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We're talking about gambling

Peter van Dyk | 17:53 UK time, Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Tonight we're devoting the entire programme to the issue of gambling. What's gambling like in your country? Is it a sin or just a harmless bit of fun? Would you like a super casino in your town? or maybe you already have one and would like to talk about.

You can read all the emails and messages as well as post your own

Tonight's comments

Lisa
I went to Las Vegas about 5 years ago. I focused mostly on the sights than on the gambling. I won a few more dollars that I came with, but I didn't see my gambling as an addiction. When someone spends their childrens college fund at the casino is when there is a problem. People have to know when to stop.

Ken in Cleveland
It's far too easy to gamble in the US... Namely because the governement sponsors it. The lottery in Ohio is mainly marketed to the most impoverished sector of our population. It fuels false hopes and feeds addiction. It strikes me as simply being a way to get poor people to pay taxes.

Brett in British Columbia, Canada.
The rich have never had a problem finding avenues (legal or otherwise) to exercise the need to gamble. Legalized gambling is a tax on the poor and middle class, nothing more. 2 years after a large casino opened up in our area, I watched friends lose their house because the wife had secretly racked up over $70,000 CDN in credit card bills, gambling. It's all well and good to talk about "all the jobs" that will be created, how many of those jobs will be minimum wage or slightly above for cleaning, cooking and serving food?

Jason in Wisconsin
Gambling is Darwinism in action. They get the stupid people to dump all their money on the smart people.

Rodrigo
I think it sounds great for the surrounding areas economy, but we all know its the poor that will be affected by casinos. I live in Nevada in the USA and I know first hand how casinos can be a place of lost hope and where lives are ruined. And what Is their plan to keep organized crime from putting their foot in the door?

Dave
Casinos are a fact of modern life, and nobody is obliged to visit one. Some might equate a night at the casino with a night at a nice restaurant (or perhaps a bad one, for that matter) and in that context it can be relatively harmless. It's all in the frequency. Casinos don't directly promote the problem, we all do within ourselves.

Paul in Jamaica
What has been the response of religious groups to the construction of the casino? In Jamaica the government has received several proposals to construct casinos but religious and civic groups have come out strongly against it.

Michael
The argument that a casino would increase problem gambling is absurd, a chronic gambler will gamble, it's like closing down public houses to save the minority of alcoholics, do you think that would end alcoholism?

Lubna,Iraq
I think gambling can destroy family life and harm the stablity of society, super casinos are like cancer.

Anon
My sister in law, who goes to US super casinos, tells me the the machines are so sought after that rather than go to the toilet and lose their position the women wear nappies.

Rodrigo
Here in Nevada there are slot machines everywhere, bars, laundry stores, convenient stores, restaurants, everywhere. And if you are addicted to gambling its too easy to continue playing where ever you go.

Bill the Banker
Gambling is pleasure for the weak minded

Tyler B Harvey, Arizona
Having been to Las Vegas many times, despite the outward showing of glitz and lights from the super casinos and the big-name celebrities who frequent the clubs there, the scene on the streets is deplorable. Men hand out cards advertising prostitutes to everyone on the streets, including youngsters. Garbage and broken glass is all over the sidewalks. Drunks are rampant and accost unassuming groups of people on Las Vegas Boulevard. Police turn a blind eye to it all. These problems are all a direct result of the legalization of gambling.

Muhammed-lusaka
It is a waste of money and i only hope that our children will not get involved in this life destroying action of gambling

Jacky -Ghana.
The biggest winner by far is the state treasury.

Shankar lal - Pakistan
my country is an Islamic country and gambling is not allowd. But with the help of the police anything is possible.

Max, Ukraine
Life is about choice. You can choose good or evil, to gamble or not to gamble, but for some it's a hard choice. Those who install casinos must be aware that they're partly responsible for making some people's life miserable.

D.Russo from Europe
Giving super casinos to people is like giving boxes of matches to kiddies.

