Thursday, March 05, 2009

Problem Gambling Awareness Week

Have a problem gambling? Are you addicted, craving the need to pull that lever or bet that extra grand you do not have? If this is you, I suggest that you get help. Though this type of addiction does not harm the body like drugs or alcohol, its effects are just as detrimental. Like those typical addictions, gambling harms relationships between you and your loved ones. It also alters behavior, skewing your sense of reality. In the end, you may end up broken and in despair. I find this very dear to me because of the people around me who have "fallen off the wagon" so to speak because of this very addiction.

Funny thing is, I did not know this week was dedicated to that cause (or even know there was such a cause) until I played the Mega Millions lottery (jackpot of $212 million; one of the few times I do in a year or two) and received the following message with my quick pick numbers:

Notice that the service announcement is on a lottery ticket. Though I understand playing the lottery is not as harmful as being at the blackjack table, it is still a form of gambling. Some people play the lottery every week or even twice a week, which I would contend is addiction. However that is not what is amusing.

It is quirky that a "gambling association" supports the inhibition of "gambling addiction" though it is the very reason they are in business. This hearkens me back to other "service announcements" by groups or organizations used as PR tactics to brighten their business's image while not really putting an effort toward fixing the intended problem. Examples include Phillip Morris printing pamphlets on their cigarette boxes on getting help for smoking addiction and cessation, a Vegas casino (unfortunately I forgot their name) providing a hot-line for gambling addiction, and Exxon promoting their "green" technologies as a move to promote efficient energy, thereby helping to decrease oil addition.

What odd humor?! To think that they can sweep dust under the rug over the consumer. What do you think?

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