Government corporation fair play or ethical compromise (at best)?

While one might expect what amounts to at-best borderline unethical solicitations or ads from privately-owned casinos, one would expect much more from government-owned and operated lotteries as well as a host of other games, which in Canada are run by provincial or interprovincial lottery corporations (which also cover the nation’s two northern territories).
As such government gambling-revenue entities exploit the debilitating weaknesses of their more ‘loyal’ consumers, especially those with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, their token offers of gambling-addiction withdrawal counselling services are insufficient, both ethically and monetarily.
Furthermore, their ads warning the weak-minded to “Know your limit, play within it" and “If you gamble, use your GameSense … 19+", hardly suffice for countering the significant and often irreparable financial damage done to addicts and their families.
There’s psychological research documentation noting that gambling addicts intentionally, though on a subconscious level, play games of chance until they lose everything. This formidable symptom of a gambling addiction can reach an extreme, one example having been aptly demonstrated in the film Owning Mahowny: The movie is a fact-based account of a former compulsive gambler from Toronto who, as a well-positioned senior banker with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, embezzled millions from his employer (CIBC then being the second largest bank in Canada) to feed his personal gambling habit at casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The story’s protagonist gambling-addict banker manages to ‘break’ a casino table thus win its entire funding (for the time being, anyhow) which is typically in the millions) yet could not peel himself away from the casino establishment until he had (frustratingly for me and no doubt many other viewers) lost everything he’d won as well as the mega-money with which he came to town. I’ve been informed that gambling addicts are known for this kind of defeatist behaviour in order to (again subconsciously) feel justified in their post-large-monetary-loss self-flogging of their own psyches.
Exceptionally discreditable BCLC conduct involved the self-serving “jackpot disentitlement rule" aspect of the formal “voluntary exclusion [request]" which falls under the Gaming Control Act. It enabled both publicly and privately owned gaming entities to withhold sizeable winnings from addicts who had signed onto the ethically inexcusable agreement (presumably since then amended in compliance with the court’s ruling); however, large-profit gaming interests had contradictorily permitted themselves to keep any and all gambling losses suffered by those same addicts who were denied their winnings from the same said large-profit gaming interests. A lawyer representing two plaintiffs who had their large winnings withheld by BCLC, though later ordered by a court to be rightfully handed back over to the plaintiffs, said that he had hoped the ruling would have retroactively ordered all such withheld winnings to be returned to their gambling-addict owners, regardless of the exclusionary agreement. “The lottery corporation had no right to withhold the winnings as a penalty [while] they’re taking both the losings and the winnings."
Also situated on the spectrum of unethical conduct is BCLC’s relatively insidious negative-option-like Extra!: Whenever a player buys any printer-issued lottery ticket (the most prominent being Lotto MAX and Lotto 6/49) BCLC’s computer grid automatically selects for the player four numbers at random between one and 99, which will always appear on the purchased ticket. Before it does, though, it’s left to the player to either fork over the Extra! one dollar or to decline, which in the latter case the word “NO" is printed instead of “YES" adjacent to those four Extra! numbers, which means the consumer does not receive the $500,000 top prize if his/her unsolicited four numbers are drawn. Common sense strongly suggests that BCLC’s intent decision to force the four Extra! numbers upon every player’s every printed ticket is to create some trepidation in the minds of players who choose to not play the Extra! numbers. By this I mean, when checking their regular ticket numbers, some “NO"-Extra! players brave-it by checking whether any of their ineligible-to-win Extra! numbers had in fact been drawn; and some will do so solely to confirm that they had made the right choice, which the odds do favour that they did, and therefore saved an otherwise wasted buck. For the record, as a consistent No-Extra! sometimes-player of Lotto MAX and 6/49 (i.e. when their jackpots have irresistibly accumulated in size) I, without exception, never compare the drawn Extra! numbers with those four rejected unsolicited numbers on my ticket, for ignorance can often be a necessary bliss.
Then again, perhaps lottery consumers are supposed to be thankful that BCLC didn’t go all out and have their ticket scan-check computer loudly announce to the player that their Extra! numbers (or even just three of them, which is worth $1,000), as chance would have it, were drawn, but to which the consumer unfortunately said “NO"; and in place of the celebratory “We’re in the money!" tune played whenever any prize is won (even just a meagre one dollar prize) the said computer would play Brenda Lee’s 1960 hit song “I’m Sorry".
As it were, that same (rather depressing) tune as well as its lyrics were effectively utilized by BCLC in television ads broadcasted not that long ago that seemed to stoop to an ethical record low; they incorporated into their mass message the psychology of human fear, one involving devastated regret over missing out on a large prize, all because of one’s own choice of ‘cheapness’.
One version of the TV ads shows a despondent lottery-ticket consumer—unfortunately (or foolishly) aware of the identity of the four Extra! numbers forced upon him via his ticket—so miserable over having “said ‘NO’ to half a million dollars," that he’d withdrawn to beneath his bed, against the wall in a fetal position, with his very concerned wife futilely attempting to slide to him dinner on a tray. The ads’ message was always crystal clear: If only he/she had only parted with the paltry dollar and said YES to half a million dollars; meanwhile, Brenda Lee’s lyric’s chime in apparent accordance—“I-I-I’m sor-ry, sooo sor-ry, that I-I-I-I waaas such a … “, with the singing fading into the commercial’s close, just barely excluding the final lyric, “ … fooool” (very likely to avoid crossing too far over the fine PR line). However, it seems that the real “sorry … fool" may be the game player who believes that BCLC plays fairly; for every player has to pay/fund various interests’ outreached hands to the tune of 76 cents of every dollar he pays in order to play—all before he can dream about winning a very small piece of the 24 cents from every dollar paid to BCLC that’s left for all prize pay-outs.
Also, I regularly find large extravagant scratch-&-win game cards—each costing either $3, $5, $10, or even as much as $20—that are completely unscratched except for their relatively very small barcode area, all tossed into a garbage can immediately adjacent to a ticket self-check barcode scanner at a local convenience store. It’s as though the buyer is in such a rush to procure his gambling fix that he doesn’t bother with the ticket’s just-paid-for game portion, which any non-addict would at least take the time to somehow enjoy. Indeed, one can find at many ticket vendor outlets such scary-looking accumulated examples of gambling addicts’ paper waste products.
As another example of B.C.’s publicly-owned lottery corporation’s exploitation of consumers, especially those predisposed to abusing BCLC’s product, the corporation also offers what I see as betting shops to the most concentrated consumer populated areas of the Greater Vancouver region. They’re locations at which one can mostly find the likes of the average Joe or laborer spending his time—perhaps along with a sizeable chunk of his paycheck—playing the potentially very addictive game of chance called Keno. Every time I walk through the Guildford mall I receive a brief rush of melancholy just by the sight of the jackpot-winner hopefuls standing inside one of these creepy places, staring up at the ceiling-mounted Keno-draw-number VDUs.
Irregardless of this astronomically low chance of winning a jackpot, very many people continue to play on a grand scale. Unfortunately, however, a disproportionately large number of those players are the very folk who can little or least afford the cost of playing—not to mention the poorest OCD-enduring souls who are solidly addicted to the money-pit numbers-bet sport to a no-win-scenario degree. Thus the irony remains bitter, with those needing the money the most making up that demographic sub-segment that typically lose the most money to that bottomless pit.
Frank G Sterle Jr

Legalized gambling is another symptom of the disintegration of our character and brains.
“Hollyworld Mentality” writ large.
and these same sheople
scream bloody murder with anyone wants to raise gas taxes to help fix crumbling bridges and roads.
Flash and glitter over substance and maintenance every time :long: