If you wish to take an advanced course in identifying government disorganization and hypocrisy, then you need not to watch any further than the reaction to slot machine gambling. The sanctimonious preaching and pious pontifications are almost too nauseous to explore. One might even begin to imagine that it is a case of deliberate incompetence in pursuit of some vague government program. No politician seems to understand the gambling or the gamblers. Rather they are concerned not to alienate that middle range voter who is likely to have slightly right wing views and will ultimately decide the election. There is no planning for the consequences and ramifications of gambling and the idea of slot machines is looked at with some trepidation but no real drive to make a difference.
It is a good idea to have faith and I totally accept that people ought to have the ability to practice their faith in peace and without undue influence from both the state and their individual citizens. Likewise people who are not particularly religious have a right not to have legislation forced onto them from a religious perspective. Unfortunately these principles have not been applied in the debate about slot machine gambling. Rather we have had a quasi religious debate about morals and the right of the state to interfere in the private lives of its citizens.
Religion has an important role to play in terms of giving spiritual guidance for those affected by a gambling addiction. Churches also regularly sponsor initiatives that help to rehabilitate people and to provide them with a path towards leading a normal life. This is the kind of work that governments should be supporting rather than trying to create a theocratic government which even they cannot attain in its purest form.
When the politicians take this sort of attitude, even the people who would have willingly participated in the program get discouraged believing that the whole community is judging them unfairly. Meanwhile the policy continues to flounder and nothing ever gets done.
Slot machines have then be left in a position whereby they are perceived by a large proportion of the public to be one of the great evils that has be removed from society. This means that legitimate businesses are then pressurized into closing down through the use of irresponsible government pronouncement and the taxation system.
This brings us to one of those touchy issues which every government would like to keep for the next government to tackle. There is tax revenue to be had from gambling activities. This revenue comes in despite to the moral or political objections of the religious community and some members of the public. This leads to an ironic situation whereby the government is seeking to stop an activity yet stopping that activity will massively reduce its revenue sources.
Gambling in general and slot machines in particular have been identified as a problem with the community. However the response from the government is not yet consistent enough to be effective in dealing with this issue.