Thought for the Week

Morecambe and Wise, Ant and Dec and The Two Ronnies. Just a few double acts whose performances would be affected if one half failed to support the other. In Scotland’s case a pint and a punt is a double act which has for many years gone hand-in-hand.

As a keen armchair sports fan (and occasional participant) we absorb most of what is fed to us through the TV.

How many of us have noticed the increased amount of television advertisements for online casinos/betting? Figures indicate that online gambling is increasing significantly, with women in particular showing an increased appetite in what was traditionally a male dominated pastime.

It is now a silent addiction with folk being allowed to rack up debt quietly. Who is going to have to pay for this debt? All of us.

Consider this; we are already a country with addictive tendencies. Look at Scotland’s statistics on alcohol consumption. Every drink purchased continues to fund an industry which creates a product which is a major factor in domestic violence, social unrest, alcohol addiction and which absorbs so much of our precious resource in our emergency services.

We now have two major industries dominating sponsorship for most big events. On the surface a drink and a gamble may be a harmless pastime, however if you look deep enough we are allowing even more causes of pain to seep into society. YOU may be able to take a pint and a punt responsibly, but what about the painful effects on your neighbour? Your family? Your friend?

Who is targeted most? Those who can least afford it.

When did we last see an advert for a ‘pint and a punt’ where we see a wife being beaten by a drunken husband or someone getting their house repossessed because of gambling debt?

Scripture (1 Timothy 6:10) tells us to avoid the love of money. It’s easy to work out why. That love lulls us into taking risks that not only affect the risk-taker but all those around him/her.

As we hand the responsibility of our huge national debt to our children and grandchildren, what other legacies are we passing on? What other debts will we be amassing? Where/when do we draw the line?

David Cochrane