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The Tragic Cancer of Gambling

Much of this website info on gambling (especially video poker) was "hot" in 2000, but it is "dated" now...but still highly valuable to those who are unaware of the constant threat of gambling to our society. And the drum still beats to resurrect video poker, the most destructive & victimizing form of gambling! As of May 2012, I have realized that there is (1) risk in most things that we do and (2) none of us are without our private sin (at the VERY least, sins of omission). I have faced the fact that "regulation" is more often than not, and actual failure. And, when regulations outlaw things that many people want to do, activities are driven underground where those involved have little or no legal protection. So, rather than the following being my wish for all gambling to be outlawed, I want to warn that the risk of addictive gambling is likely much higher than anyone will ever admit. Remember, our governments run state gambling lotteries; and please no that stock speculation, futures speculation, gold speculation, real estate speculation, and even the buying of property or starting a business with loans is speculation and gambling that you will be able to come out ahead or pay loans off. Governments use the lotteries as a secret tax on the lower classes. If the rich lose in their gambling, one could say that a form of income redistribution just happened.

In a 25 July 2012 "op ed" piece, guest columnist, Drew McKissick warns of the Dec. 2012 federal re-interpretation of the federal Wire Act that now throws the door open for governments to harvest money (hidden, voluntary taxation) from the very folks who can least afford it, HERE.

In her 12/1/08 letter to the editor protesting S. C.  Senator Robert Ford's desire to open the lottery laws to video poker, Jennifer Read (Indigo Journal editor) pointed out that the lion's share of players (solicited victims) are the poor & uneducated...the very social strata that the state of S. C. seeks to aid with all sorts of social safety net programs. And I would point out that those same folk regularly need private charitable help from Harvest Hope Food Bank, L. I. C. S., Salvation Army, Oliver Gospel Mission and countless others who do not need their resources stretched thinner by the misguided "solutions" of our elected & civic leaders. Amazing that a black man (Sen. Ford) would sanction & even promote self-destructive activities which previously decimated so many low income black folks (I wonder what his motive is)!

In July 2008, Newberry County council leaders wanted an advisory referendum on the fall ballot as to whether voters want to bring video poker back (The State newspaper 7/29/08 front page). Some say that it clearly cannot be brought back & that this is simply a ploy by democrats to get more of their voters to the polls. In Kevin Cohen's "Afternoon Drive"  (WVOC 560) talk show that day, I was shocked at how enthusiastic he was that video poker come back so that others (suckers) would pay his taxes (because Kevin will not gamble)!!!

By 2007, the "take" by S. C. of its "education lottery" is in a downhill slide.

In 2004 there began a new angle/attempt to lure people into gambling addiction [high stakes video bingo on Indian lands].

In 2000, South Carolinians were in a heated battle to outlaw video poker gambling. And The State newspaper was playing a big & positive publicity role in exposing the dire consequences. We were headed to a November 2000 vote. Behind the scenes, an outstanding lawyer, Richard Gergel, was heading toward a state Supreme Court showdown and won against video poker. Days before the vote, the court declared video poker unconstitutional in S. C. But S. C. was subsequently suckered into creating a state-run "education lottery" that exists as of 2007 [in spite of heavy negative evidence]. Why should our government get into gambling (except as a new, hidden tax source)?

16 March 2001, WARNING: Though outlawed in 2000, video poker liars and thieves are still at it...secretly! We had heard of it a week prior from the brother of a bar owner in South Carolina. The State (newspaper), today, ran a piece about SLED confiscating illegal video machines with a game called "Domino Pete". The game we had heard of was another. Both allow the secret payment of money owed due to video game winnings.

Important rule of thumb: Many years ago in the 1990s, the state of S. C. declined the opportunity to regulate the video poker industry. The major error in thinking was to even consider that thieves & liars could be regulated  (because thieves can't be regulated). It is only theoretically possible to regulate honest, rules-following citizens. The U. S. Constitution will not protect a basically dishonest citizenry. The U. S. Constitution was created for, and banked/banks on, a mostly honest citizenry!!!!

