13 April 2006

I'll bet you....

How many times do I say this in a week? I dunno, but there's almost never any money involved. Sure, sometimes there's a coffee to be bought at the end of it -- but that's usually as serious as it gets.

I've never considered myself a gambler. The one time I found myself in front of a bank of slot machines, I spent $5 in quarters and gave up out of frustration and boredom. I've never been in a hockey pool though I have been in baby pools; I have bought raffle tickets; I've played bingo, but not obsessively; and I've been known to roll up a few rims. I go through phases of entering contests, but they are free to enter, so I don't see it as gambling per se. I have *almost* stopped buying lottery tickets, though there was a time when I bought tickets pretty much weekly... and I still start sentences with, "If I win the lottery..."

Overall though, I have always seen gambling as a loser's game. Hubby refers to lottery tickets as the "Not Paying Attention Tax" we sometimes feel the need to fork over to the government. For big raffles, I always reverse the numbers -- if the ad says, "Odds of winning is one in ten," I will say, "Great! Chance of losing is nine in ten!" -- which tends to piss people off, "Aw, you're taking all the fun out of it!" Still, I'm no fool; I took statistics.

I haven't given a lot of thought, however, to how kiddo views the world of gambling. Apparently gambling is the latest item to fall under the "Just Say No" banner of prevention in the schools. Over at the Tyee, they have an article, We're Raising Gamblers, that raises a number of interesting issues. I don't think we are raising our daughter with a particularly positive or negative view of gambling... it's just there. However, I will be watching a little more closely how I talk about it, and maybe try to instill in her the same skepticism we apply to advertising and politicians.

tags: gambling, gaming, prevention, education.

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