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It's all gambling

I am almost tempted, with a ring announcer’s voice to lead this column with – Let’s, get, ready, toooo, gambllllllllle.

But no. What I will do though is ask what is so morally wrong with gambling, and casino gambling specifically which again has everybody knocking over their chips.

With my limited knowledge and experience I have found nothing Biblically that even appears to condemn gambling. There is always 1 Timothy 6:10 that warns about the love of money being the root of all evil.

The hue and cry against gambling makes me wonder if certain people in this island spend their time sitting under mango trees counting rocks. There is gambling in Barbados, lots of gambling. Just last week I heard the island’s most self proclaimed superior school advertising a bingo night.

Churches continue to have fairs with games of chance where you pay a little in an effort to win something. There are also raffles; I recently spent $4 with the Cancer Society – sure it is for a good cause but I wouldn’t mind winning that car.

I guess I can appreciate people saying stop the gambling and a programme geared at routing out that “monster” from our society. But to say no to casino gambling is to take a ride onboard the MV Hypocrite.

Racing pools, lotteries, scratch tickets and many other forms of gambling already exist. Take for instance horse racing – the sport of kings.

On the moral plane, the things we would attempt to protect society from are already plaguing us. People already waste the majority of their time and money on gambling. Just recently I was making my way into Bridgetown via the Harbour Road and traffic was rolling very slow and I happened to look into one of the racing pools and on some of the screens was what appeared to be dogs racing.

It left me amazed, well more confused than amazed, because I was wondering what those men knew about those dogs. It wasn’t the neighbour’s dog. Grown men, so desperate that they would bet money on dogs. What also had me amazed was that the two men who exited the establishment seemed to have been there for a very long time because if not the constant stretching and moaning noises, the conversations surely indicated this.

I am not supporting casino gambling if we speak out against all forms of gambling on a moral point, but if we will turn a blind eye to other forms of gambling and then keep hollow noise against casino gambling then I will support it.

There are already too many things we are addicted to, too many things we ‘waste’ money on.

Casino gambling needs not be a scape-goat. If we renounce gambling we renounce all gambling.

My burning question is this; what ill will a casino presents to the ‘religious society’ that is not already here causing havoc?

We have drugs, guns, prostitution and other rackets.

The thing is, people who are interested in these ills know exactly where to go to find them.

We need to leave the moral boat alone because our mouths are saying one thing and our actions are saying something else.

What about the ‘churches’ where the grace of God does not exist – those establishments set up for the benefit for a select few, where only the average person has to give to receive? Isn’t that gambling? Places called church where what you receive is dependent on what you give.

If we are going cast the die on casino gambling we need to deal with the real issues and their cause and stop looking to win favour.

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