Friday, November 30, 2012

In the spirit of giving, let's teach them to gamble!

So I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to buy the boy for Christmas.  He's almost 12, so his list is a bit pricey, and that's not happening this year with Hubster's job loss.  I was trolling evil Walmart's site for some inspiration, and I popped into the 12 and over area, realizing some things would be a bit too old for him, but he's 12 in April, so 12 and over seemed an appropriate place to be.

As I'm scrolling through electronics, bikes, Lego sets, I start noticing something disturbing.  I'd already passed many, but I started counting and came up with at least 13 entries for poker chips, full-table poker covers, Texas Hold 'Em sets, etc.  Now, I realize that this is the 12 and over area, but it was still in the "kids" advertised section.  That means I'm going to assume we're talking 12-17, heck, I'll even go 18.  With all the information about how gambling online has exponentially increased, and Dateline, 20/20, and every other news show out there talking about how hard core gambling has trickled into high schools, wrecking some serious havoc on kids, who in their flipping right mind is going to buy a full-table cover and say "here dear, I knew you wanted to really hone those dangerous habits while you're young"?!  I mean, it's not other kids going online to Walmart's "12 and over kids" area, is it?

I'll say, I've never been a gambler.  Never bought a scratch off until I was in my 30s, went to casinos only as entertainment in my late 20s when I was working nights and nothing else was open when I got off work, and to this day, even with the big jackpots, I've never bought a real lottery ticket, don't even know how.  The only poker I've ever played has been with a max loss of $10.  It's not something I've stayed away from purposefully.  It just doesn't interest me.  But I remember back in the dark ages when I was in college a couple guys who were pretty hard core into sports betting.  I think the only thing that probably saved them was that they could fund it with mom and dad's money.  Don't know if mom and dad ever came down like a ton of bricks on them, but I hope so, just like I would if Cubby or Brownie ever did heavy gambling.

This soft sell to a younger and younger crowd of very serious looking gambling accoutrements just seems like paving the way for some truly dangerous behavior later on.

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