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Introducing Myself

Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Friday, 21 February 2014, at 5:54 a.m.

In Response To: Introducing Myself (Taper_Mike)

While I totally agree with you in principle, there are some issues here that are important. Officially we must take the stance that gambling for kids is not good (even if some of you might think it's not so bad), because if we don't take that stance, we will be highly suspect when we go into the schools and try to convince parents and teachers that backgammon is a healthy activity for their kids. Also, many parents are sensitive about this issue, and we want them to teach their kids to play and we want them to bring their kids to tournaments and to be able to watch the good players and be able to compete with each other and with adults. If we take the money out of the equation, parents will be more open to getting their kids involved.

Even if it were perfectly legal to allow a kid to win some money, that would raise flags and could really make people react very negatively and blow the whistle on tournaments and people playing for money where they might not be meeting all of the legal requirements of that particular state or country. Do you think everyone is properly registering and providing 1099's etc. with winnings etc. etc.?

It's just cleaner and easier, as well as more ethical in the eyes of the more conservative people, to keep kids away from the gambling aspects of the game, even if you don't believe there are any bodies. By the way, I do believe there are...just look at some of the top backgammon players (and poker players) who have spent their lives gambling and playing games. Look at the IQ's and talents "wasted" that could have been put to great use to society as scientists, inventors, teachers, doctors, etc. What could people like Magriel, Robertie, Ballard, Jacobs, and the many other geniuses who have graced our halls accomplished had they not been introduced to gambling and games?

I am not entirely being facetious here....I don't fault any of them for the choices they made....I made similar choices with my life, choosing to spend many hours playing bridge, gin, backgammon, golf, tennis, racquetball, etc. etc. instead of volunteering for the Peace Corps and helping the poor. We all have to decide how to live our lives. I cast no stones here...but many could easily say the gaming rooms are full of bodies.

But the point is, like it or not, agree or not, we must keep a wall between kids and gambling, AND I ALWAYS HAVE in spite of the lunatics who spread lies and bullshit to the contrary. But that doesn't mean we can't get kids into competition and tournaments, even against adults who are playing for cash prizes. It just has to be done carefully, with full disclosure and parental consent, and in compliance with laws if they apply.

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