Sunday, August 19, 2012

This makes me sad …

Just in the last month two of these Sweepstake Internet Cafes have opened for business on route #1 within 5 minutes driving time from my house. It really makes me sad.

I have nothing against a venturesome entrepreneur starting a new business but I really balk when the place is blatantly rigged to take advantage of the customers. I don’t understand it all but evidently there’s a loophole in the North Carolina law that makes gambling in Sweepstakes Cafes legal whereas that’s not the case with their video machine counterparts.

As census data and visits to the sweepstakes cafes show, these businesses are set up to appeal to those who have little to spend and a lot to lose. To listen to the hype and see the signs you would think that everyone could be a winner … but ultimately its the house that always wins and few people will leave the premises with more money than they brought in. From what I’ve read this has led to many a dissatisfied customer and the consequences can be deadly.

Why is this a concern to me if I don’t intend to frequent them? I guess it’s because I resent these sleazy businesses popping up and degrading the lovely stretch of highway that I drive on daily. I realize that everyone has the right to gamble or not to gamble as long as its legal but that doesn’t make me condone it.

I guess it’s the same mind set that makes the lotteries so popular and, while I’m on the subject, I’ve never been able to understand why they have such enormous one-person lottery jackpots. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a thousand people win ¼ million dollars each rather than just one person winning billions???? Oh, well, what do I know.


Blogger kenju said...

I agree with you, Ginnie. It is sad, and sadder that that loophole exists.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

While I purchase the occasional lottery ticket, I am not into gambling.

4:24 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Ginnie--agree agree agree.
I am struck by what all the lotteries are doing to our concept of citizenry.
We rail against taxes--heaven help us if we should even consider the benefits of taxing to help us all. But--hey--need funding for schools? Well, let's have a lottery. Need roads--lottery. Need assistance for the elderly--lottery.
And, as someone who worked with impairment at times in my career, I am really concerned because just as alcohol addicts, so does playing the lottery.
I just had occasion to deal with a man who lost his job because he used his work expense account as a way to fund his addiction to playing at gambling places--all those places along our highways!

4:59 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

That is sad. We never patronize any gambling establishment * except to occasionally stop at casino for the buffet... :)

5:32 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Gambling has no appeal to me at all.
Love Di ♥

6:25 AM  
Anonymous schmidleysscribblins, said...

Sometimes, I think states made grave mistakes when they did away with blue laws. This is liberalizatin at its worst. Unfortunately, there is nothing you or I could do about it owing to the 'Commerce Clause' of the Constitution.

Gambling establishments are businesses and therefore "persons" according to a nineteenth century ruling by the Supreme Court seeking to liberalize trade.

I don't like casinos on Indian reservations, or state lotteries, but both raise money for worthy causes.

The poor who buy lottery tickets might ask, how is what they do different from buying stocks on Wall Street. Isn't that a type of gambling too? Dianne

PS As one very familiar with the Census forms, I can tell you there is no question on the Census of Housing and Population regarding these operations, therefore no census data.

As for the Economic censuses, stores like this are classified in ways that mask their gambling, and there is little or no people information on the economic censuses.

The information you have may suggest it came from the Census Bureau, but it didn't.

9:06 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Oh, I totally agree with you. And it really galls me that it's called the North Carolina EDUCATION lottery! As if you are making a charitable donation to the schools by purchasing a ticket.

1:30 PM  
Blogger ellen said...

You know a lot, Ginnie.
It would make me sad too, and I am afraid that I would really resent the visual "litter" messing up an otherwise beautiful landscape.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Ginnie, you are so right in saying the only people who really make out are those running these establishments. We nearly had a similar type operation try to open in our little town, but both the state and the town managed to block it, thankfully. We do admit to having bought a few powerball tickets recently and a few lottery tickets on our anniversary, but we are losing out on all those big bucks promised I guess. And, we don't even go to casinos.

4:44 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I never gamble. Not even bingo. I guess I am a prude. When the governments of Canada legalize gambling and too over from organized crime they justified it on the basis of paying for government programs. This is a bad way to finance government. If people want government programs they should be willing to pay taxes to pay for them.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

I am now 40yrs old but back when.I was 18yrs old it was an adventure (like everything else at 18yrs of age) to hit the road and go interstate to New South Wales to stay the weekend at a nice golf club and spend a small amount of change that I did not expect a return on at the 'pokies'. We did that three times in one year but then the pokies came to our state and 'infected' many a nice bistro. I cannot stand the sound of the machines :P
I do feel sorry for people who are drawn to the machines. I see the habit bringing families down.

9:23 AM  
Blogger joared said...

Gambling sites seem to be proliferating everywhere. Numerous ones now in So Cal when used to be everyone had to go to Vegas.

They sold the Lottery to voters here years ago touting how much money would go to education, helping the schools so we wouldn't have to raise taxes. Well......

I agree about more winners and smaller lottery jackpots, but for some reason seems they make more money, with more people buying tickets the bigger the jackpot. Maybe it's because when it reaches a certain size groups of people buy tickets 'cause they have more chances and if they win there will be enough they can each retire, or at least have a really sizeable amount.

Or, maybe that's not the explanation -- I'm no authority on the lottery workings except to know, if you're going to gamble -- quit when you're ahead -- maybe cover the expenses of your trip to the casino, otherwise if you go for the big jackpot you'll likely not get it and they'll get all the money back and maybe more.

5:03 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Fortunately that is still against the law here...
It cracks me up when people spend say $5 a week on lottery tickets for years and finally win $20. They get so excited! They spent$500 on tickets to get $20 back and think they are winning?
(banging head on desk)

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why aren't our representative's looking at the whole picture? They'd rather have the minute of boasting the new business in town but they won't be around to account for the degradation of the community when these businesses clients become desperate. Don't get me wrong I love to play poker but I do it in the privacy of my own home and nobody is losing their rent money.

I'd rather have a "massage parlor" at least people would leave happy!
Jody Robertson

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Big John said...

In the UK betting shops are legal and popular. They are on nearly every high street with several on some. Recently they have been allowed to operate fairly high stakes 'Vegas' style slot machines as well as taking sports bets.
Guess where they are most popular ? The poor 'inner city' areas where most people live on 'state benefits'.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

There is a lot of sleaze out in the world now. I think it's just the tip of the sleaze iceberg.

7:04 PM  

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