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Frank Scoblete - Who is to Blame?

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  • Frank ScobleteI received the following letter from a reader:

    Dear Frank:

    Don?t you think that magazines such as the ones you write for encourage people to gamble? Don?t we have enough problem gamblers in the country without giving tacit approval in such publications? Would you want your children to gamble? I realize that there is very little chance this letter will wind up in your publication as I?ve sent similar ones to other gambling magazines and I have been ignored. Gambling has ruined many people. Casino gambling should be banned, as should magazines that cater to it.


    Ruth S.

    Dear Ruth:

    Gambling has ruined some people or, rather, some people have ruined themselves by gambling. There are certain types of people who take their pleasures to excess. Gamblers who throw good money after bad because they crave ?the action? and who will lie, steal and cheat to get a stake, which they proceed to blow on ill-conceived bets. There are drinkers who can?t stop until they are unconscious. Drivers who speed for the thrill of it - on highways where they endanger everyone around them! There are eaters who just gorge themselves until they can barely walk they are so fat.

    Still, there are magazines and newsletters for people who love wine and spirits and for those who love cars and food. Magazines and newspapers such as the ones I write for are not geared to ?problem gamblers? because problem gamblers aren?t interested in the advice given in these pages - to play within your means, never over-bet, learn the best strategies for the games you enjoy, and treat the games as a hobby. The other advice that I give in these pages goes even further - only play games where you can get the edge, reduce the edge or the speed to a reasonable level and play these games expertly and wisely.

    I recognize that a small percentage of people who engage in any activity will take it to an extreme. Even something as simple as eating has become a source of anguish for sections of our population - anorexia and bulimia are rampant among some high school and college students. We are fast becoming the fattest humans to walk the planet! Yet, we would never consider banning cooking magazines, or restaurants. People who eat to excess, and who threaten their health by so doing, are not a good enough reason to ban all-you-can-eat buffets.

    As far as I?m concerned, gambling has been a great recreational pastime for me. I practice what I preach by playing the best strategies at the games I love, such as blackjack and craps. At the present time my children are not interested in gambling but if they were - and if they followed my advice - I would not be the least concerned about them.

    However, I are not making light of those individuals who cannot control their urges but I am totally opposed to banning an enjoyable activity such as casino gambling because a small percentage of people can?t handle it. Think of how many things we would have to ban if such were the case! (Marriage for one, since 50 percent of married people are in ?problem? marriages -- a monstrous percentage compared to problem gamblers.)

    In fact, no one reads magazines and newspapers looking for an ?encouragement? to gamble. They already enjoy going to the casinos and they want to explore the best possible methods and approaches to the games. If I encourage anything, it is to play smart and know the nature of the games before risking your hard-earned money.

    There is always a tendency to want to blame a ?problem? gambler?s problem not on himself (where it belongs) but on casinos or magazines that write about casinos. Food and restaurants and gourmet magazines are not the reason an anorexic is an anorexic; liquor stores and wine connoisseur magazines are not the causes of alcoholism; and casinos and magazines about gambling are not the reason some people become ?problems.? Individuals who know they have a problem should exercise their free will and turn off the road that says: ?This way to the casinos.? The rest of us can continue merrily on our way!

    Some of Frank's most popular books can be purchased by clicking one of the image links below:

    cover cover cover cover

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