I was at my local shop yesterday. I try and buy as much as I can there, fruits, meats.
They have a thriving business in the vices: cigarettes, booze, tickets.
Tickets: they're the tax on the poor kind. Instant play. Instant win. Weekly lottery. It seems there is no end to the variety. I don't condemn anyone for playing them, but it can be another addiction like alcohol or drugs.
I'd say in Newfoundland this kind of instant gambling is completely out of control with the full blessing of government who greedily reap their
This is boosted in no small way by the out of control local "grand in your hand" draws (collect $2,000, give $1,000 to the winner at $10 a ticket) and bingo nights. Most of these fund the impoverished (ahem) RC church. Generations of residents dinged over and over again for church upkeep with excesses syphoned off to Rome.
This addiction has never affected me. I don't say this smugly. I'm addicted enough, thanks! Even casinos, etc. have no appeal to me whatsoever. I calculate the odds and over a lifetime it could be millions of dollars spent if you had invested and reinvested your outlay in the stock market or GICs..
I've seen out of control gambling lead many all the way down to homelessness and/or suicide - the same end results as other addictions.
I said to one woman, on welfare, who spends $200 weekly on these tickets.
"You know if you saved that up you'd have over $10,000 at the end of the year in your pocket?"
She looked at me in surprise.
"But that would be no fun!" she said seriously.
I mean, I have to bite my tongue before I ask her what kind of fun, exactly, is she having throwing her money down the toilet?
And then yesterday I see an 8 year old girl handing in her tickets and winning $10 and her mother, behind her, says:
"Now you're on a roll, lovie, buy more tickets!"
"But I want candies, I want to spend the money on candies!"
"Ah, don't be foolish. You could buy a 1,000 candies when you win big!"
I'll let you work out what happened.
And sweet jaysus, 8 years old!