Monday, September 13, 2010

Christian Gambler:

The Alabama Baptist newspaper is running an eight part series on “Gambling in Alabama.” I guess the past year of Casino Bingo articles just have not been enough. First off what is my definition of “Gambling?” In my humble opinion gambling is investing something of personal value for the intent of personal gain. So do I have a problem with casinos being built-in our state? No. That is not very Christian of you D.C!

First look at who has to loose if casinos were to be built-in our town. The first ones to loose would be other casinos in the state. Second, other casinos in neighboring states would loose business. Why travel there if you can get it here? Local stores especially Wal-mart and other major retail chains would be the first to see a drop in consumer spending. Small local shops would suffer the most. On top of that the business model for such small casinos experience a revenue plateau within 3 to 5 years. About the same time the break even point of initial investors' investment is achieved. To continue an increasing revenue stream such casinos will need to again make new investments in entertainment, food and yes, new and more gaming machines.

City and county governments will see a short-lived increase in tax revenue for the first 3 to 5 years. After making countless building permit and other concessions the over-all benefit will be lucky to break even. Now that is gambling.

So why is gambling such a big issue in Alabama. Greed and moral decay are at the heart of the matter. The facts are that we as Christians have no intentions of funding such an expensive legal fight with casinos. Casinos have what appears on the surface as an endless revenue stream to funnel cash into the fight. If we are really concerned with the moral decay of society we would focus our efforts on witnessing for Christ and not throwing money at a losing battle.

“I never gamble.” I hear that a lot from fellow Christians. Strange when I was younger I actually got to meet a professional gambler. He told me that a professional gambler never gambles. They only invest when the odds are in their favor. Sounds a lot like the banking industry. They invested heavily into real estate mortgages and even when their investments went South they still received billions of dollars in bail out money. It was overall a safe gamble you have to admit. One made entirely in their favor.

Have you ever driven a car? You are gambling thinking that 6 inch wide yellow line will prevent that multi-ton car coming at you will stay in their lane. The fact is you are gambling with your life every time you drive in a car. In other words you are investing your life in exchange for getting from point “A” to point “B.” What is the definition of gambling?

D. C. get on board. We are talking about putting a casino in our own backyard here. With that comes drug trafficking, prostitution, increasing crime and violent assaults too. You are absolutely right. When we hear the word casino we think big luxury hotels like in Vegas or Atlantic City. They will never be coming to our town. The high rollers who can afford to spend the money needed to fund the dreams of local politicians and our community will never come. These are not casinos. They are the diet Coke of casinos. Just one calorie, not casino enough. What we are really seeing coming to town are gambling joints bent on only one thing. To strip away as much money from the local community as possible. The business model for a Vegas type casino is to build it. Open the doors and collect the cash in as many buckets as you can. That is in Vegas not Alabama. In Vegas people are under the illusion that gambling is entertainment. They entertain as much money as possible right out from under you without you even thinking twice about it. We see people coming back from Vegas with nothing but lint in their pockets and smiles on their faces. That is Vegas. Here a gambling joint will need to swindle your money away from you. That leads to corruption, heartache, and social destruction.

If we really want to control this we first must realize it is coming. Therefore we should pass laws requiring a true casino establishment must be on the huge scale of Vegas. Requiring the investment of 100's of millions of dollars and nothing less. In other words make it OK to build if you build the biggest and the best. Top dollar in will result in top dollar out. If they want to build a casino here then make them go all-in not just a few coins down. Make them invest in building an airport. Minimum room development of 500 to 1,000 's of units. Tax each room whether occupied or not. Only those who can really afford it will build. Why should they? If you are going to spend money like that then spend it in Vegas like they should. Reduce the odds of success and you reduce the odds of building it in our backyard.

From the Christian point of view we need to start negotiating the right to minister to people on casino property. Start gambling counseling facilities before they even open up for business. Funded by the casinos themselves. They would have too just for the PR value.

Well that is my story. It is just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think? Are you willing to put it on the line and leave a comment? Yes, leaving your opinion for someone else to see is a gamble. Is it worth the risk? Make a choice.

Team up, Set-up and get into the fight. <><

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