Once you’ve been a gambler for a while, you spend just as much time looking at the business of gambling as much as you look at the actual bets and games to play. We recently read an article in the Irish Independent Online about the rise of gambling advertising. The article actually references a recent deal between RTE and Boylesports, expanding gambling’s reach in the public eye. This concerns the journalist greatly, but we strongly disagree with the overall tone of the article. As actual players, we figured that our opinion should be equally heard.
Whether we’re talking about playing slots for real money or bingo or even making a few bets on the horses, one thing is clear: this is an entertainment industry. People can shut it, make laws around it, and otherwise decry it. But you know what will happen? People will find some way to risk money. The thrill of it is what gets people excited.
Is there a serious issue with gambling addiction? Certainly. But there’s also issues with alcohol and tobacco consumption as well. If we made those things illegal, people would find ways to get them.
You cannot legislate morality in any way, shape or form. It just won’t work, and all it will do is end up alienating a large part of the population that does enjoy making reasonable bets.
It’s the height of disrespect to assume that everyone who is at an online casino or placing bets on a game is putting their family in jeopardy. We’ve been fans of responsible gaming form the beginning. If you know that you have a problem, you need to make sure that you can get help for that problem. It’s really that simple. Gambling addiction is a scary experience that can indeed leave families impoverished. But your average punter knows how much they can put on the games, and how much they need to put on their flat rent.
Gambling is great entertainment. Not everyone has the desire or ability to go out for a night on the town. Have you seen how much the restaurants charge these days for decent food? Have you looked at what concert prices are going for? This is one of the few forms of entertainment that lets you make back a little of what you’ve put in. Is that exciting for some people? You can count on it.
It will be interesting to see what the anti-gambling side has to say in the coming weeks and months, given that we’re going right into the holiday season. But for their sakes, I hope that they realize that they still get to enjoy the tax revenue from these major gambling corporations, despite their moral dispute. How ironic.