Morning Sentinel
If casino OK'd, will gambling be taught in school?
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Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel 11/30/2009

Well, I see enough signatures have been collected to put a casino in Oxford County on the ballot next fall.

I have some concerns about that.

I have visions of gambling soon being taught in our schools, perhaps as far back as preschool. If this measure is passed, parents will be hard-pressed to answer questions from their little ones like: "Mommy, what is off-track betting?" Or, "Daddy, Vegas has the Patriots at 3 to 1 if you give 4 points. Should I place a bet?" "Uncle Ed, which is better, the ace of spades or the ace of hearts?"

Yes, in other states where casinos are allowed, there are many stories of first-graders gambling away their lunch money or betting on what color outfit the teacher will wear the next day!

Some reports of betting on grades have surfaced. Will Johnny get an A or an F on his latest test? Can Mary pass onto the next grade?

And what of the "traditional" role of gambling in Maine? What will become of that? Will bingo, beano or betting on the horses at the fair lose their meaning and purpose?

I hope you, the voters of Maine, will take a serious look at this before you vote next fall. I'm betting on it.

Robert Creamer

Robert Creamer of Hallowell, a native Mainer, is retired, likes to travel, and is a published author.