Gambling preys on the poor and rarely delivers on its promise

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 16, 2008

By Harold Keller

Since Get High on Life was established in 1980, I’ve received many phone calls concerning social and personal problems.  The vast majority of my calls have been related to illegal drug and alcohol abuse.  However, I’ve counseled people about child abuse, rape, crime, divorce, abortion, eating disorders, suicide, depression, etc. 

A few years ago, I had my first call concerning a gambling problem.  Since then, I’ve received a few calls relating to this addictive behavior.

Have I ever gambled?  Yes, I loved going to the race track and everything about it – the atmosphere, the crowd, the beautiful horses, and the excitement of betting.  I would stay in the clubhouse section of the Fairgrounds where the rich and middle class were.  You could eat, drink, and gamble there.  A few times, I drifted over to the grandstand section.  As a rule, (and I realize there are exceptions to every rule) the less fortunate assembled in this section.  It would grieve my heart to see some of these people hoping to strike it rich.  I recall how sad this was.  I never spent much time there because it was depressing.  I always made my way back to the comfortable clubhouse and blocked out the misery and despair on the faces of these poor people.

It’s the same thing in a community or a country.  We block out the misery and needs of others.

I haven’t gambled since 1980 and have since become more aware of the many hurting people in our community.

The gambling craze in Louisiana has started to take its toll – the greed, the addiction, but most of all, the robbing of food and necessities from our children.

Gambling violates the Spirit of God.  It violates the Bible’s work ethic.  The poor are hurt the most.  It is the wrong way to run a government and does not generate promised revenue.

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70068, call (985) 652-8477, or e-mail: