Your local gaming room, now a handy creche
Just when you thought that funnelling your hard earned cash into a soulless machine in the darkest reaches of a hotel couldn’t get anymore depressing, it turns out now your kids can watch.
Disturbingly, The Pink Hill Hotel in Beaconsfield has been given permission to build a children’s playroom enclosed with soundproof glass so that parents can keep an eye on their children from the gaming room. Fabulous!
Now the whole family can revel in the joys of daddy getting 3 pyramids in a row on the Queen of the Nile.
Has it really come to this? Is it not enough that the children of gamblers have to suffer the psychological impacts of this financially and emotionally crippling addiction? Now they have court-side seats as well?
How is this in any way a solution to a problem that is destroying people’s lives? The guilt associated with leaving their screaming child alone in a car might have been the only thing keeping some of these addicts from stopping off at their local to ‘drop a quick 50’ on their way home.
Surely we should be focusing our attention on preventing and treating addiction, rather than giving problem gamblers a free babysitter.
If a child watches their parents throw money down a shiny bell ringing drain they will think it’s nothing more than a game. A game where the only participant who wins is the shiny livelihood incinerator, that looks like so much fun from the safety of their glass walled crèche.
If these children grow up thinking that quality time with their family involves pressing their tiny impressionable minds up to the soundproof glass that separates them from all those attractive bells and whistles, they will also grow up thinking that is an acceptable way to spend their time and money.
Perhaps the only benefit is that the presence of soundproof glass means they won’t be able to hear daddy crying as he throws away the last of his families weekly budget.
Anyone who has managed to escape the crippling stranglehold of a gambling addiction would surely say that this is a bad idea.
They would say that problem gamblers need no incentive to take a detour to the pub on their way home, especially not when their child is with them. Investing more money in prevention, treatment and doing whatever it takes to stop people ruining their lives and the lives of their families is what is needed, not building a viewing area for children to watch their parents literally throw their lives down the drain.
There is a raft of government research about the dangers of exposing children to gambling and this not only exposes them, it gives them a front row seat to their parents financial and emotional demise.
Gaming rooms are usually hidden in the darkest corner of a hotel, away from the ‘irritating’ distractions of sunlight and knowledge of the passage of time. Now not only will these gamblers be on display to the younger generation, but they will also be able to look directly into their children’s eyes and realise that they are responsible for teaching them that this behaviour is ok.
The truth is, it isn’t. The poker machine will always win, no matter how long you pump your money into it or how sure you are that its about to ‘pay out’.
When there are already so many adults consumed by this debilitating addiction, lets not give the next generation any reason to walk a path that appears so glitteringly shiny but only ever ends in darkness.
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