someone. I don't know who but the advertisement takes up nine full pages in this morning's paper. That's right...nine...full...pages.
I find it absolutely abhorrent that the company (or companies) in question could be allowed to announce their merger in this way - especially so close to Christmas.
Many people find themselves in debt around Christmas. They haven't spent wisely. They have spent more than they can afford. That's bad enough. Now there is a reminder of gambling, a reminder in a big way.
Will some of those people think, "I can win. I can pay my debts when I win"? Will they then spend even more they cannot afford and dig deeper into debt? What will the consequences be?
It may not be very many people but even just one or two or three is too many.
I have no idea how to place a racing bet and I have no desire to learn. I have never been to the races or played the poker machines. I have joined in the "Melbourne Cup Sweep" in my workplace - joined in simply because it was, in those circumstances, best to do it for work relations. (I won the packet of chocolate biscuits one year and we all shared them for morning tea the next day.) I occasionally buy raffle tickets if I know something about the way the raffle is being conducted and the cause. But, apart from that, I simply dream of someone else buying me a winning lottery ticket. I'd like the money - who wouldn't? I also know what the odds are.
So I find this morning's advertisement disturbing. On more than one occasion one of the local charity shops has asked me to help filling out forms for people who have "lost everything". They are homeless and looking for emergency housing. One woman wept as she told me that, unless she got help, her children would not be eating that evening because the bailiffs had turned up and she could not even get back into the place that had been her home. The children were at school that day and she was frantically trying to find some help. Her husband?
"Probably down at the pub. If they give him a few dollars for shifting a keg or two he will just lose it again."
I think most of us dream "big" and wonder what we would do if we were very rich indeed. I know several people who are, by my standards, very wealthy indeed.
They don't gamble.