Yeah, that’ll work.
A card room employee at Tukwila’s Macau Casino must not have read the signs.
Or her boss.
Or the people whose pockets were picked. Clean. And then some.
The employee was arrested recently after “preying on people with gambling problems.”
Evidently, prying eyes observed her preying.
“Authorities believe Macau Casino’s general manager was aware of the activities. His gambling license was suspended.”
Two years the casino employee’s activities went on apace while the GM reportedly looked the other way.
“The Washington State Gambling Commission (WSGC) says the suspect often targeted people ‘who clearly had gambling problems’ and many who were ‘earning minimum wage and struggled just to pay the monthly or weekly interest (10–15 percent) owed on the loans.’”
One-hundred loans “totaling at least $300,000” to patrons whose losses in the casino far exceeded their minimum-wage ability to pay.
Low-income losers chasing their losses by taking on loans with exorbitant interest rates.
Enter commission director Dave Trujillo.
“It is our duty to protect the public from people like her,” said Trujillo.
And how do we protect the public from the WSGC?
Or the state legislature, or local predatory governments, for that matter, that very well know – or should – that the clientele served by that local casino conveniently located on the corner nearby, not only are largely comprised of citizens who struggle to survive the unscrupulous sharks lurking among the baccarat tables, but struggle for the means by which to put food on their own table?
Much less pay the rent?
Enter legislators in this just completed session who, concerned – no really – that the state which they admitted “promotes gambling”, believed – at least they said they believed – that they were somewhat obligated to provide resources for pathological gamblers. After all.
Plaster the walls of the gambling halls with more signs warning of the pitfalls of the gambling pit.
If it is in fact the duty, of someone, to protect the public, especially the perennially poor;
if there are, somewhere, in the hallowed halls of the state capital those who, occasionally, feel a twinge of conscience about what they do;
how ‘bout instead of putting up more signs warning of the hypocrisy of the gambling hall pitfalls – plastered on the walls of those very establishments that are purposed to separate people from their paycheck – that the folks who profit from pushing such predatory activities – like the WSGC, and like the casinos, and like the lotteries, and like the local governments that believe they cannot afford to lay off police officers whose salaries are dependent after all upon desperate people (should said governments take the following action) actually advocate to those addicts that instead of some get-rich-quick-scheme hawked by all of the entities above, they should instead bank their meager assets thus enhancing their ability to actually realize financial security?
Yeah, that’s going to happen.
And to think there are some elected leaders who would add the retail sale of marijuana to this morass of misery.
Linell Jones says
And how is this different then the predatory lending banks do, or fraudulent billing of Medicare or Medicaid by unethical providers, or police officers who steal from funds, or kids baseball team managers who skim funds. Criminals exist, addicts exist, victims AND volunteers exist. Just because you have an issue with casinos and gambling, and constantly post rants against it doesn’t mean everyone does and there are a great many people who can enjoy the games. And lest you would like to believe I’m all for Casinos because I like to gamble I don’t. I may drop $20 into slot machines every 3-4 years. I just don’t happen to believe the world revolves around my personal preferences. Here’s a thought. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. Don’t gamble, don’t indulge cannabinoid products. (Or tobacco, or caffeine, or McDonald’s, or…..)
John Arbeeny says
I suppose your position could be considered “libertarian” and to a certain extent I’d agree with you. Where I draw the line is when one person’s “choice” begins to negatively impact those around them. It is part of the reason we have laws against assault, robbery, rape and murder and a host of other crimes serious or not. With respect to alcohol we have laws for DUI, disturbing the peace, public intoxication because these are irresponsible actions by the inebriated that can cause harm to those around them. We also have over-serving laws that punish those establishments that sell alcohol to those who are obviously impaired. We have laws that ban public advertising of alcohol and tobacco because of their impact on public health which we all pay for through taxes. Yet gambling and marijuana are handled with “kid gloves” despite their negative impact upon the rest of us. Both are associated with the criminal business models that existed before government waved the magic wand of “legalization” over them: loan sharking and dealing still exist. Both are allowed to plaster their ads on billboards all over town. Both contribute to a host of harmful impacts that addicts have on society. Both establishments both escape the responsibility for over-service to customers. Both have their hooks into local and state governments who are responsible as co-dependents in this relationship by receiving tax revenue at the expense of the citizens they are supposed to represent. You may only spend $20.00 at a casino ever few years and I don’t have a problem with that. You can afford it but there are many who spend that on a single hand of poker, pull of the slot, or spin of the wheel who can’t and when that happens the rest of us pay for it. Ultimately it isn’t about an individual’s freedom of choice: it’s about the impact that freedom of choice has on the rest of us who don’t indulge. Indeed just follow the (tax) money to figure out who uses “freedom of choice” as their “cover story”: government.
