Easter economics 3

In Toronto, Canada, there is a proposal to establish a large casino in the heart of the city. Unfortunately, most of the debate is based on “economics”, rather than the more fundamental moral issue of what gambling does to the soul. That being said, an inter-faith group has recently asked the citizens of Toronto to consider the question of gambling as a moral issue.

In The Inconvenient Indian, Thomas King, an English professor at the University of Guelph writes (page 179) about casinos and “gaming” on reservations – such as “Casino Rama” here in Ontario:

“I’m not particularly happy about gambling as a fiscal base for Native people. That kind of money generally brings out the worst in folks, Native as well as non-Native. But after several centuries of economic oppression, and given the lack of alternatives, professional gaming, for many tribes, holds the most potential for the least effort. Still, apart from raw cash and jobs, industrial strength gambling contributes little of value to the world.”

I offer the words above, from Thomas King, for your reflections.

  • Does gambling bring out the best in people, or the worst?

  • Are there economic alternatives to build a better city here in Toronto?

  • Apart from “raw cash and jobs”, what contribution would “industrial strength gambling” make to life in our city?

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