Play at Golden Casino

The state of Tennessee has a legalized form of gambling in the lottery. That is what makes Murfreesboro Police Spokesman Kyle Evans’ words seem a bit out of touch with reality for one former problem gambler.

“Gambling is illegal and unacceptable,” said Evans, after police officers raided three locations that were participating in illegal gambling machine operations. While Evans was speaking about the eight liner slot machines at the time of his comment, the choice of words seem peculiar to Harvey.

“The truth is that these police agencies are brainwashed into believing they are doing good when they bust gambling operations being run by their citizens. Many of these officers that take part in these raids take part in their states lottery’s, which is gambling. It is hypocritical and it must stop,” said former problem gambler Harvey, who did not want his last name revealed.

Harvey acknowledges that there is a difference between legal forms of gambling and illegal forms within a state. His problem with the system, however, is the broad consensus by politicians and enforcers of the law that the form of the gambling makes a difference.

“I had an addiction to all forms of gambling. I loved casino gambling, but I enjoyed playing scratch off tickets from the lottery. Sometimes I would buy hundreds at a time. No officer was ever concerned with my well being when I was buying these tickets, just whether it was a legal activity,” said Harvey.

Evans’ words came after Murfreesboro officers raided three locations that were illegally, under Tennessee law, paying out customers who won on their gaming machines. It is not the raid that upsets Harvey as much as the possibility that the funding for that raid could have been used to help problem gamblers.

“Law agencies around the US are spending large amounts of taxpayer dollars to throw people in jail for sometimes less than one day. If they would just direct those resources to problem gambling centers, many more people would be helped in dealing with their problem gambling addictions,” said Harvey.

He does bring up an interesting point of how individual states become hypocritical when dealing with gambling. In one sentence they make gambling seem like the worst forms of crime, and in the next moment, they are promoting their lotteries with television and radio advertisements.

The mixed signal is causing concern among residents in many of these states. Politicians already have a hard time convincing the people they represent that they are genuine, and the gambling issue has shed a dark light on that process.

Many states are currently revamping their laws and allowing more gambling to help with their budget deficits. The message, however, is one that Harvey warns is a dangerous one.

“For years, politicians have told us that gambling comes with a price. Now they are saying that only illegal forms cause people pain. It is not true, and I am living proof of that,” he said.

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