 

STATE-RUN LOTTERIES/GAMBLING REQUIRE GOVERNMENT DO TWO WRONG THINGS:

  • PROVIDE THE "GAMES"; and,
     
     
     
  • INDUCE PEOPLE TO PLAY;.................resulting in,
      
     
  • the desire of "THE GAMBLING INTERESTS" to buy control of GOVERNOR & LEGISLATORS 

 

STATE-RUN LOTTERIES, therefore, MAKE ADDICTS OF THE GOVERNMENT & POLITICIANS!!

"Going For Broke": though not now posted on-line, in 2001 you could read on the S. C. Policy Council website how lottery-derived  Georgia funding was already being shifted to make ends meet, etc!

VIDEO POKER IS DIFFERENT...HURTS OTHERS THE MOST

AND, state-run lotteries can use the video-poker model!!

A Review of state schemes and upcoming influence of internet on state lotteries

For every two children going to college, [check it]
1 starts "down the [gambling] tube".........Rev. Darby warns about depending on legislature [check it] to do blacks right


On 22 August 1999, I got a shock [a state-wide vote to end video poker was just over a month away; state Supreme court abolished it before the vote] about video poker by way of a discussion in our small Sunday School classroom within a church of about 3000 members. The class consisted of 6 families (10 persons) and one visitor. One man told us that he had just changed his mind about video poker; another had, too. The visitor added her story. Such shocks within the circles of such a small group!! Read these stories, note the factual items, and then check out the punch line at the end!!!!!!
 

  • college sophomore: Two weeks ago, by mistake, our classmate opened his son's bank statement. There were multiple $50-$65 service station debits. Turned out that the son had started a video poker habit. This father confessed to a previous "live and let live" attitude about gambling. He will vote NO! on November 2nd!
     
     
  • business associate: Another classmate nearly lost a key sales presentation several weeks ago. His associate in North Carolina, a known problem video gambler hadn't answered pages or calls by midnight prior to the next morning's presentation. He had been a known patron of HotRods, at South of The Border, just across the NC-SC state line. His losses were so bad that his wife kept all credit cards if he ever was scheduled close to S. C. But South Carolina passed a law for a $125 payout video poker "cap" in late July or earl August 1999. Husband and wife thought it now safe to make business trips to S. C. with credit cards. WRONG! He stopped at HotRods for a quick play. An employee slyly let him know that, as a known patron, he could win as much money as possible...don't pay any attention to that payout cap! [This is typical. Though being at risk for fines, gambling establishments and employees are not enforcers of laws and are well known to ignore the law.] After $22,000 in losses, he was not in good shape for the presentation the next day.
     
     
  • secretary embezzles: Our lady visitor then mentioned a close friend who owns a business in Vero Beach, Fla. He caught his secretary of seven years in an embezzlement scheme that had cost his company $200,000! The reason? Video poker addiction... 

Thanks to The State, one of South Carolina's daily newspapers, for the following perspective (from editorial page, 12 Sept. 1999, sect. D page 2). Q: Freedom being so precious, why should one vote to empower the government to ban video poker, lotteries, and other gambling? [What about the tobacco-related problems and deaths, alcohol-related problems and deaths, and other problems and deaths from "vices"?] A: Here's why...
 

  • USA traditionally against legalized gambling:
    until 1973, only Nevada allowed commercial gambling and only 7 others allowed state-run lotteries. Historic precedent against it. It became legalized in S. C. through a senator's (Jack Lindsey...deceased) lie to the legislature about an amendment he slipped into a 1000 page state budget bill (this lie for the benefit of Alan Schafer, owner of "South of The Border"). Gambling lies its way into a state and lawsuits the state into confusion thereafter. The camel's head has come under the tent.
     
     
  • Video poker exacts huge financial costs from taxpayers:
     > through the addicts entire family being plunged into poverty and forced onto welfare rolls.
     > crimes committed by gamblers to support addiction: more police, prosecution, court, and jail expense.
     > public expenses of divorce of addicted and problem gamblers.
     > public expenses of bankruptcies of addicted and problem gamblers.
      
     
  • Political system damage:
    To keep their scam and con of the public going, gambling interests must seek nothing less than real control of the government through "ownership" of elected officials and government employees. This denies ALL citizens the freedom of an independent and uncorrupted government.
     
