Friday, August 9, 2013

Gaming

I notice the Powerball jackpot got up there in the stratosphere again and some people won it in a couple of states.  That's all well and good.  I am against the lotteries. I have always considered them nothing but a regressive tax on the poor.  That's because the overwhelming majority of those playing them are the people who can least afford to do so.  There's also a second issue that they cost a lot to operate. The terminals, tamper proof tickets, computers, etc. mean that, after expenses, these state run lotteries don't generate all that much for the causes they supposedly champion.  Alas, most states don't agree with me.
 
Strangely, I actually favor legalized casino gambling.  People are going to gamble. They like gambling.  And they might as well have a safe legal place to do so.  In Colorado we have a limited number of casinos in select old mining towns. I never go to them.  Most casino bets are sucker bets. They didn't build these things to lose money.  Still, when viewed as recreation, I don't object to them. And they are still a much better opportunity to profit than lotteries are.  The odds for lottery payouts are generally far less than getting struck by lightning or eaten by a shark.   Sadly, most major winners of lotteries don't manage their winnings very well and a fair number of them wind up bankrupt.  If I were to win, which is unlikely since I don't play, my biggest dread is that most states parade you in front of the news media where your name address and picture are broadcast to every crook, con artist and crippled orphan in the known universe.  At least in a Las Vegas casino, if you win something they pay you and you can go about your anonymous life. Win the lottery and the life you knew will be shattered.

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