| by Jim Meador
Ever play a lottery ticket? If so you were gambling, and should have been jailed. Most, if not all states have very specific laws that make it illegal to gamble. Yet the same lawmakers, who have decided that it is evil for you and me to gamble, have justified it as a means to scam billions from citizens in order to compensate for their incompetence and mismanagement of tax money. First they waste what they collect in taxes, and then recover the wasted billions with gambling scams to get more. Much more. Adding insult to injury, they pass laws that could put taxpayers in jail for placing a dollar wager on a pool game. God forbid we should lose a few bucks to a slippery pool hustler, when we could be hustled legally by the state. It is illegal to advertise cigarettes and booze on TV, because they are addictive. It is perfectly acceptable to promote lotteries on TV, because gambling isn't? Yea, right!
I realize there is a difference between legalized gambling, and illegal gambling. The difference is statistical. Hitler is reported to have said something like, "The death of one person is a tragedy. The death of a million is a statistic." Somehow when crimes are committed on a massive scale, by the politically connected, or the rich and powerful, it becomes a statistic. Yet, when infractions are committed by a "commoner"; like you or me, it is a tragedy, and it's off to jail! I am not necessarily in favor of gambling. I really couldn't care one way or the other. When I want to place a buck or two on a game, I will. But, I don't like looking over my shoulder like a criminal, especially when legislators can scam millions from honest people, in full view of everybody.
Just imagine how great it would be if we could watch top players go at each other, one on one, with their own fortunes at stake. Legalized gambling could pull the best players in the world out of their respective closets and onto national TV where we could all thrill to the action. If nothing else, states could, at the very least, issue individual gambling licenses to those who are approved for professional status. If these players want to risk all on one shot, it is their money, their profession, and their choice.
What do pool players think?