What happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas

Few would dispute that the cancellation of Casino Night was an outrageous overreach on the part of state government. But in his column, “Free to gamble, free to be” (11/13), Jared Wigdor tries to use the blatantly obvious in support of the highly dubious: that all gambling laws be repealed.

Though gambling is undoubtedly enjoyable for many, it can be also be socially destructive. Allowing all citizens to recklessly throw their money away in any way they can devise is not good public policy. Wigdor argues that the worst aspects of gambling — loansharks and the Mafia — are a result of prohibition. But legalized gambling is a gift to organized crime. Remember that it was the Mafia who actually built and ran Las Vegas until the ’80s. And the National Commission on Gambling found that legal gambling only increased illegal bets by introducing law-abiding citizens to gambling. Americans can freely gamble today by going to any number of legal casinos, but to expand gambling to every community invites disaster.

Please, make it stay in Vegas.

Colin Ross

The writer is a freshman in

Berkeley College.