The camel-coated brigade



I suspect many people, myself included, sometimes in a moment of ‘clarity’ take stock and ask themselves ‘is gambling a constructive use of my time, money, energy and emotion?’ God, Allah, Buddha, Jesus or whoever you may or may not believe in has blessed us with two eyes, two legs, two hands and a sound mind. 

We use them, predominantly, to study form guides, walk to betting shops, click on websites, and weigh up that highly important ‘next bet’. 

Many people quite simply do not approve of our life style. Gambling (unless you read the racing post) is predominantly given a ‘bad press’. Indeed, even the great Albert Einstein was heard to comment ‘I can’t believe that God plays dice with the universe’. 

Danny McGoorty went even further to say ‘One of the worst things that can happen to you is to win a bet on a horse at an early age’. Study Literature, and it soon becomes evident that there appears to be no place for ‘our sort’ in the academic, literary or ‘high brow’ word of the ‘righteous’ man. 

Indeed, go on to read the anti-gambling brigades paraphernalia (I wont name specific organizations, lets just say they’ll remain ‘anonymous’) and you see ‘information' such as that below.

We believe that most people, if they are honest, will recognize their lack of power to solve certain problems. 

When it comes to gambling, we have known many problem gamblers who could abstain for long periods, but caught off guard - and in the right circumstances - they started gambling without thought of the consequences. The defenses they relied upon through willpower alone gave way before some trivial reason for placing a bet.

We have found that willpower and self-knowledge will not help in those mental blank spots but adherence to spiritual principles seems to solve our problems. Most of us feel that a belief in a power greater than ourselves is necessary in order for us to sustain a desire to refrain from gambling.

Excuse me? “Most of us feel that a belief in a power greater than ourselves is necessary in order for us to sustain a desire to refrain from gambling”? Translated = If you believe in God you don’t need to gamble, right? 

If I can sum up all my literary skills, all my years of academia, all my knowledge of language and our mother tongue to pour scorn on that Idea, I think I’ll chose the phrase…………… “What a crock of shit”. You do NOT need to believe in God to escape the ‘evil clutches’ of regular (or compulsive) gambling. 

Indeed, a sound knowledge of gambling is precisely WHY some people ‘believe’ in God in the first place!! A hell of a lot of people ONLY believe in God, because of what is known in the highest echelons of theology as ‘Pascal’s wager’. 


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Put very simply the theory states that you might as well believe in God because if you’re wrong (and God doesn’t exist) you haven’t lost anything, and if you’re right and he DOES exist, you’ve ‘won’ eternal life in heaven. Essentially Pascal is saying ‘if you back the right horse you win, and even if you’re wrong you don’t lose. CLASSIC PROFESSIONAL GAMBLING. It’s practically an arb!!!!

So, next time the Mrs. A snooty academic, or a ‘concerned colleague’ gets on your case about you’re over enthusiastic punting just point out that little fact to them. The main agency for ‘curing’ gambling addiction in this country advocates a spiritual belief in a higher power to help sort out the ‘problem’.

In order to believe in a higher power you are essentially putting your money on a very strong bet with minimal risk……..The exact thing ‘they’ are trying to stop you from doing in the first place. It’s kind of like trying to cure George Best by chastising and pouring scorn on his drinking and then recommending a dose of whisky.

I’m going wrap this up with a rarely found ‘positive quote on gambling’. It goes a little something like this…. “I have a notion that gamblers are as happy as most people, being always excited; women, wine, fame, the table, even ambition, sate now and then, but every turn of the card and cast of the dice keeps the gambler alive -- besides one can game ten times longer than one can do any thing else”.

Now, I can’t promise that that quotation is from some ‘academic’, ‘professor of linguistics’, a ‘theologian’, a literary God or some other ‘high brow’ capable of putting the anti-gambling brigade back in their cage.

It was just some twat called George Gordon…….or to give him is other name, Lord Byron. Mind how you go.


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