Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Don't bet on it!

If I had a bucket list of things I had to do before prostate cancer carried me off, going to the races wouldn’t have been on it.
But today we joined Terry and Helen in a trip over to Dargaville for one of the local Racing Club’s twice-a-year fixtures. It was also a chance to see Shona and Colin, who moved from our church a few years ago.
The weather and the facilities were a bit rough but we had a great time. It was a completely new experience for me and I was fascinated with the characters all round the place. I admired, in a very amateur way, the spirit and energy of the horses and their riders and handlers.
But that’s not what most racegoers are there for. Bev, who couldn’t quit when she was ahead by 60c after investing a dime in a slot machine at Las Vegas in 1983, won each of her bets today and came home with $12 more than the $24 she “invested”. She has got some hot tips for the Spring meeting.
I had no idea there were so many ways of throwing your money away on the horses and guess that a lot changed hands there and off-course around the country today. Some of those activities would have had implications far beyond the pocket-money bets of Bev and our friends. Compulsive gambling can be a pernicious destroyer of homes and families and the social cost is probably beyond reckoning in our country where the gambling industry finds so much enthusiastic response.
So I had an interesting and enlightening day. And, no, it wouldn’t make much difference to anything, but I didn’t place a bet.

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