How about education over fear mongering

With much of North America starting to lean towards gambling expansion of all kinds, in particular, online gambling, opponents and so called experts are coming out of the woodwork to spout off with their fear mongering tactics, to point out the “evils” of the gambling industry.

The sad thing is, we’ve heard all the arguments before, the fears about underage gamblers, the fears of increased addictions, the creating of a so called gambling culture, and my personal favorite, from an American politician, Mr. Bogus, “that adults could lose their house with a click of a mouse”. Newsflash, American adults are already losing their homes and it’s not from gambling, it’s from unemployment!

Most of the arguments we hear against online gambling expansion and legalization are empty arguments that have in many cases either been disproved or stem from some holier than thou and often hypocritical moral standpoint. Read more.

Opponents are quick to demonize online gambling, while turning a blind eye to the alcohol, sex and even social media industries that also impact society.

The fundamental flaw in a majority of the criticisms in my opinion is they fail to address the heart of the problem. It’s all the same, whether we’re discussing sex, alcohol or online gambling, the problems associated don’t come from the activity, but rather from those engaging in the activity. Do we ban alcohol and porn because it can produce alcoholics and sex addicts? Rather, isn’t it a better strategy to educate the public, starting with the highschools? Of course it is.

Perhaps its education that is the missing link in the online gambling argument. These days as early as the seventh and eighth grade kids are learning about sex education, the dangers of cyber bullying and alcohol abuse, why not gambling?

Well, Ontario is hoping to change all of that, their government has unveiled a new curriculum for the future that includes education for students to learn about online gambling. Read more.

This is a step in the right direction, it’s addressing the issue at its root instead of simply trying to ban and avoid something that at it’s essence is made for pure entertainment. Other governments would do well to implement gambling education into the curriculum sooner than later. With kids being educated about online gambling, we’re not creating a culture of gambling, we’re creating a culture of responsibility and accountability, something we certainly lack in our society. Just look at the many instances in which a problem gambler sues a casino for failing to catch him for sneaking into the casino to gamble. I know we’re all for protecting at risk gamblers but when does the line get drawn? Can I sue Budweiser or the cold beer and wine store for allowing me to purchase those tall boys?

I’m just saying where’s the accountability? I say it all begins with “edumacation”.