Friday, April 10, 2009

What If The Children See?

Apparently there's turmoil in Maryland over a plan to build some sort of slot machine "gambling parlor... next to a mall popular with families." Would this be acceptable if the mall were unpopular with families? I mean, really.

Are we going to ban billboards for gambling, "adult entertainment" and the like from highways that are "popular with families"? Ban lottery tickets from gas stations frequented by families? Ban school raffles and church bingo? Really - once you make the decision that gambling's cool and can raise lots of tax money, why fret over whether you can see a gambling establishment from... I guess parts of the parking lot of one of our nation's many giant, indoor temples of consumerism.

Is the concern that the few gamblers who actually turn a profit against a field of "one armed bandits" will skip over to the mall, where awe-struck children will immediately recognize that they're spending gambling winnings and yearn for the day when they, also, have that many quarters to spend?

Seriously, if legalized gambling is as horrible and corrupting as the editorial suggests, why limit it to racetracks - why should there even be racetracks or state lotteries? And if it's not, why so uptight about the kiddies figuring out that people gamble?

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