In Lieu of US Ban on Online Gaming Transactions, Trinidad & Tobago moves to Ban all Gambling

The Caribbean twin island state of Trinidad and Tobago is about to ban online and land-based gambling and has already banned casino slot machines with almost immediate effect after Prime Minister Patrick Manning said that they encouraged vice. Mr. Manning said at his recent budget proposal speech that gaming activities are a ‘great concern’ to the country. He announced that he would also discontinue the Republic’s national lottery and declared that slot machines and casinos were illegal with immediate effect.It seems that, unlike the US, Mr. Manning has no intentions of supporting land based gambling activities, especially the state lottery, which in many countries is the source for billions of dollars worth of revenue each year to support the building and renovation of schools and other necessary state expenses. Countries such as the US and Germany could not afford to fund many state expenses in the interest of their citizens without their state lotteries for revenue income.In the US, state lotteries in 38 states support the funding of new schools, institutional, and educational expenses and in Germany, the million euro state lotteries mostly fund the country’s military expenditures. These are only a few examples.No final date of implemetation was given for the Internet and online gambling ban by Mr. Manning. This development, which has surprised many in the country, comes just one week after the U.S. passed legislation to prohibit US based players and gamblers from using credit cards, cheques and electronic transactions to pay and play at online gaming establishments mostly based outside of the US.Although the US has made it only illegal to transfer funds to online gambling sites, with yet the final bill to ban online gambling in its entity still to go through with George Bush’s final approval and signature, and which is expected in just a few weeks, the US has in no way made it illegal to gamble on land. In effect, the US government is forcing its citizens to spend their hard-earned income on US land based gambling such as race track, lotteries and brick and mortar land casinos.According to the US Government Code Section 8880.5 “the use of (state) lottery funds are limited to instructional purposes and states that”…no funds shall be spent for…any other noninstructional purpose.” Currently, the support budget of the California State University is represented by the four “Program” categories of INSTRUCTION, ACADEMIC SUPPORT, STUDENT SERVICES, and INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT. Lottery-funded instructional costs can best be defined as the program categories included in INSTRUCTION, ACADEMIC SUPPORT and in very limited instances to INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT, since they represent costs most directly related to classroom instruction and system wide implementation costs”.In the US state of Oregon, “Oregonians vote to approve the broad categories that may receive Oregon Lottery funds, and have approved Constitutional amendments allowing Lottery funds to be used for economic development (1984), public education (1995) and natural resource programs (1998). Then, every two years, Oregon’s Legislature and Governor decide which specific programs and projects within those categories receive Lottery profits. During the biennium (2001-2003), almost 63% of all Lottery profits, nearly $430 million were going to public education. The remainder goes to economic development, parks and natural resources, and problem gambling treatment programs”.38 US states all have and will continue to have state lotteries; mostly supporting various types of educational funding and where voters can also apply for funding via application to each state.Mrs. Manning, the Minister of Education of Trinidad & Tobago and the wife of the Prime Minister Mr. Manning, seems to have in no way tried to have influenced the Prime Minister in his decision to stop the state lottery rather than direct it towards the country’s own educational and institutional funding purposes. Trinidad & Tobago has apparently only recently opened a new University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT) which could have well made more than sufficient use of the state’s lottery funds.On further investigation of Trinidad & Tobago’s state lottery system however, it was not clear that the state lottery supported any public funds as is typical in most countries which operate state lotteries as a means of revenue. In countries where state lotteries are regarded as meaningful revenue, citizens are given the democratic right to gamble, if only to support state institutions; in essence, ‘vice’ is turned into ‘the good’. Through such methods, gamblers are free to engage in a ‘vice’ on their own responsibility whilst supporting state funding for much-needed education and state construction.To date, our team has not been able to decipher whether the Trinidad & Tobago state lottery was ever mandated to report on its income and what the funds from the lottery were directed to achieve as a beneficial goal to the country’s citizens.The opposition party in Trinidad & Tobago, having already delivered its’ response to Mr. Manning’s apparently shocking budget decision via Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, apparently did not comment on the issue of the intent to make internet gambling illegal as well as to stop all land casinos, gambling for monies ‘paid to the house’ and the state lottery from operating within the country.Indeed, the Prime Minister seems to be on a hard line political drive to make it illegal for many of the country’s citizens to even gamble at their own homes without question as to the true reasons why other countries, with particular emphasis on the US, may be moving so aggressively against online gambling.Needless to say, Mr. Manning has appeared to have taken his cue from an apparent incorrect perception of the real reasons why the US is presently cracking down on online and internet gambling (not house gambling); that is, essentially to keep it’s citizen’s money in its own ‘house’ together with all of the $12 billion dollars worth of yearly US dollars in profits which presently go out of the ‘house’ door to foreign-based online gaming companies.Such a political move which the US has recently implemented has been criticized by many worldwide and in the US, to be fundamentally non-democratic and even socialist.
Many, including Americans, are beginning to ask themselves the question of what the Republicans would request of US citizens next; perhaps forbidding them to drink alcohol or to spend their hard-earned money for ‘foreign’ holidays on ‘local’ soil. Mr. Manning, along with his Budget speech, also delivered his intentions to raise serious taxes on smoking and alcohol products.What with these new world developments, one is reminded in uncanny fashion of Adolf Hitler’s methods to encourage the German people to promote healthy lifestyles, engage heavily in sports, non-alcoholic consumption and to not partake in all forms of ‘vice’ which affect the body and mind and prevented one from becoming the ‘perfect race’. Hitler also encouraged his citizens to spend holidays on German territory and the like.Many also expect that political moves such as the complete banning of state lotteries will further encourage governments to get their money from other sources because they are suddenly not able to earn sufficient revenue from its citizen’s activities, and are therefore far more likely to acquire much-needed funds through more illegal channels. In effect, as we have read on one site “such moves may lead to more state-controlled white washing of criminal money”.It does not take much common sense to know that smoking in open areas on beaches, in parks and in cities much polluted by continuous industrial activity is far less likely to harm the collective health of all US citizens whilst the US government simultaneously moves to lessen or annihilate the much-needed political pressure on oil, gas and industrial companies to finally assume responsibility and finally and literally, pay the costs of cleaning up their immediate environmental pollution.It does seem, however unintentional, that the politics of some countries seem to create and move more criminal activity into the forefront than foster new opportunities, desperately needed revenue and a basic freedom of choice in the interest of their public and the citizenry of their countries.

