Digger Cartwright - My Own Words
Author | Industrialist | Philanthropist
7 Stupid Issues in America Today - Issue #6 Gambling
7 Stupid Issues in America Today
Americans and the media regularly debate a host of social, moral, and religious issues. It is alarming to
see the emotion that many individuals have invested in these issues. Clearly, emotions have clouded
the rational judgment and logic of these individuals. It is good to be passionate about what you believe
in, but such passion is a detriment when trying to work to solve the problems of America and society
and often leads to divisiveness and animosity towards those with opposing views.
The debates seem to intensify during each election cycle when the politicians are grilled on their
positions and beliefs on some very divisive social issues. There are many clearly established laws that
relate to the issues being debated. While it may be interesting to see how politicians or candidates feel
about these issues in helping decide who gets your vote, their positions are largely irrelevant as their
ability to change established laws is somewhat limited. Further, these issues are irrelevant when it
comes to solving the greater challenges of America and restoring our greatness as a nation.
To me, it seems like there are seven stupid issues that people talk about, particularly in an election year,
and to which they attribute too much importance.
Issue #6: GAMBLING
Gambling—Gaming is one of the best industries around and it is highly profitable, generating
thousands of jobs and something like $7 billion in tax revenue for the states alone. Yet, there
is a whole group of people out there that oppose gambling on religious or moral grounds. As
I mentioned before, we can’t legislate morality but people are still trying to force their beliefs
upon others and deprive them of the free will to make decisions whether to engage in gaming or
not. Let’s get real. After all, this is 2012, not 1912. Gambling isn’t going away anytime soon.
I recall that South Carolina had the video gaming parlors for years back in the 1990s until the
Bible-thumpers wanted to put an end to the industry…and they did. Successive attempts to
bring gaming back in different forms have failed, and the self righteous morality police even
attempted to stop the casino boats from docking in Little River. It’s just absurd. The federal
government has even gone after the on-line casinos that are offshore and shut them down
here in the U.S. Tens of millions of dollars are wasted in breaking up the gaming parlors or
sweepstakes parlors or whatever form they take. How much tax revenue is being lost when the
industry is shut down? How many jobs are being lost? How much economic impact is being
Furthermore, isn’t it just plain hypocritical to have a legalized lottery in a state but prohibit
other forms of gambling? Let’s consider the lottery. You buy a ticket for a dollar. The numbers
are drawn randomly. If you match the numbers you win. If you don’t, you lost your dollar.
There’s no limit on the number of tickets you can buy. Now, let’s consider a casino. You take
your dollar to the roulette wheel and put it on red or black. Your odds of winning are just about
fifty-fifty. If you bet on black and it comes up black, you double your money. If it comes up red,
you lose your dollar. What’s the difference between the casino and the lottery again?