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Are casinos essential?

If you’ve read any of my blog posts over the last few months, then you already know I’m fully against government lockdowns of businesses. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again: Lockdowns lead to unemployment (which nobody debates), unemployment leads to fewer charitable donations (as noted in this Gallup poll, this New York Times article, this Daily Mail piece, and more), and fewer charitable donations will lead to global starvation in the millions, with far more deaths than from covid itself (as noted in this UN report and this Associated Press article), not to mention additional deaths from delayed cancer screenings, cardiovascular disease, alcoholism, drug addiction, spousal abuse, suicide, and more. The question isn’t whether lockdowns prevent more covid cases and deaths; the question is whether the lockdowns – which may save some from dying of covid – end up causing more people to die from other, unintended consequences, and the answer is a resounding “yes.”

And amidst these additional, unnecessary deaths, hardworking people are also losing their jobs, unless the government deems their work to be “essential.” But, for a variety of reasons, including the one mentioned above, this kind of categorization is destructive.

Governments will generally consider a business essential if it’s a supermarket, food/beverage store, food provider, convenience store, pharmacy, hardware/building materials store, gas station, or restaurant (for delivery only). These things, I guess, are deemed essential to consumers.

So, things like casinos, gyms, barbers, etc. are not considered essential, according to that standard. Sure, consumers can live without getting a haircut, or without playing slot machines much more easily than they can live without gas for their car.

But why aren’t these same governments also considering what’s essential for workers? If you can’t earn a living at your regular job as a hair stylist or slot attendant, then you’re seriously at risk of becoming victim to long-term harm, too. Being without a job isn’t exactly the same as being without gas for your car, but it’s pretty clear to me that both are essential to the person that doesn’t have it! Especially for tribal casinos, not being able to stay open can destroy an entire community. And, as mentioned at the beginning, not having a job kills your ability to donate to charity, and I’ve already discussed what happens next.

Look, if you don’t want to go to a casino or a gym, nobody is forcing you to. But for plenty of people, those jobs are essential to their survival. If you’re someone who advocates for all these continued closures, you seriously need to re-examine your position… Please, make decisions for what’s essential for you, and leave other peoples’ decisions on what’s essential to them to be made by those people.

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Steven Cohen
Steven Cohen
16 févr. 2021

I got to a real casino yesterday for the first time since the pandemic and while they tried to make the experience as normal as possible, it was strange, especially as someone who plays BJ. I get that they’re trying, but they should be allowed to do more.

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