Stop Me Before I Gamble Again

The Illinois Gaming Commission may start requiring casinos to card customers and check their names against a list of problem gamblers who have asked to be stopped from betting. People on the list who are caught gambling already can be tossed out, charged with trespassing, and stripped of their winnings, but casinos don't have to do systematic ID checks.

The problem with this policy is not so much that people are being prevented from gambling--they have, after all, volunteered for such paternalistic treatment--but that other people are being forced to do the preventing, which imposes costs on them and (given the bottlenecks that universal ID checks are apt to create) their customers. It's fine if someone wants to sign up for drug treatment or fat camp, in essence paying to put obstacles between themselves and their temptations, but no one should be legally compelled to provide those services. By the logic of the Illinois Gaming Commission, liquor stores, donut shops, and porn purveyors also could be forced to keep track of their customers to make sure none of them is prone to excess and regret.

[Thanks to Mike Alissi for the link.]

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  • ||

    I agree that the state should not be forcing the casinos into doing this. Still, I think it would be a great service for the casinos to provide voluntarily and could do wonders for their reputation. There are casinos who already track their customers gambling and spending habits through id cards that gamblers put into machines. These cards occasionally spit out comps of drinks and food. Figuring out what percentage of the customers are "problem gamblers" is something that they have already done, I'm sure.
    I'm not a gambler at all, but as a database weenie I found the whole process fascinating.

  • ||

    Wait a minute. Because some other guy "racks disciprine" I get hassled by the casino for my ID? This is ok, because the other guy opted in? Bite me. I'll gamble elsewhere.

  • ||

    "By the logic of the Illinois Gaming Commission, liquor stores, donut shops, and porn purveyors also could be forced to keep track of their customers to make sure none of them is prone to excess and regret."

    Why would you say that, you know it's going to happen! What was that rule called, reductio ad absurdum creep or something?

  • Roman Maroni||

    okay. you and the rest of your bastiages can gamble. but don't you try no fargin tricks or you'll end up with your bells in a sling. okay, ice hole?
    (1st post of new year)

  • theOneState||

    They can take away your winnings? I have a problem with that.

    What if you agreed to let them break your nose before being caught? Could they then really break your nose?

  • ||

    By the logic of the Illinois Gaming Commission, liquor stores, donut shops, and porn purveyors also could be forced to keep track of their customers to make sure none of them is prone to excess and regret.

    This isn't the reductio ad absurbum that it's made to appear. In Virginia, drunk drivers and "habitual drunkards" can be "interdicted," which makes it illegal for anyone to sell them alcohol.

    See
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+4.1-333

  • ||

    Given that recovery from any addiction is greatly based on your personal commitment, what good would this do? Anyone who signs up for such a list could easily get a fake ID to get in.

    I think the ID checks would serve no other purpose that making it an annoyance for non-problem gamblers to go to the casino. Of course, that might be the idea all along.

    What the hell has happened to our society? Do that many people really need to be looked after at every turn? Or are they just looking to pawn off liability on someone whom they can sue if things go wrong?

  • ||

    Casinos serve a vital purpose in the free market: They ensure that the fool and his money are soon parted ;)

  • ||

    So they can take away any money you win before they recognize you - do they also refund any money you lost before they recognize you? No? I find it hard to believe the casinos are doing this out of concern for their customers. It sounds more like they are hedging their bets.

  • Timothy||

    This is a totally ridiculous law. But I wonder how many folks who think forcing the casinos to do this is wrong are okay with forcing banks to enforce money laundering laws?

    Not on this board, particularly, but in general.

  • Warren||

    It wouldn't surprise me if the gaming industry was behind this. While I hold the anti-tobacco, anti-gambling, anti-credit card, lobby in contempt, that isn't to say those industries are not contemptible themselves. Casinos collecting from losers and finding ways not to pay the winners is very similar to the insurance industry.

  • ||

    Timothy,

    I guess the message is "We're all cops, or we're all criminals." Naturally, everyone exempts himself from such responsibilities.

  • ||

    Uh - don't we have laws that require checking to make certain someone isn't a minor before they purchase cancer sticks or liquor? Isn't it against the law to sell alcohol in some circumstances to someone who is already clearly inebriated? Don't we prevent those under the influence from operating motor vehicles and jets?

    Seems like no one here is aware that compulsive gambling is a mental disease - and one that can wreak havoc with the gambler's life and that of his family.

    Is it really that much of a burden on society to stop someone who is afflicted with this disability from entering a casino, where, once in he has no control over his actions? Particularly someone who has voluntarily signed up to get help, by registering at casinos to be barred?

    I'm a libertarian myself by nature. Still - at some point, society can suffer some small indignities to save the lives of others.

  • ||

    This is akin to people who can't quit smoking who are in favor of raising cigarette taxes for everyone because they can't deal with their own addiction. The "I'm suffering so you have to suffer, too" syndrome.

  • ||

    Checking a license to see if someone is of legal age (this data is on the ID) is very, very different from checking it against a database of individuals. The second involves scanning my ID and transmitting my information to an off site database. Not cool.

  • Timothy||

    Still - at some point, society can suffer some small indignities to save the lives of others.

    This is only true if you believe in such a thing as "society".

  • ||

    Uh - don't we have laws that require checking to make certain someone isn't a minor before they purchase cancer sticks or liquor? Isn't it against the law to sell alcohol in some circumstances to someone who is already clearly inebriated? Don't we prevent those under the influence from operating motor vehicles and jets?

    In none of these instances are they looking for specific people. That in and of itself complicates things.

    Is it really that much of a burden on society to stop someone who is afflicted with this disability from entering a casino, where, once in he has no control over his actions? Particularly someone who has voluntarily signed up to get help, by registering at casinos to be barred?

    If they were truly committed to not gambling, they wouldn't go. Until they make that commitment, do you really think an ID check will stop them? I've known and grew up with people who've had various addictions. Nobody else can ever stop them from doing what they want/need to do until they stop themselves.

    This measure goes beyond things like a person checking into rehab placing the onus on the casinos, and the rest of their customers.

    Beyond that, casinos do have the ability to keep card counters out, I can't see why those on a registrated list couldn't be identified and ejected that way, without everyone else having to verify that they're not on the list. Either way the responsibility should still be on the person who chose to go in if he should elude detection.


    I'm a libertarian myself by nature. Still - at some point, society can suffer some small indignities to save the lives of others.

    Many people have sets of indiginities that they'd be impose on everyone save someone they care about. Which ones count? How many are too many?

  • ||

    "married to one" is EXACTLY the kind of person that exemplifies false libertarians - "I'm a libertarian, but this issue AFFECTS ME PERSONALLY!!! We NEED government intervention STAT!"

    "society can suffer some small indignities to save the lives of others." Alright, I think that strip searches, random house to house sweeps etc. are merely "small", and they could save lives by finding criminals and terrorists. So let's gut the Fourth Amendment.

    Your personal issues do not entitle you to sling around force, "married to one". Get bent.

  • ||

    compulsive gambling is a mental disease

    yeah, just like compulsive eating, compulsive sex, compulsive shopping, compulsive drinking, compulsive smoking, compulsive exercising.

    what's next? is Macy's going to have to check IDs against databases to "save the lives" of compulsive shoppers? how about IDing people at McDonald's, or maybe telling mcdonald's they can only sell salads to obese people? hell, with enough tweaking, just a couple more rules here and there, and it's Eschaton, baby, Eschaton!

    if it's been said once, it's been said a million times: cancer is a disease. compulsive gambling is people behaving badly, some more badly than others. cry me a river. if you're married to a compulsive gambler, cut your losses and get a divorce, or figure out another way to solve the problem.

  • Larry A||

    Slippery slope my foot. My wife RTFA and she's already making the rounds of the local gun stores. ;-)

  • ||

    I'm 30 years old and I get carded EVERY TIME I try and walk into a river boat casino in Illinois. Although I see that this could be an added cost to the casino, it doesn't seem like that big an added cost since some (most?) of them are already doing this voluntarily in some way or another, and IDs are already being checked upon entry for the most part. Plus the casinos in Illinois also make you get in line to buy a ticket to enter (usually between 2 and 5 dollars). This check could be done at the same time I suppose.

    My only real concern is that hopefully they are merely checking my name against a list and not logging/recording the fact that I went to their casino. But I guess if they wanted to keep track of who comes and goes they could do that anyway without the law.

    I also think that casinos could try and spin it like a "We care about our gamblers" kind of thing as well.

    I admit that I don't like the idea of compelling casinos to have to do this, but I just can't muster too much outrage about this. The casinos have pretty good lobbyists in Illinois. I imagine if they believed that this was really that costly to them, they would have found a way to kill this bill. And Indiana casinos aren't that far away either (that's where I usually gamble anyway since they don't have an entrance fee)

  • ||

    Last time I flew - one week ago - I had to stand in line for a half an hour, take off my shoes and jewelry and get wanded. My luggage was also opened and examine; I got the little note telling me so.

    All you "real" libertarians out there think that this shouldn't be allowed? Would you prefer that the airlines do nothing - and just cross our fingers that no bad guys or bombs get on another plane?

    We weigh the value of giving up a piece of our privacy and autonomy with what we gain by it. Most of us believe that it is worth the enormous expense, time and annoyance at the airport to lessen the odds of another 9/11.

    Is having your ID checked (NOT stored or put into a database - only those who WISH to be barred have that) so great an inconvenience to help those who are compulsive gamblers?

