The exploitation of people is one of the worse social vices especially so in countries whose economic present is critical and whose developmental future is bleak. This is the Philippines and this is the serious evil of gambling in the country.
Be it legal or illegal, gambling in this nation is downright exploitation of people. Legal gambling exploits the idly wealthy, the corrupt and/or the greedy. Illegal gambling on the other hand exploits the poor, the gullible, the helpless.
The rich who indulge in legal gambling have no right to waste their resources, considering the basic needs of the poor who are millions. The poor who patronize illegal gambling should know by now that they are eventually rendered even poorer by cheating operators.
This is why it is a big hypocrisy to claim that legal gambling is giving revenues to the government to help the poor, while illegal gambling is giving work to the poor. Strange but true: the welfare of the poor in this country is the perpetual excuse from running in elections and putting up dummy charitable foundations—to promoting and tolerating legal and illegal gambling operations, respectively.
If only such numerous and continuous claims were true, there would be no single individual at all who would be poor in the Philippines. It can be asked, in addition to helping the poor every now and then, what else does legal gambling really do with its multi-billion yearly takes? Other than giving work to the kubradores, what else does illegal gambling do to favor certain crooked national and local officials in government.
It is too hard to understand that gambling specially in a poor country like the Philippines is a year after year continuous social disaster. It is much worse than the material devastation brought about by periodic typhoons and other natural disasters. Gambling is a vice—as evil as the vicious practices of drug peddling and consequent addiction, the promotion and patronage of prostitution specially of women and children.
There is no social adversity like the erosion of elementary values of industry, integrity and honesty. Gambling promotes and inculcates the vices of indolence, greed and corruption. To say otherwise is wishful if not unsound thinking.
24 November 2006