Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Casino Gambling—The Opportunistic Infection

Not surprisingly, with Galveston, Texas a long way from recovery after Hurricane Ike, casino gambling is on the table for the island.

Here is Dolph Tillotson, President and Publisher of the Galveston County Daily News, writing in favor of casino gambling. 

Many business owners in Galveston are hoping that casino gambling is part of the future.

For this gambling to be allowed in Galveston, it would have to be allowed in Texas in the first place.

Above you see staphylococcus aureus. It is the most common cause of staph infections. About 20% of people carry this bacteria. It does not kill in most cases. Though it can kill. For the most part, it causes a variety of troubles for the victim that can range anywhere on the scale from major to minor.

Staphylococcus aureus will do it’s damage when you give it a chance. It takes advantage of wounds and disease. It’s the cause of opportunistic infection.

Casino gambling is the same way. It moves in when there is no more hope of an economy producing anything of real value. Or when local  or state governments cannot or will not raise enough tax money to provide basic services. It sees its opportunities and it takes them. It is always waiting for its chance.

In the case of Galveston, casino gambling finds opportunity in the wake of a hurricane, and as the island’s largest employer, the U. of Texas Medical Branch, slashes thousands of jobs.

In honesty, because I don’t see another option, I’d favor at least considering this gambling in Galveston. I don’t have another solution to help people in Galveston find work. Nobody is going to help them. The liars who comprise the U. of Texas Board of Regents are doing everything possible to hurt the island for who knows what reason. 

I have moral objections to casino gambling—Yep! I sure did get married at a casino—and moral views have every place in politics and policy. (More public policy questions than we realize are moral questions. How much tax money we raise and how we spend that money are moral questions in many respects.)

Yet though I think casino gambling preys on those least able to afford it, and that it is a lousy way to fill the public coffers, it seems at this point the people of  Texas and Galveston should vote on the issue. Galveston will no doubt talk about regulating the casinos, but when they move in the people will lose control of their city government.  Though since this little city of 50,000 has no control over hurricanes, of course, or over UTMB,  what does it really matter?

Maybe I’m being pragmatic here. Or maybe I’m just fatigued trying to think about what will serve as a solution to help what I view as the most interesting and enjoyable place to visit in all Texas. If somebody has a better idea I’d like to hear it.

I’m certain the people of Galveston are very fatigued right now. I’m certain fatigue makes one more vulnerable to the type of opportunistic infection that casino gambling represents in any community that has run out of better and more hopeful choices.   

(Below—Galveston is vulnerable in many respects.)

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January 10, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

9 Comments »

  1. I hope there will be no casinos in Texas! I know of a person who’s lost it all to the casinos in New Orleans. Now he blows his check away at illegal gambling. I called the cops and let them know where this was taking place.

    Gambling is evil because there are some people who just don’t know when to stop, and for their sake and their familie’s sake, I hope Texas won’t allow gambling.

    Comment by Saleema Gul | January 11, 2009

  2. The staph photo is great, the opportunistic infection a very appropriate way to make the perils of gambling clear. Casino gambling is not my thing – whether in Detroit’s Greektown, New Orleans, Biloxi, Las Vegas, Belterra in Indiana, Atlantic City. Greyhounds and jai alai are in the same category. Horses, jockeys and trainers are far more interesting — but the perils the same.

    From all you say, there clearly seems to be no easy or quick answer for the people of Galveston. That’s unfortunate and sad. The same can most likely be said of Detroit, which put in its casinos some time ago.

    Comment by Newton | January 11, 2009

  3. Saleema–It is evil. I agree. When I worked for a Cincinnati City Councilmember some years ago,we did a lot of work against new alcohol permits in the city. That was, sorry to say, a losing battle.

    When something is not going away you just have to manage it. That’s the best I can say in this matter.

    Newton—Yep, so many pleaces around the country have run out of options and feel they haave nothing left.

    Thanks for both comments.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 12, 2009

  4. fighting new permits for new bars is not the answer, getting rid of bad bars is, gambling is not the issue its the gambler, you cant blame the casino you have to blame people who think they are going to get rich when we know the odds are slim to none. lottery tickets are the less obvious evil because they say they help schools or roads. people are the problem, they want it and if its not legal they will find illegal ways to do it.

    Comment by bill brady | January 17, 2009

  5. Bill—The casinos and the lottery know people are often weak and they take advantage of the fact.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 18, 2009

  6. Why not casinos in Texas? Do you really think that Texans don’t gamble? Texas is surrounded by states with casino gambling. Texans are spending their money in their casinos. Don’t believe it? Then just look at the parking lots of these casinos at the thousands of Texas lisense plates. Yes, I am a Texan and I am for Texas casinos, if for other reason than to keep Texan’s money at home. Plus, Texas already has the Lottery and horse and dog racing. Gambling is gambling. It matters not what form it comes in.

    Comment by Sharon Wilson | January 24, 2009

  7. Ms. Wilson–You are right in an abstract sense that gambling in gambling in any form. But in practice the more easy and “alluring” you make it, the more people who will gamble. The lottery is old news and many people are not going to go to a horse or dog track. A 24 casino located near millions of people is a different deal.

    This said, my view remains that the people of Texas should vote on the issue and ,if this gambling is to go into Galveston, that the people of Galveston should vote as well.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 24, 2009

  8. It is a no brainer – Gambling should be legalized in Galveston. Thing of this – more cruise ships, more tourism for local business, more jobs for locals, increase in everyone’s property values. What’s not to like? For those of you worried that Grandpa will lose all his money, think of this – we are grown-ups entitled to our own decisions whether it be investing in the stock market, drinking to excess, or the moral decisions and issues that present each and everyone of us in our daily lives. Be optimistic, have faith that people will make good decisions and realize that we have no control of what choices others make. Gambling in Galveston will bring money into everyone’s pocket.

    Comment by lisa Jones | January 26, 2009

  9. I’ve been doing this blog for about 2 1/2 years and I think I’ve got a pretty good sense of when a comment is a plant by someone connected to what I have written about. I thought that the comment by a Ms. Wilson was a plant, and I think the same about this most recent comment by a Ms. Jones.

    I think the people should vote, but know that gambling is an industry you can never trust to be on the up and up. They’ll use terms like “choice” and faith in other people’s decisions, but its all about money without regard to any harm that may be done.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 26, 2009


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