    And for those who don't think it's a mental illness, I didn't think so either, until I learned more about it.

    http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/DS/00443.html

    No one's talking about closing down casinos. Or preventing anyone who wishes to go into one from going. Just taking 10 seconds to stop those who voluntarily request help in stopping from getting in.

  • ||

    I'm 30 years old and I get carded EVERY TIME I try and walk into a river boat casino in Illinois. Although I see that this could be an added cost to the casino, it doesn't seem like that big an added cost since some (most?) of them are already doing this voluntarily in some way or another, and IDs are already being checked upon entry for the most part.

    There's a difference between simply checking your birth date versus comparing yur name to those on a list. The latter will be far more time-consuming.


    Married to one--

    Your comparison with the airlines makes no sense; you're comparing trying to stop terrorism with trying to stop people from gambling?

    Is having your ID checked (NOT stored or put into a database - only those who WISH to be barred have that) so great an inconvenience to help those who are compulsive gamblers?

    Yes, it IS that big of an inconvenience. Waiting in line for the ID check is also an inconvenience. Basically you are saying that I have to suffer inconvenience because your spouse lacks self-control.

  • ||

    And Indiana casinos aren't that far away either (that's where I usually gamble anyway since they don't have an entrance fee)

    So tell me again about those great casino lobbyists in IL!

  • ||

    I forget who first asked this question, but how many "minor inconveniences" do we have to put up with before life becomes one big inconvenience?

    Whatever the answer is, it's not the responsibility of society to protect people from their own irresponsible behavior.

  • ||

    No one's talking about closing down casinos. Or preventing anyone who wishes to go into one from going. Just taking 10 seconds to stop those who voluntarily request help in stopping from getting in.

    By having a gambling addiction you have already proven you have no ability to follow the course of reason, and your remedy for your addiction merely repeats your inability.

  • Timothy||

    All you "real" libertarians out there think that this shouldn't be allowed? Would you prefer that the airlines do nothing - and just cross our fingers that no bad guys or bombs get on another plane?

    Well, let's see...warrantless searches by government agents (which will and have been used to get folks for other crimes), silly and ineffectual security rules...yeah, many of us would, in fact, prefer that they do less of that bullshit. Perhaps instead they could do something that has a chance of actually preventing attacks...one terrorist action on American soil involving planes and the whole country goes apeshit. Airports are much more obnoxious now than they used to be and no safer. Please.

    In order to find those who've voluntarily asked to be treated like children the casinos will be legally compelled to treat everyone like children. They'll have to be checked against the "no craps" list, you see, which will take more time and effort than just "are you old enough?".

    ALSO: So far, O'Shea said, the state has collected $244,000 from 173 self-excluded gamblers who won money on the boats.

    I think that makes obvious this is all about money. There are 3,200 people on the self-exclude list...of 15.3 MILLION who go through the casinos every year. You're saying in order to prevent 3,200 fools with no will power from gambling all 15.3 million of those people should be required to have their name checked against a database? To stop 0.02% of the folks in the casinos? I don't care to whom you're married, I hereby revoke your libertarian card.

  • ||

    While in Illinois, I am ALWAYS carded whenever I try to get alcohol, despite being 26. When I was in Vegas at 22, nobody asked for any ID from me, and "free" drinks were offered without ID.

    Illinois is the ultimate nanny-state when it comes to these issues (well, I can imagine that some states like Utah might be worse). Over half of the counties in Illinois are at least partially dry. To get cold medicine here, you have to go to a pharmacist and sign a police log book.

    Add in the corruption in Illinois and you've got casinos given to the mob and laws that make one man the distributor of all alcohol in the state.

    And now the Illinois Gaming Commission is going to allow casinos to take any "winnings" from problem gamblers? Hey... any money they have might be winnings. Better that some of it end up in a politician's bank account while the rest of it goes to the casino.

  • ||

    "if it's been said once, it's been said a million times: cancer is a disease. compulsive gambling is people behaving badly, some more badly than others. cry me a river. if you're married to a compulsive gambler, cut your losses and get a divorce, or figure out another way to solve the problem."

    Against my better judgment: Cancer is a disease. Compulsive gambling is people behaving badly. So, I suppose schizophrenia is people behaving irrationally? I'm opposed to the checks, I guess, but this view and others expressed on this thread are way too simplistic. Addictive behavior is frequently a mental illness, and often with a genetic component. An alcoholic, otherwise a perfectly rational person, might well decide that, although he knows well he has a drinking problem with serious adverse consequences, everything will be fine if he switches from 80-proof whiskey to 80-proof brandy. That, not to put too fine a point on it, is nuts. Similarly, compulsive gamblers will gamble until they've run through all the money they can beg, borrow, or steal or until they own all the casinos in the world. With respect to the latter possibility, as Jeeves might put it, "The contingency is remote," and they know this. And yet...

    Just sayin'

  • Timothy||

    And, let's figure what that 10 seconds each will cost the casinos:

    Let's say, on average, a gambler will lose $60 an hour to the casino (that's a total swag, so anybody with better info can come up with something better), that's $1 a minute.

    Now, 15.3 million, times 10 seconds is 153 million seconds, or 2.55 million minutes of total delay, which works out to 2.55 million dollars a year in losses just from the delayed time of gambling.

  • ||

    Rabbit scribe,

    When you have an illness you should go to a doctor, not a lawyer.

  • Timothy||

    So, I suppose schizophrenia is people behaving irrationally?

    The Szaszians would say yes, but that's neither here nor there.

  • ||

    Whatever the answer is, it's not the responsibility of society to protect people from their own irresponsible behavior.

    Jen

    I agree, but most in this country (and others) apparently do not.

  • ||

    Married to One: If the security in airports is so great, why do the air marshals feel the need to shoot somebody in a jetway who has passed security?

    Back when they pulled a lot of people out for special screenings, I always got pulled out. Luckily they put SSSS on my boarding pass, allowing me to give all my luggage to my wife. Supposedly they still do this for a few people. The TSA is brilliant.

    We have to take our laptops out of the case for special screening (along with taking our shoes and coats off... really helps the efficiency). This is a remnant from 15 years ago when the security people contemplated banning all electronics from airplanes because they are too dangerous. Small knives used to be too dangerous until a few weeks ago. Screeners are adept at finding these things, but still can't find one out of four bombs (their numbers, so it's likely much worse).

    Furthermore, all the cargo in the plane goes unscreened. You can't put a put a lighter in a suitcase, but you can put it in the mail, which gets put on the same airplanes.

    So I get to stand in a line, having some former drill sergeant who is paid with my tax dollars to yell at me while below the terminal some crook is going through my underwear and breaking my Christmas presents, just so you can get a false sense of well being.

  • ||

    Perhaps the solution is to have the 3,200 people who SINGED UP to be kicke out of the casino should just have a big "PG" (Problem Gambler) tattooed on their foreheads, and save everyone lots of trouble. Easy for the millions who aren't PGs and for the businesses that would have to check them.

    After all, if you want to beat your addiction, you gotta be proactive...

  • ||

    Maybe I should check my spelling and grammer before posting next time. Jennifer, what do you think?

  • ||

    Wsdave, I think you misspelled "grammar."

  • ||

    Jennifer said:

    There's a difference between simply checking your birth date versus comparing yur name to those on a list. The latter will be far more time-consuming.

    You are ignoring the rest of my paragraph which I believe is quite relevant. I already have to wait in line and pay an entrance fee and get my "ticket" or boarding pass (since they are technically boats). During that time if they key in my name to a computer is hardly what I would consider "far more time-consuming".

    Again though, Im not saying its a good idea. It's just not that much of an inconvenience. It seems much more outrageous to me to have to pay a damn cover charge to go give a casino my money

  • ||

    Addictive behavior is frequently a mental illness, and often with a genetic component. An alcoholic, otherwise a perfectly rational person, might well decide that, although he knows well he has a drinking problem with serious adverse consequences, everything will be fine if he switches from 80-proof whiskey to 80-proof brandy.

    Alcoholism is where your brain or body become so used to the input of certain chemicals that you can no longer function normally without it. Same with drug addiction. Not so with compulsive gamblers.

  • ||

    Whatever the answer is, it's not the responsibility of society to protect people from their own irresponsible behavior

    I dunno if this qualifies as "society" having to protect people from their irresponsible behavior. If your main source of revenue is via peoples vices, bad habits, addictions, then you should be able to live with a few restrictions that force you to have to protect your customers just a bit -- even if it is protecting them from themselves. It might even make your business better.

    This to me seems along the lines of laws that prevent bars from serving alcohol to people who are already loaded.

  • ||

    This to me seems along the lines of laws that prevent bars from serving alcohol to people who are already loaded.

    Only if bars require all customers to take sobriety tests before buying a drink.

  • ||

    You are ignoring the rest of my paragraph which I believe is quite relevant. I already have to wait in line and pay an entrance fee and get my "ticket" or boarding pass (since they are technically boats). During that time if they key in my name to a computer is hardly what I would consider "far more time-consuming".

    Let's say it take two seconds to look at your license and determine that you were born before today's date 21 years ago, versus ten seconds to look at the date, then key your name into a computer, then compare your name to the names on the list. . . . if you are the casino's only customer, no biggie. But if there are several customers, they now have to spend five times as much time in line.

    And here's something that occurred to me: are these going to be the same clusterfuck as our no-fly lists? You know, one man named John Smith might be a terrorist, so now nobody named John Smith can fly?

  • s.m. koppelman||

    Imagine how much money movie theaters lose on the five seconds ticket-takers spend telling people that "theater 12 is to the right of the concessions, then all the way down on your left". The lines this creates are intolerable!

  • ||

    So many of you are ignorant on this topic, but - so was I before it hit me.

