Evil is the last word many would use to describe gambling, especially when it is legalized in the form of a lottery. When the lottery recently reached a billion dollars, a financial expert appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box admitted she couldn’t resist purchasing a ticket. She didn’t want “to be the only one” that had a chance to win a billion dollars and didn’t take it.
We are seldom content with what we have, and most of us are more prone to greed than to generosity. What we can’t accomplish financially through hard work and honest labor we scheme in our hearts to acquire in some other way. Maybe a distant relative leaves us a fortune, or we find the government owes us money. When we realize those aren’t likely to happen, we take the dollars we have and spend them on a loser’s chance to win.
The facts are well documented that gambling has yet to improve the living conditions or educational systems of the states who have it. The facts are well documented that gambling strengthens syndicated crime and gives an entry point to prostitution and sex trafficking. The facts are well documented that the backbone of gambling is the dollars spent by those who can least afford it. We don’t hear about wasted money, abuse, suicide, broken homes, and financial devastation that is the real story behind the jackpot lotteries and casinos.
In a few months Alabamians will once again address the legalization of the lottery and other forms of gambling. The dream of easy riches pouring into our coffers doesn’t go away, especially when the dream has behind it the media, crime syndicates, and government leaders who put easy dollars before the wellbeing of the poor, the addicted, and children.
Evil never tires of pushing to get its way.