The fallout from the $23.6 billion dollar verdict against R.J. Reynolds tobacco company that Ms. Cynthia Robinson recently won for her husband, Michael Johnson’s death from smoking should make the owners and operators of casinos and their allies, including our elected public officials take notice.
Like the tobacco industry, the casino gambling industry refuses to acknowledge that one of its products, slot machine gambling may be hazardous to your health. Each year, thousands of people are becoming addicted to casino gambling, which continues to be promoted as a harmless, even a glamorous, form of entertainment.
Lives are being destroyed as a result of the encroachment of slot machine gambling everywhere, not only in casinos, but in restaurants and taverns, as our elected officials continue to encourage us to lose our money, and our lives in an activity that doesn’t produce anything that contributes to the public good.
In a response to the R.J. Reynolds verdict, Dr. Boyce Watkins, a professor of finance and the author of Black American Money: How Black Power Can Thrive in a Capitalist Society, wrote the following comment in his blog:
“Other institutions that could be compared to the tobacco industry might be the prison industrial complex and slavery itself. In both cases, a harmful business model was allowed to exist because there was so much money involved that even those on the inside of these capitalist behemoths knew they were living a lie. But once the money gets that big, even those running the economic machine are almost entirely helpless when it comes to correcting it.”
Dr. Watkins is an activist and one of a very few African Americans to hold a Ph.D. in finance. He regularly writes about issues pertaining to the financial health of the black community. But he curiously is silent about the gambling industry, which like the tobacco industry, is one of those “capitalist behemoths” with a harmful business model” that exists because there is so much money involved.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, casino gambling is making a few wealthy white men even richer at the expense of millions of poor people by promoting the dream of great jackpot that is just a bet max button away.
Sandra Adell, Author, CONFESSIONS OF A SLOT MACHINE QUEEN: A MEMOIR