    Jennifer, alcoholism is not where you get so used to the drug that your body cannot function normally without it. It is where your body doesn't process alcohol like "normal" people.

    And similarly, those afflicted with compulsive gambling have genetic components which strongly pre-dispose them to having difficulty with it.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981111081206.htm

    For those who think that our systems of security at the airport have plenty of glitches, inconsistencies, flaws, pains in the asses - I'm with you. Still, I am not one who thinks we should give up on security because it is not an idyllic situation. It isn't just the 3,000 or more who might die with an attack. It's the dramatic effect it has on our economy, our lives, etc.

    Really kind of amazing to me that people are unable to put up with 5 seconds of inconvenience (about what it would take to scan an ID to make certain that individual isn't on the "bar" list) to help others to dramatically improve their lives. No one's talking about taking away your right to gamble, closing down casinos ... hell; having to wait for a stoplight is more time consuming.

  • Timothy||

    Ahh yes, we disagree so we must be ignorant.

    Right.

  • Timothy||

    Furthermore, in case you have some sort of reading comprehension problem: the issue is that the state may make this a requirement, which will cost businesses money and patrons time.

    You can already volunteer to be thrown out if caught, where is the need for additional, legally required & punishable, requirements for casino owners to keep you from being a loyal customer?

    I question that state's involvement in the no-gamble list in the first place, and I certainly question the reasoning behind the state requiring pre-screening rather than booted-once-found enforcement.

  • ||

    If your main source of revenue is via peoples vices, bad habits, addictions, then you should be able to live with a few restrictions that force you to have to protect your customers just a bit -- even if it is protecting them from themselves. It might even make your business better.

    Remind us again who determines what's a vice and what's a virtue. I can't stand when the high and mighty don't approve of the actions of the little people, and therefore must protect them from themselves for the sake of "society". Businesses are there to make a profit, not to decide what actions consenting adults should make for themselves.

  • ||

    "When you have an illness you should go to a doctor, not a lawyer."

    Fair enough. Again, I'm not supporting the legislation. The casinos ought to do it, but they shouldn't have to do it. My problem is with this notion, "Hey, cheat on your taxes in a cool and rational attempt to save a few hundred bucks, drink a litre of vodka an hour before your daughter's wedding, six of one, half-dozen of the other- it's people behaving badly."

    The Szaszians would say (that scizophrenia is simply people behaving irrationally), but that's neither here nor there."

    I was hitherto-unaware of them. Thanks... I think. I read The Daily Brickbat and I want to quit my job and volunteer for the LP. I read about Dr. Szasz and want to quit my job and throw rocks at Libertarians full-time. I'm so conflicted...

    "Perhaps the solution is to have the 3,200 people who SIGNED UP to be kicked out of the casino should just have a big "PG" (Problem Gambler) tattooed on their foreheads..."

    Not the worst idea in the world. In that case, would you have a problem with casinos being legislatively barred from admitting them?

    "Alcoholism is where your brain or body become so used to the input of certain chemicals that you can no longer function normally without it. Same with drug addiction. Not so with compulsive gamblers."

    I'm sorry (sincerely- you're a persuasive and entertaining poster) but that's a gross oversimplification. Alcoholism is a lot of things to a lot of people, by no means all of them related to cravings, frequency and amount of consumption, etc. Alcoholics are otherwise normal persons who simply can not think rationally about drinking! Their stories are simply amazing! Every time they drink, they don't stop until they're very drunk. OK, fine: but they rarely frame it as "The craving was just overpowering, so I gave in." It's always "I thought that if I mixed the booze with milk, it would be OK." or "It was my birthday, so I thought it would be different." With all the heart-felt sympathy in the world: they're nuts...

  • ||

    Jennifer, alcoholism is not where you get so used to the drug that your body cannot function normally without it. It is where your body doesn't process alcohol like "normal" people.

    That is the first time I've ever heard that definition of alcoholism. Have you a link to back up your statement?

    Really kind of amazing to me that people are unable to put up with 5 seconds of inconvenience (about what it would take to scan an ID to make certain that individual isn't on the "bar" list) to help others to dramatically improve their lives.

    No, what we're saying is the state shouldn't force businesses to do certain things, and provide more inconvenience for ordinary people, just because some fool keeps getting parted from his money. I truly am sorry that your spouse is so irresponsible and lacking in self-control, but that doesn't mean the state should make it my problem as well.

  • ||

    Alcoholics are otherwise normal persons who simply can not think rationally about drinking! Their stories are simply amazing! Every time they drink, they don't stop until they're very drunk. OK, fine: but they rarely frame it as "The craving was just overpowering, so I gave in." It's always "I thought that if I mixed the booze with milk, it would be OK." or "It was my birthday, so I thought it would be different." With all the heart-felt sympathy in the world: they're nuts...

    They're simply rationalizing their addiction, because they can't bring themselves to admit they got hooked.

    If a severe alcoholic is taken off the juice too abruptly he can have DTs, even fatal ones. What is the corresponding symptom in a severe "gambling addict" who can't get near the slots?

  • ||

    married to one,

    Sympathy has been expressed here for the suggestion that a casino might operate such a program internally. One thing you'll find among "real" libertarians is a very broad comfort with private companies undertaking such initiatives (provided they are transparent about it), and a very broad discomfort with private companies being compelled to undertake such programs by the government. It's not that we are unwilling to endure inconveniences to "save the lives of others." It's that we object to being compelled to do so by government.

  • Timothy||

    Rabbit Scribe:


    As for Szasz, I find the view that people shouldn't be forced to treat mental illness fairly persuasive, but I'm pretty unconviced at this point that it's wholly made up.

    And you've pretty much summed up the behavior of my alcoholic mother. Cool lady now that she's sober and all.

    And I'll emphasize that the responsibility for helping addicts falls squarely on their families and loved ones, it isn't anybody else's problem. There, I said it, what we were all thinking. If your spouse fritters away all of y'all's savings playing slots, that's your bloody problem, married to one, and the rest of us (including and perhaps especially casinos) shouldn't be legally compelled to help.

  • ||

    Really kind of amazing to me that people are unable to put up with 5 seconds of inconvenience (about what it would take to scan an ID to make certain that individual isn't on the "bar" list) to help others to dramatically improve their lives. No one's talking about taking away your right to gamble, closing down casinos ... hell; having to wait for a stoplight is more time consuming.

    Do you really think that a scanner at the casino will stop a problem gambler? No local bookies, poker games, crap games, etc. where you live? No access to internet gambling for your spouse?

    Most people here believe that the person responsible for one's actions is that person themselves. Measures like these shift that responsibility onto sometone else, shifting the blame from "I gambled" to " They let me gamble".

    I'll ask again, at what point do are some inconviences intolerable? Content with not being allowed to eat certain food in public that 1 in a 1000 is allergic to? Do you want to be on a watch list for buying porn because rapists watch porn? Are you ok to signing a list when you want sudafed?

    Where is the line for you?

  • Lazlo||

    m21, it doesn't matter how quick they make the check. The issue is it's not the job of the casinos or the government to babysit people who are addicted to gambling, or alcohol, or television, or limited-edition Star Wars action figures. That's for the person with the addiction to deal with in concert with their family, doctor and/or twelve-step program.

    If the casinos decide to participate in the program voluntarily, good for them -- I can choose to gamble somewhere else if it bothers me.

  • ||

    Jennifer, to be sure, I can't prove you wrong. All I can tell you is that, after a great deal of personal experience, the "rationalization" thing just doesn't ring true. Alcoholics consistently display what I can only call delusions about their drinking. As far as the delerium tremens, it's true: there are physiological symptoms associated with alcoholism that are absent in persons with addictive behaviors. However, I really think that alcoholics are a sub-set of heavy drinkers- one can "rationally" decide that one just doesn't give a damn and will live out one's days in a drunken stupor, and proceed to build up sufficient alcohol tolerance such that when one stops for whatever reason, one experiences those symptoms. Such a person is not necessarily an alcoholic- he or she might be able to, as an act of pure will, quit drinking. Alcoholics can't, in large part because they don't perceive their drinking as the manifestly problematic behavoir that it so obviously is- they're delusional.

    I'll leave it alone, though- I can't prove it, and as I said, I find your posts enjoyable and persuasive. If you ever get the opportunity, check out the NPR program on addiction, Magnificent Obsession, broadcast at the convenient hour of 4:00 AM Sundays here in Chicago. Just tremendously well done, and it might give you some empathy for my position.

  • ||

    Hey, wait a minute, am I the only guy that noticed the unintentionally ironic 'stripped of their winnings' segment? If you're a problem gamber with 'winnings', where's the problem?

    I would think a problem gambler would want to be stripped of his losings.

  • ||

    Alcoholics can't [quit drinking], in large part because they don't perceive their drinking as the manifestly problematic behavoir that it so obviously is- they're delusional.

    And you don't think this has anything to do with the physical effects of having spent a long time putting brain-altering substances into their bodies? As opposed to a problem gambler, who just lacks self-control.

  • ||

    Where is the line for me?

    I'm happy to FORCE companies to list their ingredients on a product label, so that those with allergies can know what is in a product. After that - people can choose what they do and do not wish to ingest.

    I'm willing to have some laws about health inspection for restaurants, meat packers and the like so I don't have to worry about dying every time I eat.

    I'm willing to have traffic laws that prevent people from driving while under the influence (or at least will arrest them when they try to do so) to lessen the chances of people dying on the highway.

    My guess is that even some of the staunchest libertarians are willing to have some government regulation, because they believe that that regulation causes our country to function better.