     
  • the "slippery slope" against our freedom:
    Since the gambling interests key tactic is to do whatever it takes (see above) to pass a favorable law and then manipulate the legal system (the courts) to keep it in and spread it, they take you from a non-slippery arena (law-making) where each issue (video poker, car taxes, alcohol, smoking laws) is decided on its own merits by people voted in by a majority to an arena (the judicial system) which is indeed a slippery slope which they can manipulate [read a shocking example] into their favor because judicial findings are based on layer upon layer of previous legal opinions by people (judges) that the voters did not directly elect by a majority. [check out a prime example noted in the State newspaper]
     

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SOME GAMBLING FACT ITEMS:

  • LOTTERIES ARE HIGHLY ADDICTIVE: 43% of callers to a national gambling addiction hotline reported problems with lottery gambling.
    Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey...1996 report.
     
  • LOTTERIES ARE HIGHLY ADDICTIVE: Further, lottery operations must engage in increasingly aggressive marketing strategies to encourage people to continue gambling despite overwhelming odds. A recent national survey of gamblers at lottery outlets found that more than 9% had a significant gambling problem.
    National Opinion Research Center, "Gambling Impact and Behavior Study" 1999.
     
  • LOTTERIES LURE TEENS INTO GAMBLING: The NGISC reported, "Although illegal in every state, the sale of lottery tickets to minors nevertheless occurs with a disturbing frequency." For instance, nearly half of 7th graders in Massachusetts have played the lottery (NGISC). According to the National Research Council (1999), teens are 3 times more likely than adults to developed a gambling addiction. 
  • GAMBLING INDOCTRINATION OF SCHOOL-CHILDREN: A survey of Massachusetts' youth found that 47% of seventh graders have purchased lottery tickets; 75% have done so by the time they are seniors in high school.
    Howard Shaffer, Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling, Jan. 1997.
     
  • AFRICAN-AMERICANS HARDEST HIT: The Quinn-Pike study showed that the problem-gambler rate was twice that of the public in general. And Warren Bolton (an African-American), the State newspaper writer, notes that 10% of the purchasing power of the entire black population of South Carolina is being put into video poker machines by our African-American video poker players!!! 
  • EDUCATION, TAX LIE: On average, lottery states spend less of their budget on education than states without lotteries.
    Money Magazine, May 1996.
     
  • EDUCATION, TAX LIE: "We have been hurt by our lottery. The State has simply replaced general revenues with lottery money at a time when [school] enrollments are increasing. It's a shell game."
    Spokesman for the Florida Education Association, the local school employees Union. Money Magazine May 1996.
     
  • TAX LURE, ELECTED OFFICIALS SALIVATE: South Carolina takes in $61 million in gambling revenue annually.
    Dr. William Thompson, Executive Summary, 1997.
     
  • IT's BIG MONEY: Video poker was a $2 billion "industry" in South Carolina in 1996, and grew over 40% during the next year.
    S.C. Department of Revenue, Feb. 1998.
     
  • THEY LIE...MONEY LEAVES THE STATE: But, over 50% of the revenue from video poker LEAVES the regional areas of South Carolina.
    Dr. William Thompson. University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "A Research Report on Regulation of Machine Gambling in South Carolina" Nov. 1997.
     
  • VIDEO POKER HIGHLY ADDICTIVE: Of all the players who have ever played video poker devices, 39% play 2 or more times a week, 13% play 4 or more times a week, and 6% play every day. Is there any wonder that the gambler world wants to put their machines up so badly? Anything that can addict so strongly to a "game" guaranteed to make the "player" lose but promising the big win must be the delight of the world of owners dedicated to making crooked money! So addicted to such a losing cause, can one doubt that the following tragically and massively negative results would be reaped?
    Dr. Cathy Pike and Dr. Frank Quinn. "Preliminary Report of The Quinn-Pike Video Gaming Study" 22 Dec. 1997.
     
