Blame The Machines

terminatorA Newfoundland man, heartbroken and angry after the suicidal death of his daughter, has taken up the fight against the government to have VLTs banned from the province. It’s the VLT machines the man believes are responsible for the death of his daughter. Read more.

Riddle me this…Can a video lottery machine really be accountable, or hold any responsibility for the life of a human being? Not to make light of the situation, but the only way I can truly blame a VTL machine for the death of another human being is if that machine somehow travelled back in time from several years in the future and came back to the present age as a enhanced murderous terminator VLT. It would have to have a German accent and ride a motorbike too. Then, and only then would I hold that machine responsible, and then I would promptly go purchase a double barreled shotgun. And get Sarah and Jon on the phone, “Meet me at the safe house…it’s back.”.

Obviously, in this case the government doesn’t feel that the VLTs are a threat to society. In fact, it’s kind of ironic that the revenue generated from the VLTs in Newfoundland are used towards health care and social service programs, the same type of programs that would help problem gamblers or people who are suffering from depression and suicidal tendencies. So in actuality, if the Newfoundland government were to ban the machines, the funding to these health and social service programs would be cut which means, people who need help may not get the help they need. It doesn’t sound like the best solution.

Sure, the revenue the government makes from these VLTs is based on the misfortune of other people. While that may sound terrible, is it more comforting to know that the government also makes money off the good fortune of people too? That is, if you pay taxes. The government makes money off people either way, whether your fortune is good, or not, but they take less if your fortune is real good, so go figure.

I think it’s time for people to start looking at the root of these problems. It’s terrible that a gambling addiction to VLTs lead to the eventual suicide of human being, no doubt. But is the VLT machine responsible or are there other inherent factors or issues within the individual that were more likely the cause? If an alcoholic dies from destroying his liver, do we blame the booze and push for prohibition? No, we don’t, we push for responsible drinking. So if anything, the push should be for the government to ensure programs in place for responsible gaming. Blaming it on the machines, just doesn’t compute.