    And no, Timothy, I do not think that you are ignorant because we disagree. I think that some of the people here are ignorant because they've never studied at all about the psychology and physiology of compulsive gambling and alcoholism.

    I know I sure had not prior to this occurring.

  • ||

    "And you don't think this has anything to do with the physical effects of having spent a long time putting brain-altering substances into their bodies?"

    Nope, and I'll tell you exactly why: alcoholics start displaying the delusional thinking right away, but many heavy drinkers- 6 or 8 beers in an evening, unless they choose not to drink, in which case, no problem- never do.

  • ||

    Married, your examples of ingredient lists, anti-drunk-driving laws and restaurant inspections involve public health. You problem with your spouse, by contrast, is a private problem.

  • ||

    Your lines aren't abnormal, as they all seem to be about preventing people from being harmed by others, intentionally or otherwise. Can you think any besides the casino where large groups are forced to change to prevent other people from harming themselves?

  • ||

    Jennifer - this abstract is for you!

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=347457&tools=bot

    "The data suggest that brain functions are different in individuals at high and low risk for the development of alcoholism."

    Check out this article, too:

    http://www.gannett.com/go/difference/greatfalls/pages/part2/secrets.html

    "Alcohol addles everyone's brain by interfering with the neurotransmitters in the brain's cognitive center.

    But an alcoholic has a greater problem. The cognitive center is unable to override the stronger pleasure center demands, making it more difficult for him or her to listen to reason and stop drinking.
    Most alcoholics also have low levels of serotonin, the chemical that triggers most people to stop drinking.

    Serotonin is produced as a response to a food or an activity; it tells the brain to stop eating pizza, for example. But in some people, alcohol doesn't seem to trigger the serotonin buildup like pizza would."

  • ||

    It's not that we are unwilling to endure inconveniences to "save the lives of others."

    Let me be the first to disavow any phony compassion.

    When I go throught the "security" at airports, at least they can claim that I am being provided something for my incovenience - security. (We could argue about the value of said security.)

    When I get my ID checked at a casino, I get ZILCH in return. The only people who get anything are the small number of problem gamblers. These people are trying to get someone else to pay for the "help" they claim they want, aka a subsidy. The "small price" is beside the point, they don't want to pay the cost by themsleves. For them to question my compassion for not wanting to pay a "small price" is a convenient cop-out for them to avoid their problem.

    And why just casinos? Don't problem gamblers play the state lotteries? Let's start with the government gambling and see how well that goes before we start throwing more restrictions on private entities.

  • ||

    Married, I don't doubt at all that there are genetic and physical factors which make certain people predisposed to become addicted to alcohol. I am not at all surprised that some people are more likely than others to become addicted to brain-altering chemicals. I am simply pointing out that gambling is purely a behavior, not a situation where someone is putting (potentially addictive) chemicals in his body. Which is why I consider alcoholism to be a form of addiction, but too much gambling is just a lack of self-control.

    Hell, I know a girl who keeps biting her nails, but I wouldn't call her a nail-biting addict.

  • ||

    dave_b said:
    Remind us again who determines what's a vice and what's a virtue. I can't stand when the high and mighty don't approve of the actions of the little people, and therefore must protect them from themselves for the sake of "society". Businesses are there to make a profit, not to decide what actions consenting adults should make for themselves.

    By no means am I one of the "high and mighty" nor do I disapprove of gambling, drinking, or using drugs-- I have done or still do these all of things and enjoy them in moderation. But I'm not going to be dishonest and pretend that they aren't vices or that they are virtues.

    I dunno who should be "sanctioned" to determine what a vice is or isn't (although I suppose a democratic solution wouldn't be that impossible) its easy to see that behaviors/actions/products that tend to have highly addictive and destructive consequences would qualify as a vice.

    That's not say that it should be outlawed or banned. It just means that I have no problem putting extra restrictions/burdens on people who profit from the weaknesses/addictions of others. Even if that means requiring those businesses to refuse to do business with those among us who are the most addictive and being the most destructive.

  • ||

    Jennifer, Oprah did a show on compulsive gambling recently. A woman embezzled almost $200K from the school at which she worked to fuel her compulsion. (Yes, she was found, prosecuted and arrested.) People kill themselves at a rate far higher than normal because of compulsive gambling.

    Now, you may think that this "only affects the gambler and their families" - but studies have been done to show that far more than an immediate family feels the effects of compulsive gambling, albeit not anywhere as dramatically.

    As for my spouse who "lacks control" and is "irresponsible" - this same individual has a history that might confound you. Raised in mild poverty, he put himself through college, started his own business in his 20's, worked like a dog to grow it over the next 20 years, and ultimately was making in the neighborhood of $700K a year, while employing around 400 people.

    Sounds pretty irresponsible, eh?

    Ultimately, he had to sell his business because of his addiction - and ended up broke.

    It was not, however, because he was irresponsible or stupid. It was because of mental illness - and not getting help for it in time.

  • ||

    As for my spouse who "lacks control" and is "irresponsible" - this same individual has a history that might confound you. Raised in mild poverty, he put himself through college, started his own business in his 20's, worked like a dog to grow it over the next 20 years, and ultimately was making in the neighborhood of $700K a year, while employing around 400 people . . . .Ultimately, he had to sell his business because of his addiction - and ended up broke.

    You tell me the story of a man who gambled so much that he pissed away a $700K a year business, and you mean it to demonstrate that he is responsible and has self-control?

    It sounds like your husband needs to get help from a mental institution or perhaps psychotropic drugs, rather than expecting the casinos to solve his problem for him.

  • ||

    Anyway. Long and short of it is, all of you were better off when my spouse didn't gamble. Tax receipts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year were far better than zero.

    And no - a gambler cannot be prevented from going to a bookie or a local poker game.

    But, instead of worrying about what we cannot do, seems to me that most of us can sacrifice 5 to 10 seconds out of their day to improve the lives of compulsive gamblers who are getting treatment.

  • ||

    You are exactly correct, Jennifer. My husband does now take anti-psychotic meds and he was institutionalized for a time. Alas; it was not in time to save his business.

    But he didn't "piss it away" because he was so "irresponsible" and full of "lack of control." He did it because he was mentally ill.

    Good for all you folks who cannot believe that what I am saying is the truth. Hope that you never get to find out.

  • ||

    Anyway. Long and short of it is, all of you were better off when my spouse didn't gamble. Tax receipts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year were far better than zero.

    So now your argument has shifted to "we should be coerced to do things so as to ensure that gamblers pay higher tax revenues"?

    seems to me that most of us can sacrifice 5 to 10 seconds out of their day to improve the lives of compulsive gamblers who are getting treatment.

    First of all, you're talking about a lot more than five or ten seconds, and second of all, the state has no business forcing this on anybody.

  • ||

    Married to one, you are basically saying that the huge majority of normal, functioning people have to have laws imposed on them, and make adjustments to their lives, to prevent the mentally ill from screwing up their finances. Sorry, but no.

  • ||

    Moreover, there are thousands of people who go through treatment for compulsive gambling - or alcholism - or drug addiction - and become productive, well-functioning members of society.

    Is it not worth anything on the part of the rest of us - not an ID check at a door - to help these people regain their sanity?

    Finally, you might wish to check out these two articles. It's a legitimate question to ask with any disability that some may have - what responsibility does the rest of society have to help that individual?

    http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9906/18/gambling.addiction/

    http://www.aswexler.com/html/natlcommission.html

  • ||

    It just means that I have no problem putting extra restrictions/burdens on people who profit from the weaknesses/addictions of others.

    I don't particularly care if you or anyone else doesn't have a problem with it; however, I do have a problem when people like you decide that you need the force of government to inflict your own personal opinions on the rest of us. Do you propose "extra restrictions/burdens" on Wal-Mart from profiting from the addictions of compulsive shoppers?

    Even if that means requiring those businesses to refuse to do business with those among us who are the most addictive and being the most destructive.

    Why restrict the businesses from doing business with consenting adults? Target those who are "the most adductive and being the most destructive" instead of burdening the rest of us with what you personally think is right.

  • ||

    Sorry, Jennifer. How long do you think it takes to swipe an ID through a scanner? 30 seconds? 40? Yes, I do believe that "sacrifice" is worth improving the lives of thousands of other people.

    Why not let people drive drunk on highways - and have the private courts deal with the effects of those who get killed by drunk drivers? Why not allow paranoid schizophrenics kill a few people, instead of getting them treatment? (Actually, that happened this past week in our state.)

    Bottom line is we have many laws that inconvenience us a whole lot more than an ID at a casino because the majority of us vote for politicians who believe it makes life better for most of us.

  • ||

    Is it not worth anything on the part of the rest of us - not an ID check at a door - to help these people regain their sanity?

    Once again you are asking the wrong question--should anyone be FORCED to do things to help these people regain their sanity? I say no.

    But there's no point in me continuing this debate--you obviously believe that everybody else (except possibly your husband and yourself) has to go out of their way to help people like your husband, and furthermore they should be legally obligated to do so (and thus face legal consequences if they don't).

    I do not and never will support laws forcing me to change my behavior in order to slightly reduce the chance that a mentally ill guy will screw up his finances. I'll voluntarily help in ways, if I can, but I don't approve the use of force.

  • James B.||

    Along the same lines, the Iowa lottery will allow you to sign up to be on a list of people banned from it's offices so you can't go in and collect winnings of more than $600.

    http://www.dmregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051207/NEWS10/512070342/1011

  • ||

    Moreover, there are thousands of people who go through treatment for compulsive gambling - or alcholism - or drug addiction - and become productive, well-functioning members of society.