Mason in Utah
If the issue is that 1 in 100 people will become gambling addicts verses the economic impact to the local areas,the easy choice for me is to allow gambling, but place registration requirements to monitor patrons(as suggested by some of your guests and callers)and use some of the enormous income to treatment programs and increased awareness of the potential problems.

Steve in Detroit
Gambling is too addictive. Though I am not against it, and don't believe you can outlaw it, it shouldn't be so easily accessible. Keeping it across the country in the Nevada desert, or far away on the Riviera seems like a good thing!

Linda in Portland Oregon
Hello, I'm from Portland Oregon and one thing we're facing is government addiction to gambling revenues. The desire to increase government coffers has led to relaxed attitudes about casinos. Indeed we're fighting a major casino due to be built in our Historic Columbia River Gorge. Many feel this will kill the beauty of the Gorge. Also, there is increased competition among Indian Tribes over casino location and revenues. It's getting ugly.

Raquel, Chicago, IL
Mega Casinos are like alcohol or smoking companies; they are business based on vice. And people enjoy delving into these vices.

Hugh Edgar Eckermann, Berlin Germany
I like to gamble from time to time and not too long ago won big, put the money in a savings account and haven't done any gambling since.

Robert, UK
Why not Casinos? Let people bet if they really want to. If people get addicted to it then that's really their own fault and not that of the Government.

Mark in Cananda
I'm canadian, and a casino opened near where I live. It lead to a construction bonanza and hundreds of jobs, but it also lead to a number of gambling addiction issues and even a suicide or two.... I just wonder if the cost of progress balances out.

Shyam
This is ridiculous. We are building the Vice as an industry and then blaming the people the very industry attracts for all the ills.

Andrew
What people haven't been mentioning is that these super-casinos will obviously not cater exclusively to gamblers. Such a casino as described in the news broadcast would undoubtedly include bars, restaurants, concert halls etc. I live in Ottawa, and we have the Casino-du-Lac-leamy in Hull, Quebec. A lot of people will go to enjoy a bit of gambling, but also go to see a show or have a big meal. The Casino-du-Lac-leamy, for instance, has the biggest dessert buffet I've ever seen, and hosts several shows, including most recently Dean Martin's son. I've gone to this casino knowing full well I'd lose money, but it was a good time.

Juls - nigeria.
Slot machines r usually found in d slums in nigeria where d poor spend their money. casino's can be found in cities like abuja and lagos where d rich spend their money.

Zeb Ogorry. Nigeria
Gambling is like drugs. Once you're addicted you need a lot of rehab to get off it. Brits beware!

Oduman. Uganda.
An idle mind is the fountain of doom

Dan from Portland
Oregon has a half-dozen casinos operated by Native American tribes on or near tribal lands. They are popular and probably serve mostly people who control their gambling, in part because they are not located inside the larger urban areas. Personally, I don't object to them and the tribal members benefit from the revenue. Some tribes also share revenue with local school districts or other jurisdictions.

Martin from Czech Republic says
"It is not good to anybody. It is only money transfer, no service value."

Ken in Cleveland
It's far too easy to gamble in the US... Namely because the government sponsors it. The lottery in Ohio is mainly marketed to the most impoverished sector of our population. It fuels false hopes and feeds addiction.

Mathew, Dar es salaam
Africans are not good gamblers! So gambling addiction is not a problen in africa

Suman in USA
I live 120miles from Wendover, Nevada. And also live in a very close knit religion - Mormons. Who are against Gambling. Amazing and surprisings facts is, the rooms are booked completely on Friday nights. So how does these rooms gets filled up???.........Majority of people in the place where I live in are Mormons

john in lusaka
When a bar is opened, people dont complain about alcoholics. what is all the fuss?

Paul
There's an old sayng in poker:"when u sit down at the table and u can't spot the mug-it's you." Lately i've failed to spot him

Chandra from Detroit
I live in Detroit where in the last 10 years, three casinos have popped up. In an industrial city economically stressed, I'm sure it has provided many jobs, better security, and has been a catalyst for many more businesses in the downtown area.

Pastor White.
in zambia there is another form of gumbling that has come with cellphone providers. pipo gumble to win vicles, houses, cell4ns etc.

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