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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shhh. (02/18/10)

TITLE: What business lies, steals and destroys?
By Allen Stark


Is there any business in the entire world that promises more and gives less in return than gambling?

Shhh! No! I won’t be quiet! Hear me out on this.

It is always a long shot, and those who promote it say, "Go for broke." Now doesn't that expression alone tell you that gambling is designed to produce more losers than winners?

Since gambling is founded on breaking, taking, robbing, destroying and has broken some of the highest moral codes of civilization it accepts no responsibilities for the betterment of the society in which it operates. It has no foundation or support for being honest and upright. It is designed to make failures of all who participate. It is parasitic in nature, and like a leech and bloodsucker to its victims.

Empty slogans and hollow promises promote gambling. It is glamorized on television, on large billboards, in colorful newspaper ads and encouraged by thoughtless, uneducated and uninformed politicians, get-rich-quick casino operators and those who think gambling will pour millions into county and state coffers.

The picture is never presented as it is played out in real life drama to include the final act and last vulgar scene of what really happens. The results are never presented by the news media.

Not long ago, I lived in the Coachella Valley of southern California where Donald Trump and others, along with the Indian casinos, had built six gambling establishments. We constantly heard about men and women, with booze and cigarettes in hand, gambling away their paychecks and depriving their families of clothing, food and other necessities of life.

Two people I know swear they are going to win the lottery some day. So, every week they spend their money on tickets and hope and pray that this week is their week to win.

My parents, when I was in high school, owned a restaurant in Los Angeles and liked playing the horses at the Santa Anita race track. They had developed the thinking that one of their bets was going to be their ticket to wealth and an early retirement. When some of us began to realize how much money they had gambled away and protested their weekly trip to the track, their response was, “Yeah, but what if we pick the winner?”

Whatif? This is a word in our language that has more power than it should and those who promote gambling know how to encourage the use of it.

“Shhh, don’t tell them that!”

Spending ten dollars a week on lottery tickets means that you spend $520 a year on the chance that you might win something. That's $5,200 every ten years if the gambling hype has hooked you. That money could have been saved or invested or it could have been spent on items that actually make your life more interesting, fun or meaningful.

Gambling and its by-products can lead to divorce, shattered childhoods, child abuse, ruined health, drugs, prostitution, crime, mental illness, murder, suicide, poverty and everything else that is undesirable. I do not know of a city in the United States that needs more of the filth of the low-life style gambling always seems to bring.

The picture is a gruesome and undesirable one. It comes from what I know through keeping an ear to society.

“Shhh. He’s going to hear you.”

“Too late. I’m married to a social worker.”

For every dollar received from gambling, the city, county and state will have to spend from $2-$3 to clean up the filth they leave behind. Most of the jobs it brings only increases the number of police officers, hospital emergency room workers, doctors, social workers, and counselors who will attempt to clean up the messes.

Some people would have you eat the corn until you choke on the cob. Understand? It's plain and simple. Gambling is a losing business for all who get involved except for the vultures that clean up on their victims. Like the vultures that haunt our fields and highways here in Iowa, they will not quit until the carcass has been picked clean.

Don't support gambling or the attempts to increase it. Like a thief in the night it will come to steal, and destroy.

“ Shhh. Please be quiet.”

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This article has been read 524 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/25/10
I could tell you feel strongly about the subject. You did a good job stating your reasons. Your emotion really shined through.
Marilyn Schnepp 03/02/10
Everybody has a "Soap Box" isue...and gambling is obviously yours. Well stated! However, (and this is strictly Hush, Hush) the first gambling I ever did in my life was done, believe it or not, in the basement of a chuch. "Shhh, I played Bingo." (*.*)!
Gina Fifo03/03/10
There's an old song that says "You have to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." Sadly the picture you depict so well would go unheeded,even if every gambler in the very throes of destroying their lives were to read it. People do NOT see their addictions for what it is. However, great writing and you never know when your words will have an affect on someone! THAT is how God works through us writers!
c clemons03/03/10
Obviously you feel strongly about the "evils" of gambling, but for this to be a really good piece, I would have liked something in this article about a viable alternative. Speaking of course to non-Christians who need to know "what's in it for me?" You needed to expound as elegantly about the love of Christ and how he fills that spot of "something for nothing" Because grant you there was "nothing" we could ever do to obtain salvation. and (FYI, gambling in itself never sent anyone hell, but their choices did).
c clemons03/03/10
**oops, I meant eloquently not elegantly**
Donna Wolther03/05/10
I was married to a man with a gambling problem once upon a time and I too know first hand the effects it can have. The Native Americans are certainly making a fortune off of it now and they are exempt from many taxes too. Works good for them.
Beth LaBuff 03/10/10
A well-written expose' on the stark reality of casinos and gambling. So many turn a blind eye to this for the reasons you mention. (and I must say that it doesn't surprise me... but it is pretty sad!)