  • CRIME INCREASES: Studies show that 3 out of 5 compulsive gamblers engage in CRIMINAL activity to support their gambling.
    Earl Grinois, Economist, University of Illinois, in written testimony before the committee on small business, U.S. House of representatives, Sept 1994.
     
  • AND THE CRIME COSTS US: It is conservatively estimated that increased crime generated from video poker imposes a $34 million annual additional price tag on S.C. taxpayers.
    Dr. William Thompson, Executive Summary, 1997.
     
  • CROOKS INDUCE EVERYONE ILLEGALLY: About 78% of players in 1996 received illegal inducements to continue playing (inducements such as promises of illegally high payouts or on-site alcohol consumption). Gambling bosses beg for state because they know that they can't/won't BE regulated...they will simply ignore the regulations. Remember: people making their money in vices won't be honest!
    Cathy Pike and Dr. Frank Quinn. "Preliminary Report of The Quinn-Pike Video Gaming Study" Dec. 1997.
     
  • CROOKS LURE THE POOR: The poorer the household, the greater the percentage of income devoted to gambling on lotteries.
    Charles Clotfelter and Philip Cook, Duke Univ., Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America. 1991.
     
  • CROOKS LURE THE POOR: In Georgia in 1993, in ZIP codes with median household income below $20,000, the lottery sold $249 worth of tickets per resident, Compared to $97 in ZIP codes with income exceeding $40,000.
    Charles Watson, "Has the gamble paid off?" Atlanta Journal and Constitution. June 26, 1994.
     
  • GAMBLING COSTS ALL TAXPAYERS: For every dollar the state receives from gambling revenues, tax payers must pay in an additional minimum of $3 of new taxes to cover the ADDITIONAL COST incurred by gambling.
    Dr. John Kindt. University of Illinois.
     
  • GAMBLING COSTS ALL TAXPAYERS: The estimated annual COST to the public of the average pathological gambler is $13,200 per gambler.
    Rachel Volberg, chair, research committee for the National Council on Problem Gambling
     
  • GAMBLING COSTS ALL TAXPAYERS: The compulsive gamblers addicted to video poker in South Carolina brings a PRICE TAG of $45 million annually.
    Dr. William Thompson, Executive Summary, 1997.
     
  • GAMBLING COSTS ALL TAXPAYERS: The inherent characteristics of legal gambling activities almost invariably create pressure for TAX INCREASES.
    Dr. John Kindt, Arkansas Law Review. 1995.
     
  • GAMBLING COSTS ALL TAXPAYERS: Over the past 5 years, state taxes...the tax "take"... in states with lotteries increased 21.7%, while in states without lotteries, tax revenues increased only 7.2%.
    Money Magazine, May 1996.
     
  • GAMBLING COSTS ALL TAXPAYERS: In South Carolina the combined social costs of gambling are very conservatively estimated at $80 million.
    State of South Carolina Governor's Executive Budget. Fiscal year 1998-1999.
     
  • GAMBLING COSTS ALL TAXPAYERS: Said comprehensively in another way, the annual direct crime costs and the direct regulatory cost of US compulsive gamblers is equivalent to our nation suffering an additional Hurricane Andrew (the most costly natural disaster in the history of the United States) every year--FOREVER!!!!!
    Earl Grinois, Sept. 1994.
     
  • PROBLEM GAMBLERS, FAMILY TRAGEDIES: At least 20% ( 1 in 5 ) of all video gambling players in South Carolina (an even worse ratio among African Americans) are PROBLEM gamblers.
    Cathy Pike and Dr. Frank Quinn. "Preliminary Report of The Quinn-Pike Video Gaming Study" Dec. 1997.
     
  • PROBLEM GAMBLERS, FAMILY TRAGEDIES: The reported figure for teenagers who are PATHOLOGICAL gamblers is double that of adults.
    Earl Grinois. Sept. 1994.
     
  • PROBLEM GAMBLERS, FAMILY TRAGEDIES: In 1993, Gamblers Anonymous had 8 chapters in South Carolina. In 1997 that number had risen to 27. [note a sad case example, possibly salvaged, published 26 Sept. 1999]
    Gamblers anonymous Directory. 1997.
     
