According to today’s PolitckerNJ, “A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind™ poll released today shows New Jersey voters favor expanding slot machines to the Meadowlands and other existing racetracks. Asked whether they support or favor expanding slots to the Meadowlands, voters favor the proposal by 52%-37%.”
If a poll on vending machines were taken, Snickers would beat broccoli and Coke would beat V8 juice. If gambling is so great why not also add slots in all public schools? The reason is that the state has a role to play in health education, prevention and treatment – sometimes unappreciated but nonetheless essential. Further expansion of gambling is a mistake.
Gambling can become all-consuming and addictive. With gambling one is at risk of losing money, health, sanity, family, friends and the ranch. Let people do their gambling in Atlantic City which already has shops that buy gold jewelry from the losers, counselors for those who have enough sense, and hospital emergency rooms for those most endangered.
The gambling industry has been described as self-cannibalizing. No sooner does one location, game, or casino gain popularity than others in the industry want to copy it. The result is new locations, games, and casinos in an ever widening spiral. Atlantic City has to compete with Philadelphia, race tracks want to compete with Atlantic City and some in Bergen County want to get in the game.
The State on its own website, nj.gov, promotes its lottery. Much wiser would be to promote prevention and treatment for gamblers. Even better yet, would be to promote NJ to industries which produce products and services we actually need.