berthahenson

Privacy and the poor

In News Reports, Society on June 8, 2012 at 1:45 am

I don’t suppose many people would object to the extension of the casino ban to the “financially vulnerable”. So another 15,000 will be added to the No Entry list, including those who couldn’t pay up the rent on their flats. One thing that has always puzzled me: So the two casinos get a whole list of names and then checks each entrant against some computer spreadsheet? I don’t know about you, but if I were a ComCare receipient or am temporarily unable to pay my rent, I wouldn’t want too many people to know about it. I mean its okay to have self-exclusion or third-party exclusion for gambling addicts, and undischarged bankrupts who should really pay their creditors first, but the “financially vulnerable”? What’s happened to privacy?

Minister Chan Chun Sing says the target isn’t the lower income. Odd. If so, those on Public Assistance shouldn’t be on the original ban list… He describes the new group as those who show “initial signs of financial strain”. If it’s “initial”, let them get over it then. If they gamble and get into deeper debt, let a social worker or family members add them to the exclusion list. Why does the Government have to be a nanny?

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  1. Bertha, interesting questions you ask. Our government’s actions are the typical behavior of those who try to lock the barn after the horse had bolted. Not only are they trying to lock it, they must make a big show of it. Why bother? You have already built the casinos. In fact, the govt is the one who let the horses loose, then try to make a big show of locking the barn after that.

    People are already addicted. I am an ex-teacher, and my teacher friends tell me that gambling is prevalent among teachers. Students know which teacher gambles because the teachers flaunt it, or bitch about losing in school. He told me that it will be difficult to explain why gambling is bad to the next generation because they will claim that their teachers did it too!

    Like the article said, not many in this category actually gamble, so why target them? It would not solve problem gambling. It would not stop the rot that has started. In fact, I dont believe the government really wants to stop people from gambling. Does Las Vegas or Macau want to limit gambling?

    So why pretend to care? Because they cannot be seen to do nothing, so doing something stupid is better than doing nothing.

    So the minister bans the group LEAST likely to gamble.

  2. Now we know why Data Protection does not extend to government…. But the most likely route would be requiring applicants to agree to a “voluntary” self-exclusion order as a condition of receiving assistance. Much as everyone presses “OK” to allow CPFB to verify their income with IRAS when they sign up to receive the various govt goodie packages.

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