Tomorrow is a special election here in KCK to approve 800 slot machines at the Woodlands dog track and a separate question to approve the construction of a new casino. If I had to guess, it'll pass overwhelmingly.
I'm going to vote against it however because gambling hurts people.
I don't have a problem with spending money on frivolous entertainment (have you seen how much a movie ticket costs?), but the lure of gambling can trap a person and destroy families. The lottery, horse races, slot machines and most casino gaming is a "tax on people that can't do math." Those huge casinos, with millions of lights and all-you-can-eat buffets, are paid for by the money you lose. Every person walking in to a casino needs to stop and consider that a fool and his money are soon parted.
So I don't gamble; I've never even bought a lottery ticket. Which is interesting because I love to play cards (especially games that favor skill over luck) and I've hosted a poker game (not for money) at my house for over a year. But I've also played billiards without every going to a pool hall, I've played darts without ever entering a bar, and I've watched football without ever having money on the game.
As a minister, I feel an extra burden for those addicted to gambling. I turned down an opportunity to go to a charity poker tournament last month because I was so uneasy about it being held at a casino. If only it was held somewhere else! I just don't want to cause someone to stumble who might gamble away their rent money and borrow more money to win it back.
Beyond that, by operating a casino our local government will be partly dependent on the poor judgment and bad luck of people who may not be able to afford it (you know… like the lottery). We'll profit from the very thing that will cause divorce, end careers, and ruin lives of some of our citizens. How can I be for that?