Do Blackjack Players Need Nannies?

Over in Victoria, Australia there is much debate on a casino expansion of blackjack tables. You have some that want it, saying that it’ll benefit their economy. And there are others who say, in short, that gambling is the root of all evil, and that more blackjack tables will increase addictive gambling. I beg to differ.

But before I continue, I wish to say that, yes, if allowed more opportunity, some individuals who lack self-control could develop a problem with gambling. I would never say that more opportunities couldn’t possibly create a few more addicts.
However, for a state government to step in and say that they know best for, well, everyone, I just can’t stand behind that. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to play blackjack. In regards to the debate and the state’s role in public interest, Victoria’s Premier John Brumby said it was not the government’s place to “be a nanny and get in everybody’s face and say what you can and can’t do.”

For a government to say that they are going to cut everyone off just to reign in a handful of people, it would be like a mother grounding a whole neighborhood of children just to keep her own in line. All those children will do is sneak out their bedroom windows when her back is turned. And likewise, those who wish to play blackjack will venture to another state’s economy to play if their own won’t let them.

And that is precisely what the state of Victoria could be giving up. It’s similar to what is happening in Florida between the state and the Seminole tribe. Here again, the state is wishing to limit the amount of tables the Seminoles are allowed to have. But what the state of Florida will be losing is more money for their education budget, as that’s where the taxes of the Seminole’s gambling profits will go.

If the state of Victoria were to allow the expansion of blackjack tables, at the risk of a handful of the population as compared to the thousands that live in Victoria, the state has the potential to create an income off the blackjack tables.

But income aside, is it really a state’s responsibility to dictate how their citizens choose to enjoy themselves? Are we sheep? Do we really require our state to shepard us? No, I refuse to accept that a handful of men and women know what’s best for thousands of people in regards to their recreation. It is each person’s choice to play blackjack or not. The vast majority of people will play for the fun of the game—can they beat the dealer? Will they be dealt blackjack this time? It is not the state’s decision to nanny its citizens. After all, they will crawl out their bedroom windows into another state’s economy if they wish to play blackjack.