    True enough married21, yet all the sober alcoholics I have known live with the actuality that they can go to the corner store at any time they wish and purchase alcohol. None of them have resorted to saying that they have ever failed because "The State failed to save me from myself". But then, that sense of personal responsibility may be why they are the sober ones.

  • ||

    "Target those who are "the most addictive and being the most destructive" instead of burdening the rest of us with what you personally think is right."

    I'm starting to change my mind and support the checks based on the mulish refusal of Libertarians to draw the slightest distinction between laws limiting worthless, destructive industries like casino gambling and tobacco and laws limiting your freedom to park your pick-up truck in your driveway in the suburbs. Her husband is mentally ill. I find your utter lack of empathy disturbing...

  • Warren||

    Why not let people drive drunk on highways - and have the private courts deal with the effects of those who get killed by drunk drivers?

    But what you are advocating is more like requiring breathalyzers be installed in every car so that you can't drive if you don't blow below a .08 It not only infringes on peoples rights, and requires private companies to take on law enforcement activities, but will be completely useless in accomplishing it's stated goal.

  • ||

    Jennifer, just about every day of my life I commit acts and suffer "injustices" so that overall our society is better than it might otherwise be.

    I pay high property taxes, most of which go to support our schools, even though I've never had kids. Why? Because a well educated society is a superior one. Social Security taxes are collected from me - even though I don't really need them - so that no one ends up in their latter years with no money whatsoever. I wait for traffic lights, because if I didn't, everyone's life on the road would be far more dangerous.

    You, too - every day - put up with all kinds of laws that infringe upon your private desires and wants, because most of us judge that overall, it's worth the trade-off.

    If many of you feel that showing ID at a casino is too large a burden to bear - assuredly your right. Don't think, however, that we don't constantly make judgments about millions of items like this all the time. We do.

  • ||

    Married to one, I agree your spouse has a difficult time controlling his behavior due to a mental illness. I sympathize with your plight. Whether or not he has a mental illness, however, in no way entitles you to force someone else to care for him. You have yet to state why the government needs to become involved in any way. As a fellow libertarian I'm confused as to why you think IDing casino customers is a legtimate function of government, why members of the private sector cannot sufficiently help your spouse and why you believe this program will do anything to help him in the first place.

  • MP||

    I find your utter lack of empathy disturbing.

    Excuse me? It's likely we're all very sympathetic towards her situation. But protecting flawed people from their own failings is not a valid function of the (non-Nanny) State. No amount of sob stories will convince me (or most libertarians) otherwise.

  • Warren||

    If many of you feel that showing ID at a casino is too large a burden to bear - assuredly your right. Don't think, however, that we don't constantly make judgments about millions of items like this all the time. We do.

    We know, and we'd like to reduce that number, and certainly not add to it.

  • ||

    Warren,
    I mentioned this before - and will ask it again:
    Wouldn't it be great if all cars had a breathalyzer build into them? There would NEVER be probable cause for a car search or patdown, unless there was something illegal in plain sight. Also, no more soviet-style checkpoints for drunk drivers during the holidays. Am I right or what?

  • ||

    Her husband is mentally ill. I find your utter lack of empathy disturbing...

    I don't lack sympathy, Rabbit; I lack the belief that everybody else has to change their lives to slightly reduce the chance that a mentally ill guy will be tempted to do something stupid. (I do lack empathy, however, because "empathy" means "I can relate because I've been there myself." Nope, I've never been with a man who gambled away my life's savings.)

    I pay high property taxes, most of which go to support our schools, even though I've never had kids. Why? Because a well educated society is a superior one. Social Security taxes are collected from me - even though I don't really need them - so that no one ends up in their latter years with no money whatsoever. I wait for traffic lights, because if I didn't, everyone's life on the road would be far more dangerous.

    Once again, you are talking about things which (at least in theory) help the population at large, not a few sick individuals within it.

    You couldn't stop your husband from gambling his life away, but you think an ID check at a casino would have?

  • ||

    I would expect to get my ID checked at a casino anyway. The alcohol nanny-state-ism has me already, adding gambling nanny-ism wouldn't have any effect :)

    Seriously, though, anyone wishing to avoid this would just go play in Michigan City or something, wouldn't they? From the perspective of any gambler (problem or not) this really won't have much of an effect. All it does is screw over Illinois casinos.

  • MP||

    There would NEVER be probable cause for a car search or patdown, unless there was something illegal in plain sight. Also, no more soviet-style checkpoints for drunk drivers during the holidays. Am I right or what?

    Well, except for the new Breathalyzer Inspection Organzation To Catch Heathans bureaucracy which would need to be established to monitor all cars and make sure the masses are properly in line.

  • ||

    MP, thanks for ruining my dream of harrasment-free driving. damn those b.i.o.t.c.h.s

  • ||

    dave_b said :

    I don't particularly care if you or anyone else doesn't have a problem with it; however, I do have a problem when people like you decide that you need the force of government to inflict your own personal opinions on the rest of us. Do you propose "extra restrictions/burdens" on Wal-Mart from profiting from the addictions of compulsive shoppers?

    "People like me" haven't decided anything other than I dont have a problem with requiring casinos to do it. I didn't request/lobby/support/pass the law in question. So save your outrage for those who had a hand in it. And stop throwing around untruths. At no point have I tried to impose anything I believe on anyone.

    I personally believe that people who profit from the weakness / suffering of others deserve any kind of regulation they get. They don't like?? Choose another line of business. I won't lobby for the restrictions but I won't shed a tear either. That is a far cry from what you are accusing me of.

    Read my posts -- i havent proposed anything. All I have said is that I dont see it as a problem. If there were a no-shop list that people could voluntarily get on and off of and there was a law requiring companies who sell stuff to check against that, I wouldn't think its a good idea, but I wouldnt fight too hard against it.

    Why restrict the businesses from doing business with consenting adults? Target those who are "the most adductive and being the most destructive" instead of burdening the rest of us with what you personally think is right.

    Well other than the fact that an addict doesn't always have control over their actions -- how do you propse targetting just the addicts?

    And again let's keep some perspective here. These people are getting on these lists because they say "look...I need help..I cant stop it on my own". So I fail to see a problem with a law that says if we are gonna have these lists, then the only way they can be meaningful/helpful is if we enforce people to check against the lists.

    You say its an undue burden, but to me its just another cost of doing business.
    Again, I dont think its a great or even a good solution. It just isn't as bad as people are making it out to be.

  • ||

    Jennifer, when one's rights are being taken away, what does it matter how many benefit?

    Let those who bear children bear the cost of educating 'em. I didn't - why should I have to pay for them?

    And I've got plenty saved up for my retirement. Why should I have to pay anything into Social Security?

    B.T.W. - someone who gets themselves barred from a casino usually does so because they are getting help for their addiction. Knowing that they cannot get into the casino simply helps them to follow through with their plan of abstinence.

    If I thought that showing ID were a large burden, then I might be against a law requiring it. The notion that every car be outfitted with a breathalyzer does seem like a too large burden. Much bigger cost - and easy for someone else to use their sober breath to get the auto to function.

  • ||

    I pay high property taxes, most of which go to support our schools, even though I've never had kids
    If you have no kids then there isn't any really compelling reason why you would need to live in a high property tax area. You chose to live where you live.
    Social Security taxes are collected from me - even though I don't really need them
    Obviously you plan on sending those checques back when you start to receive them. That is awfully nice of you.
    I wait for traffic lights, because if I didn't, everyone's life on the road would be far more dangerous.
    You wait at the light so that you won't die a painful death. Are you saying that you deserve a medal for this?
    You seem like a classic enabler married2-1. Be one if you wish, but don't sign me up for it. A sense of personal responsibility is at the heart of any effective addiction treatment.

  • Warren||

    Randolph,
    You are wrong. Now that we have established the legitimacy of soviet-style checkpoints on American streets, there will always be a suitable pretext for deploying them. The only thing that will deter their use is public outrage. However, most people seem to be comforted by inconvenienced by the state these days.

  • ||

    warren,
    I'm always making the mistake of thinking that the authorities will play by their own rules and/or use a consistant line of reasoning. makes me think crazy things!

    and, let's not forget: you're against drunk driving checkpoints? waaaah! I had this friend in high school, and she killed 3 puppies, a wise elderly woman and herself in a drunk driving accident. She had a whole page in the yearbook. How could you be so heartless?!?

  • ||

    Let those who bear children bear the cost of educating 'em. I didn't - why should I have to pay for them? And I've got plenty saved up for my retirement. Why should I have to pay anything into Social Security?

    I fully agree with you. I also don't think I should have to cater to your husband's mental problems.

    So now, has your argument switched again, this time to "Since we already suffer injustices, let's tack on a few more"?

    B.T.W. - someone who gets themselves barred from a casino usually does so because they are getting help for their addiction. Knowing that they cannot get into the casino simply helps them to follow through with their plan of abstinence.

    Oh, bullshit. It just helps them say "My problem is someone else's responsibility."

    And I still find it sad that you think a mere ID check would succeed where you failed, in stopping your husband from gambling everything away.

  • ||

    Let those who bear children bear the cost of educating 'em. I didn't - why should I have to pay for them?

    And I've got plenty saved up for my retirement. Why should I have to pay anything into Social Security?

    You do know this is a libertarian board, right?

  • MP||

    Read my posts -- i havent proposed anything. All I have said is that I dont see it as a problem. If there were a no-shop list that people could voluntarily get on and off of and there was a law requiring companies who sell stuff to check against that, I wouldn't think its a good idea, but I wouldnt fight too hard against it.

