Even BN-ruled Johor has now joined Pakatan’s band wagon to oppose sports (football) betting. While I’m not against gambling per se (it's up to the individual) I would neither promote nor encourage it. We already have more than enough forms of gambling, so we needn’t introduce another one.
Vincent Tan might have argued that licensing gambling prevents the money from going ‘underground’ and the government will benefit from the taxation. Well, the government may well benefit, and the illegal bookies may lost out, while the legal ones (Vincent Tan's enterprise) will benefit.
But the question to ask Vincent Tan is who will lose, because in gambling, for someone to win, someone else has to lose – that’s an inescapable fact of gambling. And you can bet it’s the common people, those who can’t afford to lose, who would be the real loser.
I wrote an article for the Centre for Policy Initiatives website titled A disease deadlier than AIDS where I highlighted that gambling is a mental sickness which has to be dealt with through the support of medical-psychology experts. The government should either provide funding for, or tax casinos into funding public clinics to address the mental health needs of pathological gamblers.
I argued that Pathological gambling is an insidious disease far more threatening than AIDS as we tend to be more lenient and accepting of its presence within our midst even though its drastic effects and consequences on the innocents, especially the families of the gamblers, have been known to be far worse.
I have personally witnessed the sad story of an addicted gambler – for more, see my new posting Makcik Puteh & Belangkas over at my other blog KTemoc Kongsamkok.