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The Ugly of Gambling

It’s hard to think there’s one. When its highly glamorized, especially on billboards, radio and TV commercials and films. However, there is. It’s a side of gambling that isn’t seen on billboards, or warned about on radio or TV commercials or films.So what is it? You may ask.The ugly is when a person becomes addicted to gambling.Quickly their one desire is to gamble, looking for their next bet. Remember those anti-drug advertisements in the late 80’s showing an egg in a frying pan, warning viewers about the effects of drug use, saying, “This is your brain on drugs”. Decades later the same ad could be used for gambling addiction, with a simple change, “This is your brain when gambling”.Researchers says a person with a gambling addiction, is attracted to the same chemical spell as a drug addict and an alcoholic. Feeling the same euphoric sensations when they gamble, soon afterwards they suffer from withdrawal, having the urge to repeat. It’s a vicious cycle, one that is hard to break.The compulsive gambler doesn’t pass out when gambling, like a drug addict or alcoholic when they have had too much to drink. They can completely gamble their bank accounts until there is no money left.This is a devastating reality, many families face. It’s not uncommon for a compulsive gambler to gamble away a families savings in less time, it takes to watch a TV show. When a person becomes addicted to gambling, they are not the only ones who suffer from emotional and financial stress. Their family suffers too.Bills go unpaid, creditors call home, children hear their parents fight behind closed doors, listening in utter horror as their parents argue about money. The levelheaded spouse is left trying to keep the family together, struggling with mounting debts, feeling pushed in a corner by the compulsive gambler’s demands, trying to keep the family from breaking apart.The once comfortable home is now consumed with financial stress. Children experience high levels of anxiety, leaving them wondering if things will ever get better.So yes, there is a very ugly side to gambling. Nobody thinks they will become addicted, but it happens. And when it does, lives change for not only them, but their families, who struggle with the gambler’s consequences.I know the ugly side to gambling real well, because my father is a gambling addict. I lived with his gambling addiction, trying its hardest to always gamble what we had at home.

Eating Tips on Health and Fitness

Achieving a fit body is not always about exercising. Diet is also a big part of it. These two are actually the main components and core of getting physically fit. For many people, following a healthy diet is much harder than exercising regularly. With the presence of fast and junk foods around the corner, many find it hard to resist the temptation of eating them. Another reason for this is that fast foods are more convenient to buy than making a home cooked meal. Today’s modern culture is a fast paced one but everyone should all somehow incorporate the following eating tips on health and fitness into their daily lives.Many can say that they have been told to never skip breakfast. However, most of them don’t have the time to eat in the morning. Skipping breakfast greatly affect the body’s metabolism. Once people wake up, they should eat something nutritional and healthy for them to start their body’s metabolism. Eating big breakfast meals is also advised since it will be the source of energy throughout the entire day. Remember that a healthy breakfast is mainly composed of lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.Traditionally, people eat three big meals per day which are composed of breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, scientific studies show that there is a better way for people to divide their meals. Instead of eating three times a day, people should try to divide this further into six meals. The proportions for these meals should be smaller but they should also be nutritional and balanced as well. This is one of the many eating tips on health and fitness that can help people feel full during the entire day.Everyone had probably experienced emotional and mindless eating. Eating this way will cause people to weigh more especially when they do this every now and then. One way to stop this is to never eat while watching television or while on the sofa or couch. These places are what most people call as their comfort areas. When they get too comfy while eating, they may not realize what and how much food they are eating. Always eat on the table and think about instead the consequences of eating mindlessly.Following these eating tips on health and fitness can be difficult at first and this is why everyone should start slowly. Start with small changes during the first days and then gradually add more changes to the diet plan. Rushing will never be effective and it can cause failure. If people get lost along the way, they should always refer back to the most basic tips on how to eat healthy.