Gail Spector, editor of the Newton Tab, has written a must-read column on how casino gambling nearly destroyed her family because of her late father’s gambling addiction. Always a problem, his addiction raged out of control once the Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort and Casino, in upstate New York, opened near the town where they lived.
Spector’s personal story is well-told and deeply moving, and I don’t want to spoil it by trying to excerpt it here. I will instead go with her conclusion:
Preying upon and purposefully aggravating the torment and destruction that gambling addictions cause families is cruel. Further justifying it as a means to create local aid for communities is devious and shameful.
Unfortunately, it appears that is precisely what the Massachusetts House is on the verge of doing — to be followed, you can be sure, by the Senate and Gov. Deval Patrick.
Meanwhile, the Boston Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie is taken for a ride with some happy gamblers who took a bus from South Station to Foxwoods. Among the people whom MacQuarrie meets is Curtis Harris of Cambridge, “a self-described poker professional.”
Harris, 34, tells MacQuarrie he has a system that brings in $100 a day, and that he supports his two children with his gambling. “This outing went well,” MacQuarrie writes. “Harris, who played nonstop from 2 p.m. Friday until noon Sunday, left with $710.”
Call me a cynic, but I’m guessing there are some aspects to Harris’ story that he withheld from MacQuarrie. The reason they say the house always wins is because the house always wins. And I don’t think making it easier for Harris gamble on his children’s future is going to make things any better for his family — to say the least.