WHY NOW

I believe there is a unique opportunity to prepare casinos and the State of Illinois to protect the patrons of Illinois casinos when the casinos reopen. I hypothesize that when the casinos reopen the demand for gambling will be most prevalent in people along the spectrum of Gambling Disorder. Imagine having the disorder in “normal” times. Imagine the addition of financial and emotional negative factors building up in a time of chaos, existential threat caused by the pandemic we are living in.

On a personal/internal perspective I am no longer willing to be “neutral” on the system that People with a Gambling Disorder experience. What is sadly interesting to me is that in the neutrality of the system it is the gambler who pays the price. The gambler is the one who is supposed to be “responsible” I do not see the casinos or the State being responsible. In some ways I get the casinos seemingly being capitalistic psychopaths (my term) in doing harm to others without seeming to blink an eye. That is pure capitalism. It does not have to be that way. In Ghandi’s 7 Social Sins he does not suggest we should not have commerce. Just do it with morality.

The State of Illinois seems willing to accept that capitalistic view for the “benefit” of tax revenue. Grinols’, in the previously mentioned book on the costs and benefits of casinos, math figured that for every dollar of benefit from a casino there is three dollars of social cost (p.131). For those more mathematically inclined than me he has formulas galore in the book. His chapter on social costs describes the hidden costs that the casinos and the State do not seem to have a enough concern to study those social/economic costs before casinos are built, He also has twenty pages of sadness of stories based on the consequences of casino gambling and gambling disorder. You can google for yourself the social costs to find too many stories about economic, personal, family, and societal ruin.

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