Saturday, February 24, 2007

Girl, 16, breaks slots in Macau

The city of Macau, which like Hong Kong is part of China but has an autonomous government (and wide-ranging freedoms which do not exist on the Mainland), is trying to explain itself after a 16 year old girl from HK won $100,000 US at the slot machines at one of the city's many casinos. Seems she was allowed to keep the money because of a loophole in the law: She wasn't supposed to be allowed into the casino since she's under 18, but the law only regards admission to the facilities -- not actually playing the machines. However, the young women's mother has been banned from the city's casinos for allowing her daughter to go on the escapade.

Far be it from me to complain about the vice of gambling, because I'll admit to the yen although I'm not compulsive about it. Matter of fact, years ago before Ontario put in an age limit, I won a 50-1 longshot at a racetrack -- I was only 12 at the time and I got paid off without any questions whatsoever.

But this goes to the issue of parenting. What mother in her right mind would give her daughter money for the specific purpose of wasting it? Sure, it paid off in this case, but what if it got swallowed up by the machine? $12 doesn't exactly go that far in either of the autonomous territories, after all. And in an age where casinos are popping up all over the place, Macau -- or for that matter Niagara Falls -- isn't exactly a family friendly place anymore.

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