Originally created 09/22/99

Says gambling addiction a sure thing

I take exception with the Sept. 12 editorial regarding video poker.

The writer said people "may" become addicted. No, they do become addicted; it is called compulsive gambling. The editorial then surmised that families and children "may" be doing without so the obsessed can participate in playing this mindless game. Well, they certainly do.

Does everyone who feeds Aiken County's version of a one-arm bandit ... abuse them? Certainly not. I personally have never put a quarter in one. I do occasionally purchase a lottery ticket in Georgia to help -- I would remind all South Carolinians -- educate the Peach State's kids. So, I am not "thumping" any book, of any nature.

Do schools sell raffle tickets? Yes they do, and yes there is a winner: the school system. ... Do people abuse credit cards? Yes, they do but that can't go on forever, as opposed to the cash transaction that takes place at a poker machine.

... Do people practice obsessive behaviour of all kinds? Once again, yes. So does it makes sense to increase the potential number of obsessive behaviors? Does it make sense for the citizens of Aiken County ... to have video poker thrust upon us? I voted against it, as did the majority of Aiken Countians last time. And what if we do vote it out? Will the courts or the politicians find some way to force feed the industry back to us? Probably so. ...

The most ridiculous of claims is the comment about the people the video poker industry employs. Yes, we can absorb those people into the legitimate economy. We did get along nicely before the video poker industry elbowed its way into our lives. ...

If the video poker industry is so vital, how did we get by without it for years and who stands to profit from it continuing? ... The video poker industry is vital only to those folks who own them. The people who stand to profit from them are varied ... the people feeding them don't profit over the long haul. So, let's don't try to sell video poker as anything more than what it is. It is gambling, sponsored by the state. ...

Andy Lowe, New Ellenton

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