Posted by: Jennifer | October 7, 2009

the nanny state

An anti-gambling group in Nova Scotia is having a shit fit over a series of ads that have been aired on local TV by an organization called Support 4 Sport, which provides funding to amateur athletes so that they have the money for equipment and training. The group’s problem with this seemingly noble cause? The source of the funding. says the gaming corporation has violated its own advertising standards with its Support 4 Sport campaign.

Group director Terry Fulmer says Nova Scotia Gaming “is using underage and youth athletes to promote gambling.”

The gaming corporation has been running a series of television commercials profiling young Nova Scotia athletes who have received funds for training from gaming revenues.

Debbie Langille, a recovering VLT addict, says the campaign is designed to convince Nova Scotians that gambling isn’t harmful and adds that using young people to push gambling is the last straw.

I’m going to throw an idea out there, and I know that it’s going to be radical and a lot of people will think I’m crazy, but it’s just a thought that I’ve had: I’m a grown-up, and I can make my own choices without an anti-whatever group telling me that something is bad for me. I understand that there are people who have problems with addictions, and I understand that it must be terrible for those people to avoid doing something that their brain tells them they should be doing. But does this anti-gambling group honestly think that anyone is going to watch these ads — which have showcased a soccer coach, an Olympic sprinter, and a girls’ snowboarding group — and go running out to buy a scratch ticket because obviously it’s okay to buy one now what with the money going to a good cause? I hate to break it to everyone, but the person that does that was going to buy a ticket anyway and funding sports has absolutely nothing to do with their decision. And I really wish that the person would take responsibility for his own choices, rather than blaming the outcome of his life on a TV commercial.

In addition, I would like to point out that for years anti-gambling advocates have blasted the NS government — and I’m sure that this is the case in other provinces — for not giving back to the community with the revenue raised from gambling activities. So the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. set up a game that does nothing but give back to the community. And that’s wrong too. Are we ever going to let them win one, just so that they know what it feels like?

Bottom line: We need to give adults credit and let them make their own mistakes, if they choose to make them. A gambling addict is going to gamble, regardless of the temptation. An alcohol is going to drink and it doesn’t matter if you offer them free whiskey with the purchase of beer or close every liquor store in the world. I’m getting tired of being told that I’m not responsible enough to make my own choices. I’ll let you know when I need help with that. In the meantime, how about you spend your time helping the people who have already made bad choices and stop forcing the rest of us to live by crappy rules?


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