  • PROBLEM GAMBLERS, FAMILY TRAGEDIES: Stated another way, as of 1996, South Carolina endured a cost to communities of: 19,000 compulsive gamblers at an annual cost of $6,299.00 each; and a cost on 31,000 problem gamblers of $3,338.00 each...a total NEGATIVE traceable and calculable financial impact of over $223 million. [note a tragic case example of ruin of a pre-med student...the State newspaper 2 Oct. '99]
    William Thompson and Frank Quinn, "An Economic Analysis of Machine Gambling in South Carolina." May 1999 (while they no longer post the report on line, you may be able to obtain a copy from the
    S. C. Policy Council
     
  • Postlude to Defeat of Video Poker: Frank Quinn and Randall Bridwell have produced a 164 page update report dealing with the mingling of politics, the law, gambling and addiction...reported on the front page of the 20 May 2003 The State newspaper. 


Postlude to Defeat of Video Poker:
Frank Quinn and Randall Bridwell have produced a 164 page update report dealing with the mingling of politics, the law, gambling and addiction...reported on the front page of the 20 May 2003 The State newspaper.
 


SUMMARY POINT


The Wall Street Journal (2 Dec. 1997), referring to video poker in South Carolina, calls it "...a multibillion dollar industry that now afflicts the state's soul". So bad is the community destruction from video poker that the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce took an extraordinary position. Chairwoman, Paula Harper Bethea, issued a press release on 19 August 1999 that...to protect the pro-business climate in South Carolina and the economic future of her citizens...the 41 member Chamber Board of Directors voted unanimously to take an active role to educate citizenry as to why to vote against the state-wide video poker referendum on 2 November 1999. The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce represented over 2,300 members in 1999. There is no way this organization would risk its reputation and influence by taking such a position unless it were a very present danger to the greater business community. That makes it a great danger to every citizen! Folks...these business people don't vote "whims"; they vote on hard evidence! Take note! 

Video poker is the crack cocaine of gambling! By the way, would someone, anyone, let me know of any person who has won and actually paid off a car, a truck, or a house; I've never heard of such and neither has anyone else. Video poker is "legalized" theft...the players are conned into giving their money away (it is stolen by "con") under the guise of a "fair" game!

CLICK HERE (S. C. Information Highway):
MAIL AND/OR E-MAIL CONTACT ADDRESSES, ELECTED STATE of S. C. OFFICIALS

 

To register to vote or to check out ballot wordings, check at SCVotes!

  • "The State," one of South Carolina's daily newspapers, has lead they way strongly in notifying citizens of the dangers of video poker. I commend them greatly!! [note a sad case example published 26 Sept. 1999]
  • Dr. Cathy Pike and Dr. Frank Quinn. "Preliminary Report of The Quinn-Pike Video Gaming Study" 22 Dec. 1997.
    [http://www.poptop.hypermart.net/qpvpoker.html]
     
     
  • William Thompson and Dr. Frank Quinn, "An Economic Analysis of Machine Gambling in South Carolina." May 1999 (you may be able to obtain a copy from the S. C. Policy Council). 
     
     
  • see David Plotz' sensational article, "Busted Flush: South Carolina's video-poker operators run a political machine", pages 63-72, Harper's Magazine, Aug. 1999. [check it out] 
  • The research section, gambling area, of Palmetto Family Council web site contains more. 
  • Focus on The Family web site has a number of research reports (go to website, then "social issues", then gambling. 
  • The massive documentation, reports, etc. of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission (NGISC) are available on-line. 
  • Legacy Alliance is the legislative action network arm of the Palmetto Family Council & previously had stuff at their website. 
  • South Carolina Policy Council  & previously had stuff at their website. 
  • Friends for South Carolina was an organization involved against video poker. 
  • The South Carolina Center For Gambling Studies, Dr. Frank Quinn, isponsored a workshop with a faculty of internationally renowned problem-gambling experts at Columbia College on
    15 October 1999, 8:30am [for info and registration, click here]
     

GAMBLING IS ONE OF MANY THINGS PROHIBITED BY GOD (for our own protection)

 

 

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(reposted 23 August 1999; latest addition 30 July 2012)