Tithing to Satan

Without depicting myself as the criminal equivalent of Clay Morrow, the murderous motorcycle gang leader in “Sons of Anarchy,” I must admit that I have done some dirty deeds in my life and I have my vices.  This post should not be interpreted as a claim of moral rectitude.  That I am not perfect does not mean I cannot describe a social problem.

At Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport there are, of course, hundreds of slot machines.  Who needs to go to a casino?  You can dump your money at the airport, and many people do that.  One wonders what mental jiu jitsu a Christian who tithes at his or her church performs to justify contributing money to the Satanic overlords of the gambling industry, for they are truly and thoroughly evil.

Are the city counselors and state legislators who permit the building of casinos well-meaning, but misled, or are they simply bought and paid for by the gambling industry.  Nobody who is intelligent and informed could think that a casino is good for a city, a state, or a citizenry.  But for the mob influence, a case could be made for a place like Las Vegas or Monaco, where a person who is determined to gamble can go for a respite from quotidian existence.  There is no justification for two and three casinos in every U.S. city.

The proliferation of casinos is a vile corruption tainting the cities where they sprout like glittering, but poisonous, toadstools.  City governments are enticed by a few low-wage jobs into hosting money siphons that suck value out of the cities and into the treasuries of the mega-rich.

Slot machines, in particular, are diabolically clever.  As the icons line up, one by one, appearing to indicate a winning play, the loser feels a rush of pleasure at every near miss that is almost as satisfying as a win.  They are, literally, figuratively, and in every other sense, addictive.  According to MIT anthropologist Natasha Dow Schull, in “Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas,” slot machines literally take us out of reality.  A slot player often enters an altered state, almost a nirvana, in which the burdens of life disappear into dopamine-induced elation.

Playing the slots is not only solitary, but rapid, and continuous.  Players do not have to wait for cards to be dealt or for another player to decide what to do.  The machines are built to suck down the player’s money in uninterrupted, relentless play; they even accept credit cards or barcoded tickets.  The most insidious aspect is that the machines have dozens or hundreds of ways that register a “win” on almost every play.  Unfortunately, the “win” is a consistently small portion of the wager.

It would be possible for an individual gambler to enter a casino, win a jackpot and leave a winner, but almost no one would exhibit such behavior.  The casinos know that nearly every dollar leaving the facility will come back to be lost by the former winner and if the dollar does not return to the casino, it is probably because it will be wagered and lost at the airport.


John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
©2013 John B. Payne, Attorney

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