Monday, June 26, 2006

177: “Your New Neighbor the Casino”


Here is a sample of how casinos, slots parlors, and racinos are “such good neighbors”. [Racino is a casino or slots parlor, or both at a racetrack.] This is a true story from the Monticello, NY raceway and casino. While the man, Mr. PS, misses the point where his own irresponsibility kicked in (when he made the decision to go to the racino in the first place), you must take note of his treatment at the hands of the racino staff.
I am a 54 year old disabled man with severe diabetes among other health problems. The criminal dirtbags at Monticello racino managed to convince me to accept a few(3-4) free drinks while gambling there. After I lost all my money (over $5000.00) and left the building, their "security" folks notified me that they were "watching me" and would report me to the State Police if I attempted to leave the parking lot. I asked them why they waited until that point in time to do this. If I was drunk, why didn't they stop giving me free drinks? The answer was that I was still gambling. I asked for some place to lay down as I was hypoglycemic. They refused.

I asked for a cab. They refused. I asked if either one of 2 employees there were on duty and could give me a ride. They refused to find out.

I then sat in my car for an hour and dozed off. When I left the premises, they called the State Police and I was pulled over for no reason regarding my driving or vehicle and was arrested for DWI.

It is a well known fact that diabetics are especially susceptible to DWI as hypoglycemia greatly increases the b.a.c. of anyone tested. Mine was .01 over the legal limit. I am not sending you this report to excuse my irresponsible act of accepting their free drinks. However I am sending this info to you so that you may advise other folks and especially diabetics of the dangers they face when doing "business" with these criminals.
So, they got his money inside, and maybe his health, got his dignity outside, and then proceeded to probably take his license via the call to the State Police.

And yes, very importantly, the man has full responsibility for almost all of this. But so does the Racino, which plied him with free drinks without having any idea of underlying medical conditions that would exacerbate the effects of alcohol, and make alcohol use prohibitive. That is reckless endangerment. Good neighbors do not treat their neighbors this way.

Gambling establishments typically ply their customers with free drinks, using one addictive entity to fuel another: gambling.

What’s worse is the way the man was treated on exiting the gambling area to go home. He was properly warned not to leave in a vehicle he was driving as he was apparently under the influence of alcohol. But all attempts to be a good neighbor stopped there, far short of what a good neighbor should do. The man asked for a cab, but would anyone call one for him? No! Would they provide him with someplace to wait while the effects of the alcohol on his disease ravaged body wore off? No! Would any of them drive him home? No!

Instead, they forced him into his car where he slept for too short a time, and then exited the facility to the cat-called warnings of the staff that they would call the cops. Indeed, they did just that.

I hope this man has a good and litigious attorney.

Remember the wave of bars and bartenders that were successfully sued for “giving drinks to a drunk”, who then went out and killed someone with his vehicle?

There is a responsibility on the part of anyone who serves alcohol to ensure that no one drives drunk.

By essentially offering this man absolutely no assistance in his own efforts to avoid driving drunk, the racino employees crossed the line. And the requests were simple…someplace to wait, doze, get something to eat and some coffee, perhaps, or even better, call the man a cab? How hard is that to do? Instead, they put their employer at risk by not helping the man, and then put that lack of effort on record by calling the state police when he drove out himself. That was, however, the only positive thing they did for the man, when any number of other solutions would have better served everyone involved.

In prior essays, we have pointed out exactly how casinos are terrible neighbors to the communities in which they are situated. The above example is just one of the ways this happens.

Can you imagine if this gentleman had gone into a diabetic coma? The way the staff were acting they would have concluded he was simply a passed out drunk. They would likely have called the police, and it is doubtful the police would have called an ambulance unless they were savvy enough to smell the man’s breath and realize the sweet smell on it was the result of his blood chemistry reacting to the overload of sugar into his bloodstream (alcohol becomes a sugar in the liver), causing a diabetic coma.

We have also pointed out that despite the repeated mouthings of good neighborliness expressed by David LeVan and Barbara Ernico, investors in the proposed casino at Gettysburg, the one thing they can never guarantee is the good neighborliness of their customers.

It is easy to imagine some alternative scenarios to Mr. PS’s story. Suppose he was not as good natured as he apparently was? Suppose he had decided to take out his anger over losing, and getting drunk because of his condition. Suppose there is a school, or a little league field, or a playground or park nearby. Can you imagine the nightmarish scenarios that may play out under these conditions?

Can you afford to put your community at risk?

Can you afford to put your children at such risks?

Can you afford to put the disabled in your community at such risks?

Can you afford to put yourself at such risks?

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