This came out of a conversation with my friend Christal who took me on a long drive to a plant fair. It started on a proposed development on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour which includes a new casino. Christal is against it. She’s an activist. Me, I concede that by allowing the development, the State will save the foreshore that will remain accessible to the people, rich or poor. It would never spend money on facilities for the public otherwise.
What about gambling and its effect on gambler’s families?
I know what she means. I used to know someone who threw a bottle of vitamins at his wife when she asked him: what will we eat? They had three children. The guy used to work two jobs and at the end of the night job he would play ma-chong and lose all his pay. This was before there were casinos in Sydney.
Christal couldn’t understand why people gamble. I know why. At least I know why the Chinese love gambling (they say we’d bet on two cockroaches climbing up a wall). Chinese people believe in good fortune.
If you think about China with all its troubles over thousands of years: foreign invasions and occupation, droughts, floods and famine, civil conflicts and unrests, you’d know that they can only ask the gods WHY so many times before they become philosophical and say, BAD LUCK.
Now if you believe in Bad Luck you are entitled to believe in Good Luck as the other side of the coin. The Yin Yang thing. We believe in change (check out the i-ching); sometimes for the worst and other times for the better (you hope).
If you believe in CHANCE, then chances are (sorry) you will gamble. In fact, everything becomes a gamble.
The so called gambling problem is not about gambling; it’s about addiction. That’s another topic.
Christal and I were unable to resolve the problem; we arrived at the fair hoping that we would see something special or we would have wasted our time getting there. By our good fortune, we did.