GAMBLING, GAMING, AND GOING BROKE
How have so many wonderful community programs become lovers of gambling? Well, maybe not loving gambling, but tolerating it? For the money, of course. But how is it that serious social needs like crime prevention, senior programs, youth programs, animal shelters, arts, health foundations, and many other social programs came to be dependent upon gambling? Most of us know by now that gambling is a serious health risk for a significant number of people, one that too often leaves them destitute and suicidal. And it is upon this suffering and death of some of our members that we as communities have been made to accept from a government that promised not to expand gambling, to bringing in the most addictive and insidious form of gambling…internet gambling.
The Campbell government operates like a dope pusher in the matter of gambling. First, they expose citizens concerned about the health of their communities to a small easy fix of a bit of money for social programs derived from restricted gambling with the promise of more to come. Later, a little more money from a little wider expansion of gambling. Even later, more gambling money for community programs from a continuous expansion of gambling until there is a steady stream of money for community programs from an all out gambling industry with the Campbell government in tow. Finally, the time arises when communities are so dependent on gambling money that citizens can no longer protest or even debate the moral implications of gambling. How can we with so many community programs now riding on this flow of money? But now that the Campbell government is cutting out all (or mostly all) of the programs that benefit from gambling, it does demonstrate how little the members of this government care for citizens.
But if these cuts hold, then it’s a good time to shove Gordon Campbell’s slot machines in his face. As the provincial government now gets all (mostly all) the benefits from gambling then let them wear the shame of coercing communities into accepting gambling money as being healthy and legitimate when in reality they know, and once actually said so, that funds from gambling have always been tainted money because of the lives it destroys. We pay taxes for our social programs, for health and education that includes art, seniors and children’s centres, and crime prevention. We want all of these things and we should have them, with clean money, with tax money, our own money, and we want the Campbell government to stop giving our tax money away to the biggest, sickest, slickest gamblers in town who are gambling non-stop, not only with our money, but with our natural resources. Who am I talking about specifically? Olympic promoters come to mind? Betty Krawczyk