‘Predatory Gambling’ is Focus
of Network TV Report
Harmful effects will be noted in ’60 Minutes’ segment
The looming prospect of electronic slot machines’ presence in more and more American cities is being called “The Big Gamble,” by CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes” program. The celebrated newsweekly broadcast will air its segment on what slot critics call “predatory gambling” on the evening of January 9, the network said. The program airs nationally beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
“Lesley Stahl reports on the proliferation of gambling to 38 states and its main attraction, the slot machine,” the network said on its Website. Of those slot machines, CBS said, “some scientists believe” newer, electronic versions, “may [be] addict[ive to] their players.” The reason for that assertion, anti-gambling organizations maintain, is that the new machines’ programming is designed to draw players in. A study from Brown University in Rhode Island suggests a faster occurrence of “pathological gambling” among slot players than among those who bet on card games or sports contests.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has long held a position against gambling, saying it is “incompatible with Christian principles.” In 2000, the 57th General Conference session released a statement that said, in part, “the concept of winning at the expense of others has become a modern curse. Society pays the escalating cost of associated crime, victim support, and family breakdown, which erodes the quality of life. … It is not an appropriate form of entertainment or a legitimate means of raising funds.”