Sunday, December 04, 2005

This Government's Got an Addiction Problem

So you thought that most of Alberta's revenues came from oil and gas, did you? Well, technically they do, but there's another revenue source that's very lucrative for the province - government-controlled gambling.

When we first moved here, I started to volunteer at my kid's school and was very quickly asked if I wanted to work the casino. "The what?", I sputtered. "At the school?" Oh no, they quickly assured me, this would be at a REAL casino and the money raised would go toward a new playground. "We have them every year", they told me proudly, "and they're very profitable."

Yeah, I'll bet they are and what a great message to send to our kids: don't work hard for something you want, just rely on luck to get it for you. Buy a bunch of lottery tickets every week! Try the VLTs if you need some more cash!

Now I'll admit I've never understood the lure of Las Vegas. I've always considered it to be tacky and have never had the desire to see Wayne Newton, Celine Dion, or Siegfried and Roy (although that tiger attack would have been kinda cool to see, but what are the chances you would have actually caught that? Might as well have stayed at the slots, I think.) But do you know how many casinos there are in Calgary? Neither do I, but it's a bunch and they're building even more. And there are a shitload of VLTs in the province.

Of course, the Alberta Gaming Commission has wisely set up a gambling addiction program to deal with the aftermath.

So now, there a senior's group in Lethbridge who get together every week to play cribbage and they collect $10.00/couple/month to cover the costs of coffee and cookies and a small cash prize for the winner. The largest payout has been $100.00. The AGC wants them to cease and desist, because they are "generating illegal gambling revenues".

Give me a fucking break! It's cribbage for Christ's sake! And a bunch of seniors who want to socialise a wee bit!

This government sure has its priorities fucked.


Grover said...

That's totally backwards about the seniors. Sheesh!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I know, Andy, what a bunch of bullies!

Neil said...

In NS, there has been a group trying to have VLT's banned for the longest time. I think they should and I hope this group succeeds. A few weeks ago the government did remove something like 1500 from around the province.

It makes me sick when I'm at a bar playing pool for a couple of hours and I see people coming out of the little VLT rooms every 20 minutes or so to take more money out of the ATM because they just blew the last bit they took out.

I don't have much (make that any) sympathy for those idiots who dump money into VLT's. It seems pretty obvious to me that those things are there with one purpose only, to make money. They are not going to pay out more than they take in, they are a fucking machine. How stupid can a person be? However, I do think that our governments can make a proactive approach and ban the machines to make this ridiculous addiction go away.

There is even this one jackass from Cape Breton who is trying to sue the NS government because he wasted something like $500,000 over a number of years at the casino. He's saying they should have realized he had a problem and cut him off. I say he should feel free to "fuck off".

I would never go to Vegas either, Barb. I think it's an evil place, I mean, the nudity and hookers are great, but the gambling is just wrong. And the tiger attack may have been interesting to see.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Nudity and tiger attacks are both great, Neil! I am in agreement that lotteries and any other form of gambling are simply a tax on the stupid.

Anonymous said...

How the hell does one make money off of cribbage? I guess it's an "I win or you win" situation, but it seems like such a low-budget way to win cash.

I'm not a gambler though, what do I know!

kerryklove said...

I went to Vegas in 96. At the time I was living on a small island in BC, and what a culture shock it was.
It was overwhelming and I felt like a fish out of water. I was really hoping for that old hollywood rat pack glamour, but it was more like a neon circus. Plus I went with my mom and we had to do stupid things like tour marshmallow factories and see the impersonators show. It's a bit depressing to think about it now, but I'm glad I saw it.
Leave the seniors alone. Sounds like a job for the Raging Grannies.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Michelle, babe! Good to see you, I missed you! Yeah, those 70 year old cribbage players are pretty high rollers. SOMEBODY has got to reign them in!

Kerrylove, you are absolutely right - the Raging Grannies should take this on! Now I can't stop thinking about marshmallow factories though - I think that's going to give me nightmares.

Kellee said...

Your new, hot, hot!!! ;)
You sassy firecracker, you!
PS: Just so you don't feel alone up north AND in case you hadn't heard...our government is fucked as well. ha!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Kellee, where've you been, how are you doing?
Thanks for the compliments. Didja notice I'm even wearing lipstick in that photo? Big moment for me.
And I had heard whispers about your government as well. It's always nice to spread the fuckedness around!

Neil said...

I noticed the lipstick. Far from Elmer Fudd. :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Neil, bless you for noticing my attempts at beauty! I think, though, that secretly Elmer Fudd wanted to wear lipstick. Why should Bugs Bunny have all the fun?

Teddy said...

Michelle: point differential. 10c a point, cumulative. Like hearts.

My ex father-in-law taught me everything I know about crib.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Ah yes, Teddy - you're right. It's been a dog's age since I played crib. I seem to remember playing for toothpicks though.

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