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Bennett: “Phase 2 of Problem Gambling”

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David Hogberg, a professional poker player, has some measured thoughts on moralist William Bennett’s gambling:

    …if you know anything about slot machines and video poker – the two games which Bennett says he plays – it is highly, highly improbable that one could come out “close to even” over ten years. The games are “rigged” so that the casinos make money over the long run. The odds that Bennett would come out “close to even” are infinitesimal. (Although, as Josh Marshall wryly notes, Bennett’s statement leaves a lot of “room for wiggle.”)

    What is troubling about Bennett’s statement is that it is indicative of Phase II of problem gambling, according to 1-800-BETS-OFF. Part of that phase includes “gamble and then lie about it” and “hide their losses.” It seems that Bennett is trying to cover up his gambling; if so, it’s likely he has a problem.

    We should not blame an addict for his addiction. We should hold him morally accountable if he does not treat his addiction. Thus, if Bennett has a gambling problem and has not sought help, then it is a moral failure, and it undermines his credibility as a morality spokesman. But what we should be concerned about is not necessarily how much Bennett has lost, but how he behaves regarding his losses. That’s what will reveal whether Bennett indeed has a “moral problem.”

I am not a gambler, but I don’t have anything against games of skill, like poker. But anyone who blows $8 million over ten years playing against machines is just plain stupid – surely moral Bill Bennett could find something more contructive to do with his time and money.

I don’t much care whether Bennett has a gambling “problem” or not – he is a hypocritical turd. More on Bennett’s gambling here and here.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.high-rollers-club.com/ John Kent

    Gamling addiction is a problem that should be addressed urgently. It is something that destroys the person as well as the family and the society. Gambling, like other recreations has its adverse effects. For years, conservative groups are against gambling with arguing on immorality. It is clearly observed that gamblers develop a mentality of pushing to much to win every game they play. have always been accused of being gambling addicts because of their constant play. Still, such distinction never affected their manner of play and addiction to gambling.

  • http://www.nrlc.org/ Anthony Grande

    Wow!!! Two years later it gets its first two comments!!!