Tuesday, February 25, 2003

The Baby Boomer Lies and Statistics series will be continued soon. In the meantime, this little blogger will be going “lite”, by putting up some snippets du monde that sometimes could almost speak for themselves. Almost, but let’s face it – info can always be made tastier by the addition of some piquant outrage de jour. So here goes.

Small businesses under siege

What the? At the very least, the article shows that some small businesses, far from being victims of crime, are happy to buy stock from off the back of the proverbial truck. I’m almost tempted to talk about the karma/“what goes around …” aspects here (some small businesses must receive stolen goods out the back that are in turn stolen through the front). However, it is one slender suggestion in the article, that the subject thief’s $3-$5k earnings per week are spent on gambling (pokies mainly, but in my experience, gambling addicts are natural omnivores) that piques my overriding interest.

The connection between gambling addiction and theft is well-established, of course. Yet gambling venues are allowed to operate with seeming impunity in what can most generously be termed a legal grey area – their patrons, most of whom are regulars, spend (lose) large amounts of cash, night after day after night after day.

It is not that it is (nor could or should be) up to gambling venues to assess each patron’s net financial position, and set wager/loss limits accordingly. More realistically perhaps, would be resurrecting the old vagrancy laws, that (rebuttably) presumed a person to be a criminal, if and when they had no visible means of support. Translated for practical use and enforcement in a modern pokies barn, this would mean that patrons who were visibly not spending/losing their money in a recreational fashion would be presumed (again, rebuttably) a criminal. In this leisure-society manqué, thieves spend their stashes as feverishly and as full-timely as most workers work.

See also (for Australians and gambling addiction generally):

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