    This is unlikely an issue to invoke fury and start riots. The question to answer is then, "would you vote against it?" By saying you don't have a problem with it, you appear to imply that you would vote for it. A "Yes" vote is a vote for the Nanny State.

    I personally believe that people who profit from the weakness / suffering of others deserve any kind of regulation they get.

    Well I don't, particularly considering that many people do derive enjoyment from this. But even if every single person who ever gambled lost everything they owned, but did it voluntarily (either via their own free will or via mental defect), I still wouldn't believe the government had any business regulating it.

  • ||

    Ha! "Married to one", seriously, how far is this argument going to go!

    You made those statements about taxes, Social Security and traffic lights AS IF they were bad things! They aren't! Just because you are born doesn't mean you're entitled to my money to get educated, just because you're old doesn't mean you get my money either, and some of our traffic laws are ridiculous and arbitrary. Instead of coming to the correct conclusion, you decide that THESE laws are great.

    Mr. Sanchez made a great quote about whiny pricks using the law to coddle their pet projects...welcome to the whiny prick club, married.

  • ||

    "worthless, destructive industries like casino gambling and tobacco"

    Who the fuck gives you the right to determine what's worthless and destructive? I think you might have a genetic proclivity for "Narcissistic personality disorder". Please register with the state now. Just remember: it's not your fault you're better than the rest of us.

  • ||

    I'm starting to change my mind and support the checks based on the mulish refusal of Libertarians to draw the slightest distinction between laws limiting worthless, destructive industries like casino gambling and tobacco

    Casinos are entertainment and millions of people use them for it every year without succumbing to excess. The math in calculating odds and discipline it takes to ride out a tough beat are skills. Poker, in fact, is not a game of chance at all if you play 100,000 hands instead of 10. It favors comparabily with stock trading in the kind of attitude it takes to master the game. You don't get to decide for the rest of humanity what has value and what does not.

    I find your utter lack of empathy disturbing...

    This year a man died at a cybercafe in Korea due to too much gaming. Every year thousands waste money gambling on speculative stocks they barely understand. Suicides happen every day because of lives in excess -- too much porn, alchohol or food. You have many options to stem the tide. Counsel those in need. Donate to organizations that provide care. At no time do you get the right to put a gun up to the head of someone else's family member unless their behavior violates your rights to person or property. That's libertarianism. I find your willingness to empower the state to use force against a group of people simply because you don't think they're empathatic enough appalling.

  • ||

    So save your outrage for those who had a hand in it. And stop throwing around untruths. At no point have I tried to impose anything I believe on anyone.

    Forgive me. I did not mean you specifically, just the people with your mindset that do make the laws.

    I personally believe that people who profit from the weakness / suffering of others deserve any kind of regulation they get. They don't like?? Choose another line of business.

    The whole point of business is to find a need and fill it. Therefore, if everyone chose another line of business, there would still be a demand for gambling, yet no organization to fill it, meaning black markets. And please remind us why they are profiting from the weakness/suffering of others. You post indicates that no one inherently has self-control and no one can legitimately enjoy themselves without being exploited.

    Well other than the fact that an addict doesn't always have control over their actions -- how do you propse targetting just the addicts?

    I don't have to because it's not my problem. I just say that the force of government is not to be used to socially engineer the behaviors of people you personally are advocating for.

    You say its an undue burden, but to me its just another cost of doing business.

    A cost imposed on all of us to change behaviors that you find undesirable.

    It just isn't as bad as people are making it out to be.

    Every day there's some new form of legislation or proposal that quietly chips away at our freedoms to target certain sectors of the population in order to influence their behavior for their own good. Invariably, someone or some group will always say how it doesn't affect me or it's not really that bad, but where does it end? I don't care if it's "not that bad", the government is not a personal tool to use in order to change behaviors you don't like.

  • ||

    This is unlikely an issue to invoke fury and start riots. The question to answer is then, "would you vote against it?" By saying you don't have a problem with it, you appear to imply that you would vote for it. A "Yes" vote is a vote for the Nanny State.

    This is a very fair query. I don't have a dog in the race, so if I was just a voter I would most likely abstain from voting, if it were put up to a vote. If I were a governor I wouldn't veto it, if I were a legislator I would probably vote against it. But I wouldn't pull a Ted Stevens and threaten to quit if the bill passed.

    Well I don't, particularly considering that many people do derive enjoyment from this. But even if every single person who ever gambled lost everything they owned, but did it voluntarily (either via their own free will or via mental defect), I still wouldn't believe the government had any business regulating it.

    I derive enjoyment from gambling quite a bit. What does that have to do with whether or not I think it should be regulated?? In fact if it wasn't regulated, what would prevent casinos from not slanting the games even more in the house's favor without anyone knowing? Because I enjoy gambling I demand that it is regulated to make sure its on the up and up. Furthermore, I can sympathize with the opinion that the more regulations like these are put on, the better off those of us who enjoy them are. If too many people started losing their life savings and homes being broken up/foreclosed because of this, then more and more people would be screaming to have them closed down. So I guess I would rather take heavy regulation than a wholesale ban on gambling (which are the only two realistic options -- unless you think the masses are going to suddenly get a libertarian streak?)

    You are entitled to your opinion as I am entitled to mine. I don't think that people who are addicted are really doing things "voluntarily". They may be making a choice, but the nature of addiction seems to be one of losing true free will. But having never been addicted to anything I really don't know. Nor do I pretend to know. I can merely give the benefit of the doubt to those who are asking for help (putting themselves on the list).

  • ||

    The Right-minded people formed the Washington, DC, and it's satellite principalities. Ruled by an sort of parliament, Washington, DC was a beacon of civilization. The savage libertarians were not so enlightened and refused congressional control. The war was devastating, but Washington's victory over the libertarians insured a safer universe. And now everyone can enjoy the comfort, and enlightenment of your civilization.

  • Warren||

    Poker, in fact, is not a game of chance at all if you play 100,000 hands instead of 10. It favors comparabily with stock trading in the kind of attitude it takes to master the game.

    Oh Geezus. I'm totally with you on the point you're making. But that is just a stupid thing to say. Once you reach a certain level in poker, it becomes all luck. The stock market on the other hand is easily mastered; 'put your money in an index fund and don't fuck with it'. I'll grant you one thing though; most poker players and investors think they're much better than they actually are

  • ||

    It seems the "stripped of their winnings" part takes care of reimbursement. As a matter of fact, casinos -- which put a lot of work into tracking people of interest to them, i.e., cheats and card counters -- could probably spot such people with ease, then only card them if they ever get ahead of the house.

  • ||

    Forgive me. I did not mean you specifically, just the people with your mindset that do make the laws.

    Again, dave_b you misrepresent me. People with my mindset (ambivalence in general) dont make these laws, we just dont fight against them. You are the one who seems to want to force your mindset down my throat. I dont care enough to get pissed about this.

    The whole point of business is to find a need and fill it. Therefore, if everyone chose another line of business, there would still be a demand for gambling, yet no organization to fill it, meaning black markets.

    Not completely true. Only the people who object to the regulation would be leave, those who see this is a valid cost of doing business would step in to fill the void. You seem to think that everyone has your mindset. I am sure many casinos (like the ones who were voluntarily checking against this list) would have no major beef with this legislation since they were already doing it. And they may feel that it does in fact protect their business and their image by giving them the moral authority to say "look see...we care about our clients".



    And please remind us why they are profiting from the weakness/suffering of others. You post indicates that no one inherently has self-control and no one can legitimately enjoy themselves without being exploited.

    Do cigarette makers make money off of people who are addicted to cigs? Are cigs good for us? I'm not trying to demonize these industries because people do make their own decisions. My post does nothing to imply that no one has self-control. You need to read better. But there are many people who become addicts and can't stop. Those are the people who are putting their names on lists and those are the people who need help.

    I just say that the force of government is not to be used to socially engineer the behaviors of people you personally are advocating for

    What a weird definition of social engineering! The goverment isn't trying to social engineer anything. They are merely saying that these people who voluntarily have placed their name on a list have said they can't do it alone. So we are going to help them do it. I don't see that as social engineering.

    A cost imposed on all of us to change behaviors that you find undesirable.

    No, I dont particularly find it undesirable -- The person doing it finds undesirable but can't stop. There is a HUGE difference there whether or not you choose to see it

    Every day there's some new form of legislation or proposal that quietly chips away at our freedoms to target certain sectors of the population in order to influence their behavior for their own good.

    I dont see where your or my freedoms are being chipped away at. Just don't put yourself on the list. This does absolutely nothing to limit your ability to do as you please and to engage in any vices you want.

    You really are arguing against something that isn't happening. No one is trying to use the government to prevent others from engaging in bahavior that "we" don't like.

  • ||

    In fact if it wasn't regulated, what would prevent casinos from not slanting the games even more in the house's favor without anyone knowing?

    Why would you go to a casino that didn't publish its odds? I know what you're thinking. "They would just lie to me!" That's fraud and already a crime. And how do I know a radio isn't going to break down the day after I buy it even though I know nothing about electronics? Consumer Reports, that's how. No business gets very far by lying to it's customers. Casinos are in the "get rich quick" fantasy business and if you don't believe in the fantasy for any reason then they're dead.

  • ||

    Lincoln,

    The odds of all casino games can be easily calculated. But if there wasn't a regulating body or a gaming board, who would do spot checks to make sure that the slots really are calibrated properly and that the roulette table doesn't have magnets under it. There is no way to spot casino fraud short of taking apart equipment and doing checks like that. You think casinos are gonna let anyone do that if the government doesn't compel them to?

