Archbishop urges gov’t to rethink position on casinos

Archbishop urges gov’t to rethink position on casinos

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz

The government should rethink its position on casinos after a supposed gambling addict wreaked havoc at the Resorts World Manila recently.

Anti-gambling crusader Archbishop Oscar Cruz said that gambling in any form should not be encouraged as it goes against the ethos of working for a living.

More than that, he said is its social costs including corruption, relationship break-ups and family violence.

“Little by little, get rid of casinos because casinos are the cause of a lot of crimes, just like money laundering,” Cruz said.

But while detractors call for the cessation of casinos and authorized gambling outlets, the government see them as a way to boost the economy and create new jobs.

“It is quite improbable that the casinos will close themselves because that is where they get their money. I think it is only the government that can say what to do with gambling, both legal and illegal,” he said.

The retired archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan further said that the social impact of gambling is no different from that of illegal drugs.

“Gambling is just like drugs. You need more and more drugs the moment you begin taking drugs. The same with gambling. The moment you start, the more money you need for gaming. It’s addictive,” Cruz said.

He cited the case of Jessie Carlos, a former government employee who was deep in debt due to casino gambling, and was identified by the authorities as the man behind the Resorts World attack last Friday.

“Gambling is a vice and I have yet to hear of a gambler who has developed his virtues, especially honesty. I still have to hear of a gambler who did not waste his earnings, who did not destroy his family, who became a better employee,” he added.

“Gambling is a vice and a vice means it is a habitual doing of what is evil, of what is wrong,” Cruz also said.

Early this year, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office launched the expansion of small town lottery operations from only 18 to to 56 areas nationwide. CBCPNews