straw-men, and anecdotes (Oh my god all our grannies are going to become bank robbing gambling addicts), his only real argument is the rather Orwellian notion that government must restrict our freedom for us to be free.

    “Commercial gambling promoters attempt to elude charges of exploitation by pleading it is a “voluntary” act. But the business model for casinos and lotteries only works if our government takes away the freedom of millions of Americans.”

  18. #18 |  Sky | 

    Have you been drinking Radley? You really shouldn’t post when you’ve been drinking. :)

  19. #19 |  andrew | 

    I lived in japan for 4 years when i was 9-13, a lot of my friends gambled since it was everywhere and fun! Heck even the school I went to used to do carnival type things with gambling. None of us have become gamblers. Clearly I conclude that exposure to gambling as a youth leads to no gambling later on in life.

  20. #20 |  Bob | 

    Perhaps if the people running the debate had better clarified WHAT was being debated, that would have, well, clarified things.

    People are not clairvoyant.

  21. #21 |  AJ Nock | 

    Actually a slot machine and a video game machine are often both made by the same manufacturers. Pac Man isn’t going to give you any quarters back and neither is the poker machine. It is a sad fact in countries rich and poor that many are addicted to a higher cost lifestyle than they have the means to support. The good or service is irrelevant. Many are deeply in debt for too expensive car payments, too large of a house, overly extravagant furnishings, clothing, vacations. You can’t use the force of state to make people realize the superior pleasure of living within their means.

  22. #22 |  CC | 

    Clearly that guy has never been to Chuck E. Cheese, which always has lots of games of skill where if you’re successful you get tickets that can be exchanged for prizes. The atmosphere is really, really, Vegas-like.

  23. #23 |  Mark S. | 

    You just don’t understand the abuse a tween can dish out after a bender.

  24. #24 |  JS | 

    awp “I really hope that you point out that once you remove your opponents moral posturing, straw-men, and anecdotes (Oh my god all our grannies are going to become bank robbing gambling addicts), his only real argument is the rather Orwellian notion that government must restrict our freedom for us to be free.”

    Wins thread!

  25. #25 |  Neil | 

    Ironically, One of the ads on the same page (right bar) advertises help for gambling addiction, it says “Gambling Addiction Hurts. Williamsville Wells heals”. Is it google ads? I assume the ad was chosen by an automated service that looked at a few keyword of the article. That most amusing result of that I’ve seen was on a rather anti-Muslim article on a conservative website, was an ad on the same page for a Muslim dating site.

    Your article reminded me to vote.

  26. #26 |  Len | 

    Young children don’t generally have enough money to be a useful gambling demographic.

  27. #27 |  Nick T. | 

    Love it: I’m fine with letting elementary school-age children gamble, but only if they’re also legally permitted to drink.

    Kind of like : Gay Marriage is OK…. as long as they are of the same race!

  28. #28 |  B8ovin | 

    BrentM: if we outlaw everything children could abuse there would be nothing left. except church and school

    BUT, if we put slot machines in churches and schools it would greatly improve the experience for children. As someone who went to both church and school (both against my better judgment and will) I am speaking from experience.

  29. #29 |  StevefromOhio | 

    “So I conclude that for Radley Balko and 53% of the participants the following points are not very important problems in comparison with the benefits that society can get from a lack of restrictions or with the sacrosanct idea of freedom.”

    This is where he starts to go wrong. We don’t advocate legalization because such an action may provide benefits for a society as a whole. We legalize because the individual has a right to perform an action regardless of its benefits to society. Me taking a piss doesn’t benefit society. It benefits nobody but myself. Potential benefits to society shouldn’t be a consideration in determining whether to “allow” certain actions. The criteria should be “does this action negatively effect society?” If we prohibited every action that didn’t result in a positive benefit to society we wouldn’t be allowed to do much of anything.

  30. #30 |  Liberty Belle | 

    Has this dude never been to Chuck E. Cheese’s? That place is a training ground for gambling addiction.

  31. #31 |  DPirate | 

    He is forgetting that children regularly gamble without regard to law as it is. Or hasn’t he ever played marbles, or mumbledy-peg (not that we allow them to have pocketknives anymore). They lose all their marbles and go home crying. Sounds like a good anti-gambling lesson to me.

  32. #32 |  Pete Guither | 

    As a kid, I travelled with a Boys Choir. We weren’t allowed to play cards for money, so we played for sticks of gum. Pots regularly would get as high as 500 sticks. There was also quite an entrepreneurial business set up on the bus by some of the kids selling gum to the losers — the price, of course, going up dramatically when we were far from a store break.

  33. #33 |  Brian | 

    I’d prefer to see more skilled gambling–at least that requires thought and is good for people’s brains, if not their wallets. Or social gambling. More poker, craps, and blackjack; less slot machines.

    Pretty much all adult chess tournaments have cash prizes, and I was playing in such tournaments as a kid (by adult tournaments, I mean tournaments open to adults, as opposed to scholastic tournaments that are limited to children and always give out worthless trophies). What a terrible exploitation that was!

  34. #34 |  Steven | 

    “B-b-b-but think of the children!”
    That’s how you know you’ve won.

  35. #35 |  Phil | 

    I would like to see a ban put in place on poor articles and blog posts, I don’t see what people have against gambling as it generally runs through the core of everyone’s lives. Most people take risks in life, risks that can go wrong or right. Most people who gamble enjoy it. As for gambling addiction, yes this is a problem. We don’t ban Burger King because their are a fair few fat 10 year olds about these days, we promote responsible eating, just as we should promote responsbile gambling, or responsible porn viewing. Everything is fine in moderation.

    Phil

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