Ohio Roundtable: The Public Square - Casinos and Kids: A Deadly Mix Again
Casinos and Kids: A Deadly Mix Again
In South Carolina, 10-day-old Joy Baker was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She
went with her mother for a ride...and never returned.
Little baby Joy was left in the back seat of the family car as Mom stopped in to play a
few rounds at the video poker casino in South Carolina. Mom played until her last $20 was
gone. Dad found baby Joy seven hours later, still locked in the car in the casino parking
lot, dead of heat stress and dehydration.
So what do you think? Is that "just the way the cookie crumbles?" Just the way
the baby dies? Or does the thought of a precious ten-day-old baby suffocating to death in
a car while her mommy feeds an uncontrollable gambling addiction make your blood boil?
So what do we do? Prosecute the mother? Put her away for life? But what about the
casino industry that lured Mommy?
What about the casino that held her in its sway for those seven hours? What about an
industry whose whole purpose in life is to get people hooked so they cannot control their
money, their decisions, their very lives? The same industry that advertises along your
highways, on your radio stations, and in your daily newspapers?
And what about you and me? How long can we sit by in the name of innocence, and let
childrens lives be destroyed by permitting casino gambling, and all of its power
brokers, dictate public policy in America?
Baby Joy is not the first, and she will not be the last. Every month, new stories of
addiction, bankruptcy, suicide, murder, and broken families continue to flow from the
casino empire. Will we ever find the courage to stop this industry before it kills again?