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Monday, Nov 24, 2014
Commentary

Don’t pick on gambling — it’s great entertainment and provides jobs


Published:

Regarding “Not worth the gamble” by Amy Ziettlow (Views, Feb. 27):

Amy visited one casino, Resorts World at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, N.Y., which hardly makes her an expert on the average, low-dollar, occasional gambler.

A great many people who gamble on a regular basis, as she states, are seniors. Why? Because they have a lot of time, some extra money and they desire a change of pace from the boredom of hum-drum life at home day after day.

Casinos offer a lively atmosphere of entertainment and great eateries, which are lit up and sparkle, not “dark slot barns.”

My wife and I visit our local casino in Tampa once every two months and casinos around the country every four to six months. Our advice to any gambler is to allot what you can afford from surplus money; never exceed your budget; and if you’re not winning, stop and move away.

This is the same advice for all fun “addictions.”

Amy’s statement that “I cannot forget the image of his leap,” referring to the man who jumped to his death, is that of a dramatic writer writing on a subject of which she has little or no experience. She was not there.

My wife and I have been moderate gamblers for more than 15 years. Some of what Amy writes is true, but how about people in bars who drink until they’re mindless and then drive? How about the two people driving the wrong way on I-275 in Tampa, killing people?

There are people committing suicide every day; however, we the public only hear about jumpers like the case Amy referenced.

Gambling is here to stay. It started with bingo at the fire station and church halls.

Amy is obviously not a fan of casinos and gambling. Plus, her experience is limited. Casinos provide employment for great numbers of people in management, and for accountants, entertainers, chefs, waiters, housekeepers and, yes, even table dealers. Casinos in Mississippi took that state from a deficit to a surplus, which is the case in many states.

There are subjects deserving of scrutiny other than casino resorts. Pick on Congress. Most of us will agree with Amy that we are being poorly represented by the government in this country.

Chuck Kaupp lives in Lutz.

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