    I have been to casinos in other countries that are much less regulated and they get much fewer clients because most people believe that the games are "fixed". Casinos were a dirty word in those countries. I prefer mine regulated and being forced to prove on the up and up this way Im just taking my chances with the odds and not extra "house edges"

  • ||

    People with my mindset (ambivalence in general) dont make these laws, we just dont fight against them. You are the one who seems to want to force your mindset down my throat.

    Strange how your supposed ambivalence takes the form of protecting people from themselves. I cannot force my mindset upon anyone, because my mindset doesn't involve using government intervention to enforce behaviors that I am uncomforatble with.

    I am sure many casinos (like the ones who were voluntarily checking against this list) would have no major beef with this legislation since they were already doing it. And they may feel that it does in fact protect their business and their image by giving them the moral authority to say "look see...we care about our clients".

    If they have no beef and would voluntarily do it, then let the market decide. If a casino wanted to portray the image of caring for their clients, then let them do it on their own and let other casinos have the option to not do it if they choose. If enough potential customers feel the same way, then casinos that enforce the rule would benefit at the expense of the others. Business owners are there to conduct business, not to determine which consenting adult should be allowed on their property. Let them make the choice and either be punished or rewarded in the marketplace.

    No, I dont particularly find it undesirable -- The person doing it finds undesirable but can't stop.

    Once again, although I sympathize, I also realize that it's not the government's job (nor mine) to stop them.

    I dont see where your or my freedoms are being chipped away at. Just don't put yourself on the list. This does absolutely nothing to limit your ability to do as you please and to engage in any vices you want.

    Just because you choose not to see it doesn't mean that it isn't happening. If a person wants to voluntarily submit their name to the list, then that's fine, but casinos shouldn't be forced to to anything by government decree.

  • ||

    You think casinos are gonna let anyone do that if the government doesn't compel them to?

    Yeah, I do. They have strong economic incentives to do so as you yourself proved by not going to casinos in other countries. Indian casinos are self-regulated for instance.

  • ||

    Casinos are entertainment and millions of people use them for it every year without succumbing to excess.

    'K. In other words, they don't lose enough to effect their lifestyle.

    The math in calculating odds and discipline it takes to ride out a tough beat are skills.

    Are you talking about money management? If so, you don't possess those mathematical skill: it is a simple statement of fact that the most advantageous way to gamble in a casino is to decide how much you want to win and bet every penny you can afford, all at once, and let your winnings ride until you achieve the goal- "Bold Play." Not notably entertaining. Casino gamblers who are entertained face "Gamblers' Ruin." They make so many small bets that even a negligible edge, like the 50.25% of the most favorable blackjack game, will eventually grind them down. Money management keeps you at the table longer, but makes your eventual losses a virtual certainty.

    "Poker, in fact, is not a game of chance at all if you play 100,000 hands instead of 10. It favors comparabily with stock trading in the kind of attitude it takes to master the game."

    Meh. All games are games of chance and skill; they just come in different proportions. Chess players have inexplicable "off nights" and the casino game with the highest house edge and least amount of player input, Keno, offers certain propositions even more advantageous to the casino that skilled players avoid. You have a valid point about poker (which would hold for sports betting as well) insofar as the odds for or against a player are a lot more fluid. But in real life, if one isn't a true professional but sits down at a $25.00-$50.00 casino table in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, they'll soon wish they'd stuck to craps.

    "You don't get to decide for the rest of humanity what has value and what does not."

    Must... resist... urge... to draw... analogy... with Hitler... too strong... sucking me in...

    Oh, I suppose not. You're right: the broad array of state powers born of Kelo and Raich are no different than high taxes on a product that serves the purpose of satisfying a craving for itself at the cost of a game of Russian Roulette with three bullets chambered.

    "This year a man died at a cybercafe in Korea due to too much gaming."

    We don't know that much about playing arcade games for 48 straight hours. If these fatalities become a trend, then yeah, we need to look at a legal duty to prevent people doing that in one's business.

    "Every year thousands waste money gambling on speculative stocks they barely understand."

    But even craps-shoots like currency futures serve a productive purpose that casinos don't. It's not the same.

    Suicides happen every day because of lives in excess -- too much porn, alchohol or food. You have many options to stem the tide. Counsel those in need. Donate to organizations that provide care. At no time do you get the right to put a gun up to the head of someone else's family member unless their behavior violates your rights to person or property." That's libertarianism.

    Well, yes it is. A sign of contradiction. One the one hand, you lot seem to be the only ones aware that this law is in fact a gun to the head of somebody's father: if the casino owner won't comply, they'll put him in a cage, and if he runs away, they'll kill him. On the other hand, I find the inability to differentiate between egregious violations of personal and property rights, such as Kelo, and petty ones, such as suggesting that if you employ 2,000 people in Detroit, you might find room for a person of color or two, to be inexplicable.

    "I find your willingness to empower the state to use force against a group of people simply because you don't think they're empathic enough appalling."

    The empathy thing was about the tone lots of people took with Married to One. If you held my toes to the fire, I'd admit that I can't in good conscience support the law. But I certainly wouldn't have been so harsh with her either. And for whatever it's worth, addiction is not exclusively about willpower and personal choices.

  • MP||

    I have been to casinos in other countries that are much less regulated and they get much fewer clients because most people believe that the games are "fixed".

    It is thus the Casino's responsibility to improve their image. Publish their winnings. Obtain third party certifications. Whatever it takes to show people "hey, we're honest!".

    From a general libertarian perspective, regulations are only justified in the presence of a market failing, such as open space usage (oceans, air, airwaves, etc.) or a natural monopoly (although this is a debatable economic concept). Regulations that simply try to make things "better" are not generally accepted as being legitimate.

    Speaking of which, I have a fresh copy of Regulation magazine to read on the train home tonight. Woo-hoo!

  • MP||

    On the other hand, I find the inability to differentiate between egregious violations of personal and property rights, such as Kelo, and petty ones, such as suggesting that if you employ 2,000 people in Detroit, you might find room for a person of color or two, to be inexplicable.

    What...we need to publish a "pissed off" level with every post? OK...on my scale, this rates a 3 out of 100. Happy now?

  • ||

    A couple of times, when I first moved to Connecticut, I went to my local Indian casino, bought a ten-dollar roll of quarters, and played their video poker or video blackjack games. (25 cents per play.) Once I came out about 20 dollars ahead, and once I walked out with a few dollars' worth of pure-silver pre-1964 quarters that my machine spit out when I won, but the other three or four times I walked out of there minus the whole ten dollars.

    So I spent ten bucks on a couple of hours of fun (and got free drinks, too). Why is that any worse than if I'd spent that ten dollars to ride some carnival rides, or see a movie, or any other such "wholesome" activities?

  • ||

    Strange how your supposed ambivalence takes the form of protecting people from themselves. I cannot force my mindset upon anyone, because my mindset doesn't involve using government intervention to enforce behaviors that I am uncomforatble with.

    My ambivalence is taking the form of: If the government sees an interest in helping people who a) ask for help and b)can't help themselves by their own admission, its no skin off of my back. It would be a differnt story if they were trying to limit how often anyone could go or how much they could spend. But as long as as both conditions a + b are met, I just can't muster any outrage.

    And it isn't "supposed amivalence". Its genuine ambivalence. Are you calling me a liar? Up until this point I have kept my responses to you civil, if you can't return the courtesy then I will be more than glad to just stop discussing. It seems that you think anyone who doesn't froth at the mouth over the slightest regulation is a statist or a nanny-stater, but there are many valid positions in between those two extremes of the spectrum. That is where I fall.


    Just because you choose not to see it doesn't mean that it isn't happening. If a person wants to voluntarily submit their name to the list, then that's fine, but casinos shouldn't be forced to to anything by government decree.

    By that same token just because you are screaming "my freedoms are being taken away" doesn't mean they are. Nothing in this law stops you or any other patron of a casino from going as much or as little as you like. What exactly is your lost "Freedom" ? If the only lost freedom is the one where the casino loses the freedom to ignore this list boo-hoo! Casinos rake in a ton of money from non-addicted and casual gamblers. Being made to take a few extra steps to prevent people who need help and ask for that help is not going to make casinos go under nor is it something that most people are going to get outraged.

  • ||

    why check id?? Just let the problem gamblers implant a rf tag and let everyone walk thru a reader on the way in. But in no way should this be a government mandate.

  • ||

    why check id?? Just let the problem gamblers implant a rf tag and let everyone walk thru a reader on the way in. But in no way should this be a government mandate.

    Other than the fact that they need to make sure you are of age to gamble, I think this is a great idea. Its akin to those breathalyzers that people put on their cars except its voluntary.

    Unless you can't afford the implantation cuz you've lost all your money gambling??

    But then you run into the same problem. What if the casinos don't want to pay for the RF reader equipment?

  • ||

    I think that this raises my hackles more because married to one sounds like everyone else "I'd like to be against government intervention, but cause X, which I know so much about, has to be regulated and legislated". It's infuriating especially because she claims to be libertarian, except for Social Security, Public Schools, airport security, government ID checking (need I go on?) You're not libertarian, you just said it to try to grant your point legitmacy. Call me a purist, but big tent is what killed the Republicans and I am not in a forgiving mood for deliberate stupidity.

  • MP||

    Nothing in this law stops you or any other patron of a casino from going as much or as little as you like.

    The casual acceptance of government oversight over supposedly minor items is one of the main factors that has led to the leviathan we now live under.

