There should exist a nationwide (worldwide would be better) database of individuals who are identified as regular gamblers. Every gambling facility (casinos, card clubs, bingo parlors, horse racing tracks, lottery ticket sellers, etc., both physical or on the Internet) should be required to ask all customers for some type of identification and then instantly check this database for an indication that any such customer may be a habitual or potentially addicted gambler prior to that facility’s approval of the gambling transaction with that customer. This database would be required to compile, for each gambling customer, a continuous average monthly gambling expenditure chart with their histories being kept for a maximum of the past 5 calendar years. A national gambling agency would be charged with running this database and this agency would also have the authority to enforce any restriction on gambling activities engaged in by potential problem gamblers. Any person under 15 years of age would be prohibited from participating in any form of gambling.
Any person which this database indicates as having gambling expenditures of less than $200 per month averaged over the last five years or since the beginning of their current gambling phase (a new phase begins after a 24 month period of gambling inactivity), whichever is shorter, would be listed as a safe, no-risk gambler. No restrictions would be placed on these kinds of gamblers until their monthly average rises to exceed $200 per month.
Gambling Restrictions Begin at $200/month Average Expenditures
Gamblers whose monthly average exceeds $200 will be listed as monitored gamblers. People under 20 would be prohibited from continuing to gamble until either their average falls back down to below $200 or until they request and are granted an exemption by the national gambling agency from this rule based on their high income or large individual net worth and with written permission granted by their parents, guardians or other adults with legal authority over them. Such permission would need to be re-granted every 6 months in order to continue gambling. People over 20 years of age who exceed this $200 monthly average would be reminded that they are monitored gamblers prior to every gambling transaction they engage in, unless they have provided proof to this national gambling agency that they have a sufficiently high income, large individual net worth, and are not financially endangering any dependents.
If a gambler’s monthly average rises to above $400 per month, that person would be listed as a habitual gambler and placed under probation. Gamblers under 20 years of age who exceed this limit would be prohibited from further gambling until their monthly average falls to below the $400 mark. Other gamblers who are 20 years old or older and who exceed this $400 limit would be required, in order to continue gambling, to supply proof of a high enough income, large individual net worth, or have otherwise provided proof that such high levels of gambling would not financially hurt him or those for whom he is responsible (i.e. spouse, family, etc.). This national gambling agency may or may not choose to approved continued gambling for this individual until his monthly average falls below the $400 level. Any person who is approved for further gambling must first be required to take and pass a short educational course that explains how the gambling industry works, the principles of mathematical probabilities and statistics, and other simple, relevant topics related to gambling before final approval is granted. These courses could be taken either entirely at an approved educational facility or at home (at the gambler’s leisure) with tests administered at an approved educational facility.
Gamblers whose monthly average rises to over $1,000 would be classified as serious gamblers and would be required, in order to continue gambling above this level, to provide proof to the national gambling agency of a high enough income level or net worth, and proof that continued gambling will not result in the jeopardy of either their own financial well-being or the financial well-being of any dependents such as spouses, children or other individuals. Permission to continue gambling at levels above the $1,000 mark would need to be applied for, reviewed, and re-approved every 12 months.
Gamblers who wish to receive permission to exceed this $1,000 monthly average gambling expenditures would be required to enroll in rather more intensive gambling counseling and educational classes for every year that their total expenditures remain above the $1,000 per month average. These counseling classes should place a heavy emphasis on statistics, probability, and how these games of chance are designed to work. Psychological tests as well as tests measuring a gambler’s understanding of how the gambling industry works should be administered.
While observing all of the rules above, gamblers should be allowed to spike their gambling expenditures up to 5% of their average yearly income or $2,000 per month (whichever is larger) without restrictions. However, to continue gambling beyond these limits, gamblers would be placed on probation and would be required to provide proof to the national gambling agency that they could adequately afford continued losses in order to be allowed to continue gambling.
This gambling agency would have the authority to prevent any person from gambling at any level if the agency has reason to believe that continued gambling would harm the gamblers themselves or the people for whom they are responsible.
This database and each individual gambler’s monthly average would be updated at the end of each day in order to prevent gamblers from gambling a lot of money away at one facility and then going to another facility the next day and gambling away a lot more. However, more frequent updating of the database would be more beneficial in catching people before they have an opportunity to gamble everything away within one day. Monitored and habitual gamblers should be watched for extremely rapid rises in their gambling expenditures.
This entire database and enforcement system would be funded completely internally through fees (a percentage, such as 1% or whatever is necessary for proper funding) levied on all gambling transactions. The gambling industry would be required to pay at least some of the costs associated with rehabilitating problem gamblers. The whole idea is to make the gambling industry check up on and prevent gamblers from gambling beyond their means.
People who have engaged in legal gambling activities, should be required to fulfill all such financial gambling obligations regardless of whether they have later moved into a political jurisdiction which defines such activities as illegal within its borders.
Gambling facilities that knew or should have known about compulsive gamblers going deeper into debt, should be required to forgive the debts of that gambler and pay the equivalent of at least twice as much as that individual’s total lifetime wagering amount to the government as a penalty for not preventing this problem. The onus should be on the gambling facilities to ensure that problem compulsive gamblers are not gambling to a degree that destroys their lives.0 Comments
Illegal gambling activities should be defined as activities requiring the wagering of money or something of material value on an event in which purely random mathematical probabilities determine the outcome. An exception to this rule could be any purely random mathematical lottery in which a cumulative total of at least 50% of all revenues go to an approved charitable cause, towards the funding of an advertised public good (such as K-14 education, universal healthcare, transportation, etc.) and to the payment of taxes of any level government. Sports gambling should also be exempted because the involvement of elements of research move such activities away from purely random mathematical probabilities. Legitimate investments, speculation, stock/commodity trading, etc., should not be considered gambling. Charitable raffles and such games should also be allowed.
