THERE’S a story that, when a classroom of primary school children were asked what they wanted to do when they grew up, the majority answered ‘ win the lottery’.
Following the news that Solihull Council’s licencing committee has given the go-ahead for a casino at the NEC it could be said that the borough has won the lottery too - a £120 million investment creating 1,100 new jobs.
In a time of recession it’s a welcome shot in the arm for the local economy.
However one has to wonder at the way the opportunity to gamble has mushroomed over the last 15 years.
The popular image of the gambler may be of the seedy no hoper or the suave and sophisticated James Bond-type who can take the losses with a shrug of the shoulders, but the temptation to gamble goes much deeper than that, and it’s something that’s been well recorded - over centuries.
Temptation - the opportunity to wipe away your troubles with a roll of the dice, the turn of a card, a horse race or a football result - you can odds on anything these days.
Betting companies and casinos aren’t in the business because they’re big hearted philanthropists, but to make money, and make it they will.
The NEC casino isn’t the cause of all this, but it’s a symptom, and deep down, one wonders how many people will end up losing their shirts because of it.