  • ||

    MB, I do find that reassuring, especially in light of my good buddy Ammonium's comment,

    "Who the fuck gives you the right to determine what's worthless and destructive? I think you might have a genetic proclivity for "Narcissistic personality disorder". Please register with the state now. Just remember: it's not your fault you're better than the rest of us."

    Almost enough to inspire me to make a donation to the Discovery Institute on his behalf. ;-)

  • ||

    The casual acceptance of government oversight over supposedly minor items is one of the main factors that has led to the leviathan we now live under

    I agree with this statement. Although there may be disagreement with the particulars of what are minor and what aren't, I belive whole-heartedly in the sentiment. It is this casual acceptance that has made things like sobriety checkpoints, seat-belt laws, traffic light cameras capturing you "speeding", and police forcing you to show ID on demand a common occurance.

    But in this particular instance, where these people are in essence asking for help, and admitting they cant control themselves, it just seems different to me. I don't think this law is a particularly good idea. I just don't see this particular type of law as a slipperly slope, because of the voluntary aspect of getting on the lists in the first place.

    I'll grant that I am discounting the burden to the casinos in this case, but with such a heavily regulated business already the burden in this case seems rather trivial.

    But I do see and am quite sympathetic to your point MP.

  • ||

    If the government sees an interest in helping people who a) ask for help and b)can't help themselves by their own admission, its no skin off of my back.

    But it's taking an interest in helping people at the expense of others.

    If the only lost freedom is the one where the casino loses the freedom to ignore this list boo-hoo! Casinos rake in a ton of money from non-addicted and casual gamblers. Being made to take a few extra steps to prevent people who need help and ask for that help is not going to make casinos go under nor is it something that most people are going to get outraged.

    Just because any one group or entity takes in lots of money from consenting gamblers doesn't mean they should be subjected to additional regulation just because they can afford it.

  • ||

    I'm not against gambling, I voted for limited stakes gambling in Colorado in 1992. However, I'm way against state supported gambling like the state run lottery. I voted against the lottery here for that reason.

    I see it as a voluntary tax on those who usually can afford it least and are trying to get that miracle win. I regularly see many people of limited means buying 10-20 lottery tickets and scratching away at a table in the convienence store. I see that as the state taking advantage of people who should be using that money for bills and necessities. When will state lotteries stop taking advantage of these people? Oh, it's for parks and prisons and not a tax, so that's a good thing.

    BTW, I hope Bill Bennett is on every problem gambler list in the nation, so he can't feed his gambling jones.

  • ||

    Woah! This thread has been a heck of a ride!

    I guess ultimately the question is, why does Illinois need a law to enforce something that the casinos are already doing?? People have been asked to be put on a "Do Not Gamble" list and the casinos have obliged. They have stopped some 144 gamblers from gambling. I can't imagine any other business that would voluntarily opt out of a paying customer. I figure each casino will have it's own way of working that out, whether it is by tying it into "Players Club" cards or asking waitresses to keep an eye out for the "regulars".

    I see how this could work out for the casinos in an advertising way. "Gamble at Lucky Suzi's, the Casino that Cares!". All in all, let the market figure it out.

  • ||

    "Oh, it's for parks and prisons and not a tax, so that's a good thing."

    (Snort) Sha, right? There's this amazing saga in Illinois where they pushed through the lottery and it's this great thing because the proceeds go to education, right, and then it was, "OK, education, you're budget's a hundred million a year, and now there's seventy-five million from the lottery, so we're taking seventy-five million from property taxes that used to be earmarked for you and spending the crap out of it on projects we want but can't get voters to float the bonds!"

  • ||

    I can't imagine any other business that would voluntarily opt out of a paying customer.

    But unless I am misreading this, they are only opting out of paying a customer. If someone on the list wins money and is then caught, they will forfeit the winnings. It doesn't say anything about refunding money that was lost.

  • nmg||

    married to one

    That word you keep using, "libertarian", I don't think it means what you think it means.

    You keep arguing over whether or not a gambling addiction is a serious illness. That is completely irrelevant, but if you were a libertarian you'd understand that.

    Libertarians do not support coercion in matters of personal choice, which include things like the choice to gamble, no matter how bad a decision it might be that you are making. The point is that it is *your* decision and coercing you *or* me is not ok just because I think you're making dumb decision.

    Even if the result is a minor inconvenience to me, that is just the start of a very slipper slope.

    For instance, your reasoning could be applied to any number of things, like the decision to marry a gambling addict. We could enact laws that prevent people from marrying someone with a serious mental deficiency like gambling addiction. After all, doing so is clearly a bad decision that will cause them all kinds of grief down the road.

    But why stop there?

    Why, we could use the same reasoning to implement a brutal and systematic oppression of everyone in the name of preventing some of us from using harmful and destructive drugs! Why should we complain about the losses to our liberties and freedoms, after all we're saving these people from making bad choices for themselves!

    Wait, we already do that. You fail the libertarian test. Badly.

  • Yogi||

    Just to throw a little fuel on the fire, but remember a few weeks ago when A-Rod was rumored to be playing high-stakes poker in NY? It was this big deal and he eventually had to come out and promise to never gamble. WTF?!?! If anyone has the means to throw some money down the tube its A-Rod.

    The main issue here I believe isn't the 3-4 seconds it'd take to scan your ID, which I'm sure would start happening instead of doing all this manually. Instead, its the idea that our names could be going into some kind of database and violate our right to privacy. Now, every business has a right to know who they are letting in their doors, so if they wanted to keep a list, fine. I can choose to go to another casino if I don't want anybody finding out I was there. However, if ALL casinos keep records because they are forced to, there's the rub.

    Now, sure you can tell me that they aren't storing my info, just checking it against the voluntary list. Fine, then my concerns are invalid. However, I very much doubt the powers that be will be able to resist the temptation to find out who's going to casinos. The IRS anyone? This is coming from me, too, one of the last guys here to put their tinfoil hat on.

  • ||

    Prediction for the future: a guy on the "problem gambler" list will get a fake ID, go to a casino and lose big. Then he will sue the casino for allowing him in. Despite the fact that he used a fake ID to get in, the casino will still be found guilty (same way a bartender can get busted for selling drinks to underage people, even when said peole had a fake ID).

  • Rick||

    This thread has become quite long so I haven't had time to read all the comments.

    Given that problem gambling, whatever that might mean, has been turned into a mental health issue it is hardly surprising to me that this policy of "voluntary" exclusion is one required by law. If it is indeed voluntary, then gamblers ought to be able to remove themeselves from the list and start gambling again. I take it that this is not possible under this law. Problem gamblers also have debt problems so I don't see why casinos can't deal with this population on their own terms without government intervention. Of course, the fact that the policy is required by law calls into question the "voluntary" nature of it.

    I'm no fan of comparing problem gamblers to drunk drivers or somebody who wants to highjack a plane. Problem gamblers are only a threat to themselves financially, and their families if they are married and have dependent children. Somebody throwing away their money every night at a slot machine is not a potential danger to anybody else the way a drunk driver is.

    Nobody is forced to gamble and it is certainly within anybody's power to simply not go to the casino and throw away money. At one of the places I work at the three most annoying whiners also happen to be problem gamblers. It's not hard to figure out why they are constantly complaining. They spend a lot time and money trying to win games they are basically guaranteed to lose. Every adult who enters a casino knows that they are playing games they are most likely destined to lose. They only have themselves to blame if they keep coming back to throw away more money.

  • ||

    Another instance of where my new consitutional amendment would fit perfectly.

    "No individual shall be held responsible for the responsibilities of any other individual."

    Its just a lil tiny disruption they say. As though our government has ever stopped adding tiny inconvenience's once they have started. It's only .25% sales tax increase no biggie right. No not really not until you have had 36 of them at .25% and never have any fall off into history. You honestly think the pols with stop with just this.

    It is totally each individuals option what they do with themselves. You could pass 100 laws and have 1000 databases and these people will still find a way to gamble if thats what they want to do.

    Its real simple. I don't tell you what to do and you don't tell me what to do. Follow that simple rule and everything will be fine. With regards to my individual lifestyle and personal choices which affect no one else of course.

    While the moral elitist have no problem setting the parameters which we must all live by they would never allow you even one week to dictate how they should live their lives. Until their ready to let me in their homes and go through their things making a list of what they can and can not have, what they can and can not do, they really just need to shut the hell up.

    It is very easy to be the overlord where you can do as you please while the lil people follow your rule. What is not so easy is actually allowing people to make their own decisions especially if for some reason you actually think your idea for them is whats really best for them regardless of what they think.

    I consider it a lot like raising a child. For 18 years I was responsible for raising my daughter. For those 18 years I had to make rules etc. However now that she is almost 20 I have had to come to terms with the fact that she is an adult now and can make her own choices. Now when she tells me her plan on something I can still voice my opinion but she is free to do what she decides not what I decide. While this is hard even more so with your own child its how things must be if in fact you truly believe we are each entitled to our own choices. When her choices don't jive with mine she must also understand that just as she is free to make her own decisions so am I. Everyone will not always agree on a decision but then again if its only affecting the person/s making the decision what the hell business of mine is it what choice they make?

    The checkout lady will one day have the decision whether or not you should be allowed to buy ice cream soon also. I saw them setting up BMI calculators and scales on the checkout isles. If you are out of spec no ice cream for you! Buts its ok we know whats best for ya, trust us ;)

  • SteveInClearwater||

    A fairly quick skim of this thread leads me to believe that instead of backing such silly restrictions, MARRIEDTOONE should simply get a divorce and get on with her life free from gambling addicts.

    But I bet that would make too much sense.

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