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America's Gambling Hypocrisy

Written By: Albert Mohler  |  Posted: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Jacob Weisberg of Slate.com offers a very interesting essay on this nation's proclivity for moral hypocrisy on the issue of gambling. In "Don't Bet on It, " Weisberg argues that Americans are torn between wanting to curtail gambling and wanting to profit by it. In many states, this means the rationalization through political means of some kinds of betting games over others.

From his essay:
"What's the difference between the legal forms of gambling and the illegal forms? Some of the legal varieties are less appealing, in part because the "vig" [game's take] is higher (lotteries return less than 60 percent of their take in prizes). Certain kinds of authorized gambling convey the special grimness of state-sponsored vice, which will be familiar to those who have visited riverboat casinos in desperate Mississippi and Indiana towns. But morally and in terms of their social consequence, it's hard to draw any distinction at all. All kinds of gambling, from bingo to baccarat, are benign entertainment for most people, dangerously addictive to a few, and capable of breeding unwanted side effects for society.

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