There are still many untouchable gambling operators in the country. So there are still many remaining forms of gambling all over the land. The poor children, youth and adults continue to be expoited by gambling. Meantime, the poor become poorer and the gambling lord emerge richer--always.
And the pitiful response of the government is to promote even more gambling under the guise of legality. First there are Lotto and Bingo. Now there are EZ2 and Small Town Lottery (STL) or "Loteria ng Bayan".
The administration has only two ready and easy anwers when the public coffers ran dry-- for suspicious reasons and fishy causes: impose more taxes and promote more gambling. And the victims are always the same: the poor.
The local government officials who are now promoting STL, sing the praises of this new form of gambling. They also proclaim their alleged noble reasons for their endorsement of this town gambling--which are all big lies.
STL will provide work for the poor. Lie! Work is equated with sweat and toil, with industry and nobility. Since when has gambling become work? Gambling is in fact equated with indolence, degradation, vice.
STL will help the poor to win some money with their little bets. Lie! All gamblers are ultimately losers. All gambling operators infallibly become the winners. Reason: there is no form of gambling that is not rigged one away or another in favor of its financiers.
STL will provide local public officilas with funds to help their needy constituents. Lie! If and when they shell out some of their gambling payolas, they keep most of it for themselves. That is why local public officials who keep out gambling out of their territoties do not live luxurious lives, do not have big houses, do not ride in expensive cars.
When local public officials take recourse to the promotion of gambling, no matter how "legal" this be, they run the risk of being branded as promoters of a local gambling culture, as endorsers of public vice instead of workers for public welfare, as practitioners of personal self-service instead of public service.
O.V. Cruz, DD
10 October 2005