Thursday, March 30, 2006

A wager gone wrong for 4 lives

GamblingAs the month of March draws to a close, the parties that are still in the run to bid for the Marina IR (Integrated Resort) project, such as MGM Mirage, Las Vegas Sands, and Harrah's Entertainment, have started to announce various tie-ups and grand plans for the IR. We do not know who will win the bid, but many people feel that the man in the street will ultimately be the loser.

Why so? Because of the gambling component in the IR. All the bidders are well known for running very successful casino businesses, along with their other entertainment businesses. Of course, all these bidders and the government have always insisted that the IR is more than just a casino. It is that, and more. Bidders have been talking about building world class Museums and Theatres with world class acts, amongst other glitzy projects that will form part of the IR.

But really, it doesn't take a lot for a person to get hooked on gambling and get destroyed after that, pulling others down with him. Take for instance, the recent case of the property agent who lost so heavily on soccer betting that he had to resort to cheating his clients out of a total of $2 million in an effort to settle his gambling debt. He was sued by these same clients, was convicted, and is now slated to serve a 7 year jail sentence. That's not all. He still has to re-pay his debt when he gets out of jail. Furthermore, his wife feels too ashamed to continue working in the property business because his husband's actions have forever tainted her reputation and trustworthiness. She has reportedly used up all the family's savings. She has two young toddlers to bring up. One of them is barely one year old and will not see his father for much of his growing up years.

This is indeed a sad case of gambling destroying or, at least adversely affecting, the lives of 4 people, and we are not even talking about casino gambling here - just soccer gambling. When the casinos are up, when the dice begins to roll, we will likely hear of more such sad stories. With the Soccer World Cup 2006 around the corner, there will be increased soccer gambling in the days to come.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. I Timothy 6:10, NIV Bible

May God help the gamblers help themselves to stanch their greed and stop their madness before it is too late.