THE EVILS OF GAMBLING

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THE EVILS OF GAMBLING

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cartoon editorialA FRENCH PROVERB  accurately sums it up:

“Gambling is the son of avarice and the father of despair.”

Gambling is evil for the wrong values it creates. It  reflects greed  in a man that makes him long to get rich quick without honest labor.  Since it is addictive – small time gambling can lead to bigger ones, assuming that one survives the financial drain that plagues habitual gamblers.

Among Asian  nations, the Philippines has one of the lowest savings: GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio. Yet, we are a nation of addicted texters and  many are participants in the illegal gambling games, costing money.

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Even the BSP (Central Bank) and some concerned NGOs are worried that there is indeed  no “financial literacy” among most Filipinos and even OFWs ; they fritter money into otherwise less productive expenditures. For a Third World country,  for instance, we waste billions in  casual texting and useless exchange of meaningless communication. Notice , too, how jueteng thrives in many communities in the country.

Yet setting aside P 50 per day into  genuine savings can- in perhaps  a year or so- make one capable to engage in  a simple buy and sell business, a mini sari sari store, buy a second hand tricycle or banca but we do not.

So before it attracts a multitude who will  make gambling a way of life, it is good to heed the  (87%)voice of the callers in station dyRD’s  “Inyong Alagad” program -stating  their objection to E-Gambling and thus be  a message to City Hall not to listen  to  the three applicants for the  E-game in the city. Needless to say, the Catholic  church frowns upon it.

An American Deputy General in a gambling state in America also once  said:” No one in the history of mankind has developed or operated a gambling firm out of a burning desire to improve the lot of the community.”

It is unlike what the PCSO does, the lotteries’ proceeds are used exclusively for social services for the public  (mostly health-related). Those not run by  the government operates from the pure  private profit motive. And since “the house never loses”, the E- gambling operators will  consequently  siphon more money out of the community than it will ever pay out  for the few winners. That’s Capitalism 101.

At least they are taxed, unlike the illegal jueteng operators.But that is a small comfort.

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That is why Thomas Devar is right  when he quotes: ” No one can endure a gambling husband; unless he is a steady winner.” Because no one can really  be a steady winner or he will put the gambling operator out of business. Gambling could be one of the worst type of social cancer.

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For instance-  one can only drink so much- and  in excess –  one will just  merely collapse from imbibing too much alcohol. Two,  one can always  place limits on how much he pampers his mistress. But a gambler never stops. It  is  monumentally hard for him to walk away when he is winning and even harder to leave the table or E-center when losing – because he wants to recoup.

That is why all of us  have heard of gamblers selling properties, dealing with ” 5-6 ” lenders and neglecting  their families and jobs to attend to the demands of  being a gambler by  choice. The E – gambling has been operating in Panglao and Dauis, two tourist-havens in Bohol, we have heard.

Some tricycle drivers have reportedly missed on their daily contribution to the family table- allured by this game of chance.  Some Panglao island boat men, too, allegedly spend the pre-paid advances of tourists (for island hopping)  and when in a losing situation, cannot remit the same  to the operators. Some of them have to be reportedly physically yanked out of the E-gambling centers to do their jobs- since these are the places  they have unleashed their addiction upon.

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Gambling is indeed addictive and  a study shows  that the suicide rate among gamblers is reportedly 150% higher than the average person  for obvious reasons.

We ask City Hall, therefore,  not to be attracted by the few  prospective taxes  that this low-bet  electronic-gambling business will bring to the coffers of the government but  which , in turn, will  incur great social costs and family ruination in the community.  It would be monumentally better to start  instead a  “Financial Literacy” campaign to the resident  folks  in the city -in cooperation with the many socially-conscious banks.

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In the process, the  newly-educated city folks may yet be able to  use their “savings” as counter part funds for livelihood  financing  that the city or some financial institution  can extend  to them and thus  make businessmen  out of them instead of  they  becoming addicted gamblers for life.

For comments: email to dejarescobingo@yahoo.com or bohol-rd@mozcom.com

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