Linell Jones says
Mr Arbeeny, in many ways I believe we are ultimately making the same argument. I do believe we need laws to protect the health and safety of the public of course, but I also very strongly believe it’s past time we hold individuals responsible for their own actions. We have become a nation of “it’s not my fault” and seek to place the responsibility for adverse outcomes on someone or something else, and oh my, if we can sue someone and get a settlement for any and all outcomes we don’t like,even better. It’s been shown over and over again the more restrictive (prohibitive) a society is, the more problems arise. We in fact cause the problems we are trying to avoid. So rather than “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” (boy, can I find a more hackneyed phrase-sorry) I am saying make that gambling addict responsible and hopefully want to seek help. Knowing it’s available is a first step. But I do agree that it’s also worth looking at laws to prevent “overserving” them as well.
John Arbeeny says
Unfortunately you’re not going to see an “over-serving” penalty at casinos because of the 80/20 rule………..they make 80% of their take from the 20% who are gambling addicts, not people like you. Same could be said for legal marijuana dealers. While you can only purchase an ounce of pot per transaction there is no recording of transactions which means you could on separate transactions buy as much as you want. They even have a name for it: “looping”. And where do you think at least some of that “looped” pot goes? Yep….right into the illegal market: our youth or into jurisdictions were pot is illegal, like Idaho. Simply legalizing something doesn’t make it moral or ethical.
David Anderson says
There could hardly be a move cavalier, laissez-faire ‘defense’ of indulgences – let alone criminal activity – than to say, “If you don’t like it, don’t do it.”
If you don’t like abortion, don’t get one.
If you are a landlord and don’t like your fourth amendment rights being trampled on by a government’s rental inspection program then, as to a landlord, don’t be one.
Where does the sidewalk end for such people? Their front gate?
How far does their community involvement extend such that in the marketplace of things that matter their voice will be heard?
Show me one French fry addict that committed a felony in order to buy more French fries.
People don’t lose their homes or beat their families for tobacco or fast food.
Once you’ve trivialized an argument, you no longer have one.
The definition of cavalier is “showing an arrogant or jaunty disregard or lack of respect for something or somebody.”
Even tongue-in-cheek to dump broken marriages, despair, financial destitution, and suicide – all attributable to gambling – into the ‘if-you-don’t-like-it-don’t-do-it’ basket – is a glib, cavalier, disrespectful, mocking of Lakewood’s people; and further demonstrates a profound disregard for the values that one would think would be worthy to defend.
Linell Jones says
Oh please, twist the meaning all you want but your holier than thou, moralistic and paternalistic judgement of everyone’s behaviour is more demeaning of the citizens of Lakewood than anything I’ve ever said or written. I could pull up a dozen quotes too but I actually think for myself and choose to believe behaviours of adults have consequences. For some, the only thing that will want them to seek help is to allow those consequences to happen. But go ahead, continue to try and convince me you know far more and better.
David Anderson says
FYI Jones. It was your vacuous statement, one you posted, that I took issue with.
Nothing twisted there, other than your logic, or lack thereof.
If you could pull up a dozen quotes, go for it. It’s part of debate, as a matter of fact.
Check it out: Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement which differentiates between clear refutation (“finds the mistake and explains why its mistaken using quotes”) and – in your case – “mere vituperation.”
I’m not trying to convince you. “A person convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” (another quote for you).
Rather there are other readers here than yourself that most certainly have thus an opportunity – in viewing this exchange – to evaluate the relative merits of the opposing sides.
Hey David, I don’t know where your ivory tower is located, but us Lakewood residents like gambling and weed. You can bet on it.
John Arbeeny says
Oh just what Lakewood needs more of: stoners who gamble. Now that’s a future we all can look forward to!