~ TLW ~ News for Discussion ~ Group One ~

~ News Discussion ~ 104 ~ Gambling, Gaming, and Lotteries ~


Predatory Gambling In the Crosshairs ~ Adapted from Corporate Crime Reporter


It used to be that if you wanted to play slot machines, you¡¯d have to go to Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

Now, they¡¯re everywhere. And not everyone is happy about it. A grassroots movement is emerging to reverse the nationwide penetration of predatory gambling.


Grassroots organizers want to get rid of it. And by it they mean almost all forms of government sponsored gambling — slot machines, casinos, lotteries.


There is a major case against casino interests that was filed in West Virginia in August 2014. It is currently pending in West Virginia federal court. The plaintiff is Stacy Stevens. She¡¯s the widow of Scott Stevens. He was a successful CFO. He worked for a multimillion dollar family owned business in western Pennsylvania. He was very successful.¡±


¡°Then he went to Las Vegas to a conference, was introduced to slot machines. He started playing the slot machines locally at the casino in Wheeling (his hometown). He started losing. He embezzled millions from his employer to feed his slot machine addiction. This isn¡¯t like some Joe on the street. He was an incredibly successful family man, businessman — everything you would want in a person.¡±


¡°He got hooked on these slot machines. In August 2012, he drove to a soccer field in his hometown — a soccer field he helped raise money for — called the EMTs so they could pick up his body, and shot himself in the park. His wife is suing the casino owner and the slot machine maker — IGT. They are putting the slot machines on trial.¡±


¡°People went into casinos, put money into the slot machines and the people just sat in the chairs,¡± Les Bernal of Stop Predatory Gambling  relates, ¡°Predatory gambling extracts enormous amounts of wealth from everyday people.¡±


Group A

1) Do you ever play the lottery? If so, what kind of lottery do you play? Have you ever won?

2) How many forms of gambling have you tried in your life? Describe your experience.

3) What percentage of people in your country do you think gamble? What games? Describe.

4) Are any forms of gambling banned in your country? Which ones? Does banning work?

5) Are there any forms of illegal gambling present in your country? Which? Describe.


Group B

1) Apart from the obvious reason of winning money, why do people gamble? Explain.

2) How can one tell if a person is addicted to gambling/gaming/lotteries? What if they win?

3) What kinds of online gaming are actually gambling? How does money exchange? Explain.

4) Do you think non-gambling online gaming can lead to a gambling addiction? Tell.

5) Do you gamble for fun with your family, relatives, and/or friends? Tell a story.


Group C

1) Is there such a thing as good and bad luck? If so, how does it work? Do you have a theory?

2) Is it possible to "beat the odds"? How do you think professional gamblers always win?

3) It is often said that alcohol is a genetic addiction. Could gambling be the same? How so?

4) What techniques can you think of that may help an addicted gambler quit? Explain.

5) Is life a gamble? Is it pre-determined? Is it a game or a lesson? What's your opinion?








~ The following procedures are recommended for studying the topics in this curriculum ~


1) Before class, read through the text and questions in order to prepare for your discussion.

2) When study begins, as a class, in groups, or in pairs, read the text and discuss the content and vocabulary. 

3) After that, in a similar fashion, choose the questions you¡¯d like to answer or create your own questions.

4) Take some time to prepare meaningful responses to the questions (with the teacher or in pairs/groups).

5) Take part in the class discussion with your peers, and follow your teacher¡¯s prompts and suggestions.


Click to print questions: .docx /.doc

argue the toss ~ To dispute a decision or choice which has already been made.
The final choice was made yesterday, so don't argue the toss now! 


between the devil and the deep blue sea ~ To be in a situation where there are two equally unpleasant alternatives.
Management was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea: develop a new marketing campaign, or drop the product.

embarrassment of riches ~ When there is much more of something than necessary, and it is difficult to make a choice.
Our hosts presented us with an embarrassment of riches. There was so much food that we didn't know where to start!


plan B ~ an alternative solution to be adopted if one's original plan does not succeed.
If the gambler loses his money, plan B is to borrow some from a loan shark.

hedge your bets ~ To choose two or more courses of action  in order to reduce the risk of loss or error.
The company hedged its bets by developing a second line of products.


luck of the draw ~ This means that it is the result of pure chance, with no possibility of choice.
The samples distributed varied in size and value; it was the luck of the draw.

Warm~up: Related idioms from Learn English Today:

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