Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

just a game

 Just before Christmas another Casino was opened in Maryland, I think that makes six. They were talking to the manager of the newest one that was telling of record profits. Then they went on to talk with the manager of another that had lost 50 % of their business. Surprisingly this manager wasn't at all concerned, said, we expected that to happen. She went on to explain that the customer's like to try out the new product and she expects they will return. I can understand that. What really struck we was this statement. We have built an additional casino but we don't want to spread the customer base out, we want to create new customers ! Now, she referred to those customers as " gamers. " So let me see if I understand that correctly. What she is saying is she wants to create more gamblers ! No, she said gamers, is that something different ? No, it really isn't at all but sounds better doesn't it ? Another example of just changing the name to lend it an air of credibility or legitimacy. I suppose this has always been done, it isn't anything new, but we are really developing that into an art form.  I wonder if their is a Thesaurus dedicated to that ? If not you could make a lot of money publishing one. Need to make something not so good, a great thing ? I've got a word for that.
 We are all aware of the others in common usage. Undocumented substitutes for illegal is a prime one. Instead of saying we are going to commit murder we say it's a" choice. " In that way avoiding more unpleasant terms, like abort, terminate or just plain kill. How many terms have we applied to say someone is black ? What is politically correct today, African-American ? I can't even keep track of all that. Now this newest one, at least to me, gamer. Does sound better than gambler doesn't it ? Well, until you are broke that is, then it is no game. I do like the little posters they display with a phone number to call if you have a gambling problem, there are even public service messages on television about that.  It isn't a " gaming " issue though, it is a gambling issue. Soon we will be offering treatment, at the taxpayers expense, for this addiction. Again, not their problem.
 You could argue that people will gamble anyway. I wouldn't disagree with that. If they want to they will find a way. The thing is availability isn't it ? If I had access to a all you could eat buffet twenty four seven I'd probably be a great deal heavier than I am. I believe by providing all these avenues replete with food, drink, free parking, incentives they are encouraging this behavior. Gambling is a vice that is why it was pursued by, the " vice " squad. Perhaps that is why we call it gaming now. Oh it is a sticky wicker isn't it ?
 I'm not saying I'm innocent. I have been to a casino. I can see where it would be an enticement. When you win some money for doing nothing more than pulling a lever it is exciting. I'm just saying I don't believe we should be providing all these avenues, expressways really, for the sake of profits. The common reason is a percentage going to the children in some way or another. These casinos have been around for a good while now but the schools aren't any better off. How can that be ? Millions of dollars are supposed to be earmarked for that purpose where has it all gone ? What I do find the most troubling is this renaming of things. Gambling is gambling and is seldom a good thing. So we rename it and call it a game. A game implies there is no consequence, other than losing. In this case losing your money ! Then we will tell you it isn't your fault, you have an addiction. You won't get your money back but you will receive counseling. You might even get barred to prevent a relapse. No problem though, as far as the state is concerned, there are plenty of scratch offs and other " games " you can play. Then, even if you do win and your name is on the list, they won't pay anyway. It's for your own good.
 I don't know. All this is nothing new but when I heard that lady say, we want to increase the number of gamers, it struck a chord in me. Is that what we really want to promote ? Shouldn't we be trying to instill a sense of accountability and responsibility in our citizens ? State sponsored vice ? What does it say about us as a nation ? I do believe the narrative has changed over the years. The land of milk and honey ? Yes, we were promoted in that way for many years. It was achievable in this country by hard work and a moral lifestyle. Now, not so much. It is now possible for the state to give you money that you can spend at the casino, pursue that American dream. If you lose, no problem, we will give you more the next month. After all, it is just a game.