Self-responsibility the answer, not govt action

I strongly disagree with the suggestion of the former jackpot addict that the Government shuts down such entertainment places (Jackpot addict: I lost $10k in a day; April 30).

While it is true that the odds of jackpot machines always favour the "house", such machines have never been marketed as profitable for the player in the first place.

Indeed, the woman mentioned in the report persisted in gambling despite being clearly aware of the mathematical odds against her.

How, then, does this translate into a duty of the Government to shut these places down?

A sensible player would treat the jackpot machines as recreation, playing moderately for fun without harbouring any fantasies of riches.

Acting on the former addict's suggestion would mean depriving other players of their harmless fun - simply because she lacked the discipline to tackle her runaway gambling addiction.

Perhaps, instead of vigorously pursuing a nanny state agenda and looking towards the Government to address every problem, we should start taking responsibility for our own actions.

Doing so would result in a better society for everybody.

A mentality of turning towards the state to fix every trivial issue would only discourage the development of vital soft skills such as personal responsibility and self-discipline, and lead to a victim complex that blames the Government and the state for everything.

Francis Tay

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2017, with the headline 'Self-responsibility the answer, not govt action'. Print Edition | Subscribe