Responsibility for VLT addiction lies with the gambler

Once again, we see, in your investigation of video-lottery terminals, the continuation of an affliction that is becoming endemic in Canada, namely, a denial and abrogation of personal responsibility. Blaming a gambling addiction on the government is simply moving the blame and responsibility from the guilty party (the problem gambler) to the innocent (the government and society).

As with any and all addictions, it has been scientifically proven that treatments exist to compensate for physiological and/or mental defects that might lead to inappropriate personal choices and actions. Here, personal responsibility rears its seemingly ugly head again, as initiation of any such treatments remains the personal choice and responsibility of the afflicted.

Although a treatable condition such as irresponsible and problem gambling might be an issue with certain individuals, why should healthy and responsible gamblers be denied their free choice to participate in a legal activity?

To ban VLTs and other forms of gambling in order to accommodate the needs of an extremely small minority of irresponsible users is uncalled for. To ban VLTs and gambling because a minority of the population disagrees with the activity is to allow democracy and free choice to die.

Let's put the issue in perspective and lay the responsibility where it belongs - with the problem gambler. And leave the rest of us with the choice to manage our own actions responsibly without the input of obtrusive outsiders bent on shaping society to their specific beliefs.

Ray Spruzenieks