Breeding a nation of chronic gamblers.
The "Integrated Resorts" are coming and with them, the temptations of casinos. Many, in the media, seem to look upon this prospect with great anticipation - but shall the opening of grand casinos in Singapore lead to more problems than they are worth?
Yesterday, I saw some evidence that Singapore might be in for troubles it is really unprepared for. I was shopping with my middle son, Fintan, five, in Toys R Us, to get an idea of what he might like for Christmas. While we browsed through the brightly coloured offerings, I noted something unexpected: a toy casino.
I looked on this box with some shock. It contained a roulette wheel and some card based games (the box proclaimed that there were four casino games contained within). What on Earth was a home casino doing in a toy shop?
It seems that either no-one has considered the effect of offering casino toys in a children's shop - or that someone has considered it and thought it a great idea for breeding life's addicted gamblers.
I noted that on the box was a little white sticker which had been affixed, perhaps in Singapore itself (it wasn't part of the box normally) with the symbols: "18+" on it. Now, that seems like nothing more than a cop-out - because how many over 18s (apart from parents) actually shop in Toys R Us? It is primarily a shop for little kids - and the majority of people who would see the casinos on offer would be little kids.
What would happen to any family that bought such a game? Well, two things: the kids would learn how to play casino games - and they would also learn the excitement of gambling. There is also something that they would not learn: that gambling can be very harmful to one's life and well-being, bringing with it, the certainty, in the long-run, of financial ruin. No gambler, apart from those of peculiar gift at card games, perhaps, can ever expect to win, long-term: everyone loses - and the longer you play, the more you will lose.
So, these casino games will breed future gamblers. The kids who have so much fun playing with their "casino" as a child, are very likely to grow up to be adults who think that they are equipped to play in the real casino with their hard-earned salaries. Indeed, if they have a lot of fun at home, playing the casino games, they may even make it a bit of an obsession and become life-long, hardcore gamblers. You see, once the excitement of gambling is felt, by some people, there is no turning back - they are addicted to the thrill of these games. Not everyone is like that. However, if enough young children get to play these casino games, it is certain that many of these natural gambling addicts will encounter the games, and become ensnared on the thrills of gambling. Such children will grow up to be adults with poor life outcomes.
I understand that Singapore's government is anxious to find sources of revenue - but sometimes some sources are just not worth the hassle they will bring.
The advent of the IRs may bring much more than additional tax revenue to the State - it may also lead to many thousands of Singaporeans ruining their lives through the consequences of gambling addiction.
I think casino games should be banned from the shop shelves. No child should be entrained into a world of gambling. There are many more fruitful lessons they could learn, than the excitements of the roulette wheel or the blackjack table. Indeed, it gave me a little shudder to see that casino game on sale in a famous children's toy shop. There seems such cynicism in marketing such a "game" in such a location - for it is sure, given the demographic of people who go to such a store, that the primary people on behalf of whom it is purchased, will be kids a lot younger than 18.
Save the kids: ban the casino games.
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.
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