Any purely random mathematical lottery in which at least 50% of all revenues go to an approved charitable cause or towards the funding of an advertised public good (such as K-14 education, universal healthcare, transportation, etc.) should be allowed.
All financial transactions due to illegal gambling would be treated as illegal exchanges of money to which all parties involved are guilty. The winners would be required to forfeit all of their winnings to the government. As a penalty, the winners must pay out an additional amount equal to their winnings. In cases of illegal gambling, both parties (the one that owes, and the one that is owed) should each be required to pay a penalty to the government equal to 100% of half the gross gambling wagers made between them, totaling up to $10,000 each. For example, two people, who each agreed to enter into an illegal $10,000 bet, would each be required to pay $5,000 to the government as a penalty for engaging in this illegal activity. As total gambling wagers increase, each party should be required to pay a progressively smaller percentage than 100% of half the gross gambling wagers made between them. For example, gross wager amounts of $50,000 could require each party to repay 75% of half this amount ($18,750 each), wager amounts of $100,000 could require each party to repay 50% of half this debt ($25,000), and wager amounts of $500,000 would require repayment by each party of 25% ($62,500) of half the net gambling debts. A smooth algebraic curve should be fitted through the percentages used in these examples in order to find the proper percentages to apply to wager amounts other than the ones used in the examples. The revenues generated from these fines should be distributed equally to state and local governments (state, county, and city).
If parties to the illegal gambling lie about the amounts of money wagered or won, the difference between what they say they wagered or won and what they actually wagered or won will be treated as theft and the penalty for this additional crime will be a fine equal to the difference plus a multiple of the difference.
The reason people are required to pay progressively less than half of larger gambling debts is because such people are much more likely to have lost self control over their gambling activities (i.e., are addicted to gambling) and could have easily allowed their debt numbers to get out of hand. Since agreeing to engage in a gambling bet is fairly effortless, being mainly a verbal commitment, and since such activities usually affect only the individuals involved (namely, the money wasn’t stolen from anyone else), it would make sense to somewhat soften the massive liability of such debts (while still making them painfully high) and give gambling addicts some hope by creating for them a greater chance of recovering financially from such losses. By setting these gambling fines at high dollar amounts (though far below what each gambler would likely have been required to pay had they lost), ‘losing’ gamblers, especially addicted gamblers, would suffer the consequences of gambling while at the same time the ‘winners’ would be required to pay the same amount as the ‘losers’, thus decreasing the incentive for all sides to participate in such activities. This would give potential ‘winners’ pause and hesitation before entering into a bet because the ‘losers’ could reduce very large gambling liabilities (while imposing significant liabilities on the ‘winners’ at the same time) by just informing the authorities of their involvement in illegal gambling.
If the original winning party still tries to force the original losing party to pay back the debt or any portion of it, that action of forcing or attempting to force payment should be treated as theft or attempted theft requiring restitution plus a punitive multiple.
All parties caught illegally gambling amounts under $10,000 should be required to enroll in a short educational course that explains how gambling works, the principles of mathematical probabilities, and other relevant topics related to gambling as well as the hardships and difficulties gamblers can cause themselves and those around them. Part of this course should include watching personal testimonials or documentaries on the subject. All participants should be required to take and pass a test to prove that they have a functional understanding of the materials in the course. Gamblers illegally gambling amounts in excess of $10,000 would be required to take a much more intensive gambling education course.0 Comments
Individuals should not be allowed to win more than $1,000,000 at a time through a lottery. Lotteries should be designed so that either more people win and split the jackpot evenly or so that more successively placed winners (2nd, 3rd, etc.) are chosen to share in the winnings. More winners could be made by any number of ways, including reducing the number of digits that players would need to pick and dividing the jackpot evenly among all these winners, or by increasing the number of digits players need to pick and then choosing the several people who came closest to the final number and declaring them winners.0 Comments
A weather lottery should exist to encourage people to study the weather and create a market for more accurate weather forecasting. (In addition, people’s tendency to waste money on random outcomes could be harnessed for the greater good.) The idea is for people to participate in either the short or long term weather forecasting of single or multiple weather variables. Lottery organizers could choose from any number and combination of variables to make the lottery easy or hard. People who accurately predict that (or those) particular weather variable(s) win the jackpot. Some of the money raised could go to further weather forecasting research. Several varieties of weather lotteries should run concurrently to satisfy the market. Making weather forecasting into a kind of game that is available for everyone to play, would result in the introduction of a huge amount of public information and speculation which may be mined to yield at least some benefits. Perhaps, certain players who tend to be significantly more accurate than the rest, or even more accurate than professional forecasters, could be questioned as to their methods of forecasting and research so that the science of weather forecasting could be improved.
Weather Forecasting Error Bars
Consumers should have the ability to view weather forecasts with error bars that represent the probability that the forecast will be within certain limits. Each future day would have a larger error bar centered on the predicted temperature of the present forecast. For example, let’s say that a forecast given on day zero (0) says that day 3 will have a high temperature of 78° F. Let’s say that a 75% probability figure is chosen. The error bars for day 1 would probably be +/- 1 or 2° F. For day 2, maybe +/- 3° F. Day 3, +/- 5°F, and so on. This way, weather forecasters can compete with each other for accuracy.
Forecasting Astronomical Events
Weather forecasts should also include the forecasting of astronomical events, like significant meteor showers, eclipses, and significant transits. Information on whether the sky will be cloudy or clear at the time should be stated.