Casinos shouldn't prey on addicts

To the editor:

In response to your Monday editorial on lawsuits against casinos brought by problem gamblers:

In 1991, I relocated to Las Vegas to semi-retire after a career in the U.S. Army and in county government in Florida. I took a job as a security guard at a small local casino. Eventually I became the human resources director for the casino and other related enterprises. As a security officer, I recall several instances where supervisors at the table games stopped customers from gambling and losing any more because we knew they were sick, compulsive gamblers. I even escorted some out of the casino.

When I became the human resources director, I knew of hardworking employees who would cash their paychecks and spend every dime at the tables or slots before they left. I confronted them, counseled them and stopped them from gambling in our casino. Yes, they could go down the street and do the same, but perhaps they might pass a grocery store and at least buy some food and milk for their families. We felt we had some responsibility to these truly sick people.

In your editorial, you did not mention that casino employees are clearly taught and explicitly told not to interfere or confront problem gamblers in courses of instruction now mandated by state law. You will get fired for doing it.

Ironically, you must "cut off" problem drinkers in a casino or you risk losing your license. People with a gambling addiction are not normal and cannot stop themselves.

Perhaps it is time we considered legally imposing a duty to prohibit a casino from knowingly permiting a sick, compulsive gambler from further self-destruction -- or at least let a jury decide the issue.




To the editor:

Your story, "U.S. is No. 1 in incarcerations," stirred long-ago memories.

It was in a high school government class many moons past. The subject matter was oppressive governments. The teacher informed a mostly disinterested class that it was the tyrannical, the dictatorial, the evil governments that had prisons stuffed full with their people.

I wonder what my teacher would think about this country now. I wonder what the rest of the world thinks.

Maybe it's just the government this country deserves.



Unsafe practices

To the editor:

The unsafe medical practices by the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada and other facilities screams out for full disclosure and transparency by the State Board of Medical Examiners. The state should immediately post any and all information on all physicians and nurses, including but not limited to their backgrounds, schools attended and malpractice judgments brought against them. This is public information and should be readily available to all consumers so they can make informed decisions about their medical care.

In addition, the state Bureau of Licensure and Certification should revoke the licenses of facilities run by Dr. Dipak Desai, his cohorts and partners and employees who participated in this disgusting Third World medicine fiasco.

A complete list of all the doctors, nurses and employees who conspired to knowingly use this dirty, unsanitary medicine should be made available to the public. The same goes for all of the other facilities that the Southern Nevada Health District and state found to be using the same filthy procedures. To say these other facilities corrected the situation after being caught, and that they can stay open, is wishful thinking. Bad medicine is bad medicine.



Who is Barack Obama?

To the editor:

Sen. Barack Obama says he was unaware of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's wild, anti-American and anti-white sermons during the 20 years that he occupied a pew at his church. He was "shocked" when he heard his pastor's inflammatory statements on television.

Maybe he fell asleep during the services. I've done that, but it is hard to imagine dozing off during one of the Rev. Wright's loud rants.

I'm guessing that Sen. Obama isn't going to be able to "grip and grin" his way out of this relationship unless the voters are asleep, too. Professing ignorance of the odious biases of his spiritual adviser of the past two decades just doesn't pass the smell test.

Voters should be asking themselves, "Who is Barack Obama?" He is promoting himself as the candidate of racial reconciliation, but under all the talk of hope and change, are we really looking at Jesse Jackson with a big smile?