Yes, Responsible Gambling is a Good Cause

Published August 8, 2011 by OCR Editor

Yes, Responsible Gambling is a Good Cause

In face of gambling ban advocates, responsible gambling is a worthy cause.

An opinion piece in Today Online in Singapore describes responsible online gambling as a problematic, misleading and dangerous game. I argue quite the opposite.

The author, Willie Cheng, heard "responsible gambling" referred to at a forum on responsible gambling and gaming he attended. It meant a middle ground where one "gambles moderately without adverse consequences from going overboard and becoming obsessed with gambling."

The author's arguments, picked one by one:

Can gambling be responsible at all?

To answer this question in the negative, the author uses a dice metaphor. In gambling, he writes, "The dice are loaded against you."

Only they are not. The dice are dice. And luck is luck. To say the dice are against you is to believe in superstition. Such sentiment makes me feel bad for the guy; does he really wake up in the morning thinking dice - the absolute sign of randomness and fairness - are against him.

Bad investment

The author uses another analogy, this one from the stock market, saying: "No one would invest, say, in a stock, if it was guaranteed he would lose money on it eventually."

Only much of the stock exchange is based on such contrarian, opportunistic at times, wise or stupid investments. No one in his or her right mind would suggest to defend investors from investing in companies on the low, hoping - believing - that they will win out in the end.

Sex?!

Seriously, the author suggests abstinence. Responsible gambling is akin to playing safe, when you can't play hard. If you're not good at it, however, he suggests a third approach, namely to recognize that gambling is a vice and to abstain.

Which is really what the entire approach - an article against responsible gambling - sounds like: Condescending moral preaching.

Weather

If it were up to Cheng, one would not be allowed to bet on the weather in Singapore.

It's 30 degrees, most likely, today. You don't need to buy a paper to guess that right. It's also a rather safe bet, or better, a responsible bet.

Gamble safe.

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