While everyone has seemed to catch on to rip-off of microscamming that are gift cards, it seems that the fad has not faded and, indeed, may be taken in another direction. Casinos in Alberta are instituting a Casino Card system which is under the auspices of "capping" problem gamblers at a specific level. The next logical step, however, is Casino Gift Cards.
Let's face it, the gift card has become the easiest out during the holiday season. It's too gauche to give cash, so give plastic. Now though, instead of passing a Walmart or Target card to a family member, give them 20 pulls on a slot machine.
Some of the complaints that are filing in from around Alberta include the concept of advertising on the cards themselves. I wonder if the cards will have to contain a back and white warning, at least half the size of the card, that warns against the health hazards of gambling.
Maybe they could show the diseased lung of a gambler. Maybe they could give interesting stats about how secondhand gambling will kill children in cars. Maybe they could gather opinions from 3 out of 4 dentists who recommend sugar-free gambling for patients who choose gambling. I just hope someone starts up a "Green Gambling" group that complains about the use of plastic in making the cards.
Anyone who's read lovehatethings or listened to the podcast knows I'm a regular visitor to Vegas and any other casino that gets in my way. And while I empathize with "problem" gambling, just like any other addiction, no piece of plastic or self-imposed limitation is going to impact wide swaths of gamblers. While I would loathe to consider my province banning casinos, I do think that the solution is evident. If enough people are concerned, have a referendum and ban it... can I get odds on the over/under of that vote?